Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 2018

Lindheimer’s senna

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Walking along the North Walnut Creek Trail on September 19th I glimpsed some bright yellow flowers at a distance through the woods. Could they be my first Maximilian sunflowers for this year? No: when I hiked over to investigate I found the flowers were Lindheimer’s senna, Senna lindheimeriana, a member of the pea family.

Even close to the ground some of the senna plants were flowering.

Several senna leaflets still had morning dewdrops on them.

So did a few of the flowers.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 29, 2018 at 4:51 AM

Shadow as an emblem of a bird in flight

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Along the North Walnut Creek Trail on the morning of September 19th I looked down at a mushroom and saw a dark bird winging west. Oh, the world of illusions we live in. Casting the magic shadow spell was a straggler daisy plant, Calyptocarpus vialis.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 27, 2018 at 4:46 AM

Pink and yellow thrills a fellow; pink and blue is pretty too.

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Palafoxia callosa goes by the common name small palafoxia because at half an inch in diameter its flower heads are indeed smaller than those of other species in the genus. The background in the first photograph owes its yellow to cowpen daisies, a few of which you’ve already seen from the same September 2nd session along Lost Horizon Dr. in my Great Hills neighborhood.

Back on August 24th along the right-of-way beneath the power lines west of Morado Circle I portrayed a small palafoxia from the side so that the blue sky could be the background, as you see in the picture below. The heads in this non-composite composite species consist entirely of disk flowers; there are no ray flowers.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2018 at 5:44 PM

Olive = juniper

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On September 2nd, while walking on a streamside path along the upper reaches of Bull Creek, I stopped to photograph a butterfly that entomologists classify as Callophrys gryneus and that people call a juniper hairstreak or olive hairstreak. Although what I know about butterflies weighs less than one, it seems to me that the russet color on this individual was more saturated than average for the species.

If you’re wondering about the flowers, which I paid much less attention to than the hairstreak did because I needed to maintain my focus on the moving butterfly, they were Eupatorium serotinum, known as late boneset and late thoroughwort.

For a closer look at the butterfly, you can click on the excerpt below from a different frame to enlarge it.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 22, 2018 at 4:21 AM

Yellow and purple

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In the woods along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 2nd I found this bright and brightly lit flower head of a Silphium radula, known as roughstem rosinweed.

The daubs of contrasting color beyond the rosinweed came from a few flowers on a purple bindweed vine, Ipomoea cordatotriloba. Below is a side view of one of those flowers in its own right and in focus.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2018 at 5:13 PM

American beautyberry fruit clusters

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There’s nothing to carp at in the ripe fruits of Callicarpa americana, called American beautyberry. I found this bush along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 2nd. Light filtering through the surrounding trees kept shifting with the leaves as they moved in the breeze, making it hard for me to catch all six fruit clusters lit up at the same time.

© Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 17, 2018 at 4:47 AM

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Wasp-on-the-mountain

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A few weeks ago you got a close look at the inflorescence of snow-on-the-prairie. Now you’re getting a look at its sister species, snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata). On September 2nd I’d been driving home after photographing at two other locations in northwest Austin when I spotted a few of these familiar plants and decided to stop. Once I got close, I saw that a wasp was busy working the flowers. Like some other insects I’ve seen on flowers, this one kept moving pretty quickly, so I used a high shutter speed, 1/800 of a second, to keep from ending up with a blurred image of the wasp.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 14, 2018 at 4:44 AM

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