Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for June 2018

For HJ

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One reason we went to New England on our recent trip was to fulfill the wishes of our Austin friend Helen-Jo (HJ) Hewitt. Before her death last November at the age of almost 91, she’d asked, as a longtime member of the New England Wild Flower Society, if I’d disperse her ashes among the ferns and orchids at the Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts. On June 1st, accompanied by Eve and the Society’s Director of Philanthropy Tracey Willmott and horticulturist Anna Fialkoff, I did so.

At the same time, I meant to take some memorial nature photographs in the gardens but a light rain got in the way. On June 12th I stopped back by for an hour to take my pictures, some of which I’ll post here on and off over the next few weeks, beginning today with the flower and seed capsule of a celandine poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 30, 2018 at 4:31 AM

Repeating myself

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Following coastal roads west from Halifax, Nova Scotia, on June 4th, I stopped in the vicinity of Chester to photograph pretty tree reflections in a pond.

Upon climbing back up from the bank of the pond, I noticed the new growth on a nearby evergreen tree.

About half an hour later and further west, I stopped to photograph attractive reflections in another pond.

Upon climbing back up from the bank of that pond, I noticed a nearby tree that had died and was covered with beard lichens.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 28, 2018 at 4:32 AM

Peggy’s Cove

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6566: that’s the number of miles our trip odometer showed on the evening of June 16th when arrived back home on the 25th day of a long drive that had begun on May 23rd. The vacation was a combination of visits to family, friends, and scenic places in the northeastern United States and the Atlantic provinces in Canada.

On June 3rd, our hosts in Halifax, Nova Scotia*, took us to a site on the Atlantic Ocean called Peggy’s Cove. While most visitors probably go there to see the lighthouse, you’ll understand that I found my joy in the rocks and the water and the plants. Here are seven photographs from that encounter.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


* Did you know that Nova Scotia is on Atlantic Time? That’s one hour later than Eastern Time. Except in airplanes to and from Europe, I’d never been in that time zone.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 26, 2018 at 4:46 AM

Wasp on prairie parsley

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I photographed this wasp on prairie parsley (Polytaenia texana) at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on May 6th.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 24, 2018 at 4:41 AM

Camphorweed by prairie verbena

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From a year ago today on the west side of US 183A in Cedar Park, here’s a cheerful and rather abstract view of a camphorweed flower head, Heterotheca subaxillaris. The purple flowers out of focus in the background were prairie verbenas, Glandularia bipinnatifida.

As you can see from the USDA map, camphorweed grows in many parts of the United States. What the map doesn’t show is that the species also grows down through Mexico and Belize.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 22, 2018 at 4:22 AM

Katydid nymph on yucca flower

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Katydid Nymph on Yucca Flower 5892

Click for greater clarity and size.

For the second post in a row, here’s a view from the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin. The picture, which dates back to June 20, 2013, shows what I think is the nymph of a katydid, but if anyone knows otherwise, please speak up. The petal is definitely that of a yucca, probably Yucca rupicola. If you’d like an overview of how that species looks when it’s flowering, you can skip back to another post from 2013.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 20, 2018 at 4:30 AM

Bent out of shape

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Don’t get bent out of shape by this portrait of a Mexican hat flower head, Ratibida columnifera, that I made a year ago today at Wild Basin.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 19, 2018 at 4:59 AM

Long and slender shadows

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In mid-June of 2017 the last stop on our return from South Dakota was at Monahans Sandhills State Park in west Texas. Look at the long and slender grass shadows cast by a morning sun that was at an angle of elevation close to that of the sand slope shown here.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 18, 2018 at 10:03 AM

Sandia Peak

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Late in the afternoon on June 12, 2017, we wound our way up to the top of Sandia Peak, a mountain that overlooks Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the top I couldn’t help noticing this deformed tree, perhaps a limber pine (Pinus flexilis). Years of prevailing winds had left the tree as a whole leaning away from the void and toward the ridge of the mountain. At the same time, one resistant branch somehow ended up bent in the opposite direction.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 16, 2018 at 4:56 AM

Inside Carlsbad Caverns

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On June 14th last year we visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 14, 2018 at 4:40 AM

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