Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 2019

Surprise on a ten-petal anemone

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I inaugurated the new wildflower season here with a post showing a ten-petal anemone (Anemone berlandieri) that I photographed on January 28th. As each fertilized flower matures, a lengthening seed column develops in the center, and eventually the sepals fall off. That was on its way to happening to the anemone in today’s picture from February 18th. When I moved in to make my portrait, I discovered that a crab spider had gotten there first. Those of you inclined to pareidolia may well see a face in the upside-down spider’s abdomen.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 28, 2019 at 4:40 AM

February 26–27, 2015

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Late in the afternoon four years ago today I walked down to Little Manly Beach, which lies on the south side of a peninsula that juts into the Hauraki Gulf north of Auckland.

You can see that the nearer sea-eroded cliffs and shore already lay in shadow. That didn’t stop me from taking some pictures of fascinating formations, a few of which I showed here after I got back to Texas. Nevertheless, I went back the next morning—my last in New Zealand on that first trip—when the light came from the opposite direction, so I could have another crack at the interesting patterns. Below are several.

Green algae

Rock swirls

Barnacles

I planned to go back at the end of our 2017 visit but unfortunately heavy rains caused mudslides that blocked both roads that would have let us leave the Coromandel Peninsula. We lost a day and made it back to Auckland only a few hours before we had to go to the airport for our return flight to Texas.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2019 at 4:22 AM

Time again for Texas mountain laurel, and hardly the normal time for something else

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By February 18th I was already finding flowers on the Texas mountain laurels (Sophora secundiflora) in Austin. These two views are from the Southwest Greenway at the Mueller development in east-central Austin.

If it was time for Texas mountain laurel, mid-February was months before the normal time
for the common sunflower (Helianthus annuus), one of which I also found flowering there.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

UPDATE: I see the scientific name for Texas mountain laurel has been changed to Dermatophyllum secundiflorum.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2019 at 4:48 AM

Varieties of wispy clouds

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On February 18th it began with a sort of linear yin-yang created by a contrail:

At two other locations in my neighborhood I continued photographing the wispy clouds.

I was fascinated by how varied they were.

I ended up with dozens of pictures.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2019 at 4:37 AM

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Not passing the buck

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White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianuslive in my northwestern part of Austin—or I in theirs, depending on your point of view. It’s common to see does, but bucks put in rarer appearances. While driving home on February 6th I decided to detour along Q Ranch Rd., where I’d seen deer in the woods on other occasions. Sure enough, I quickly spotted a group, and to my surprise all had antlers. After pulling over in the first available place I walked back and managed to get about a dozen pictures before the last of the deer had moved out of range.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2019 at 4:48 PM

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What I’d actually stopped to photograph

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First one and then another recent post showed things I photographed along the northern end of Spicewood Springs Rd. on February 6th. What I’d actually stopped to take pictures of there is the possumhaw (Ilex decidua) that you see below. My intention on that overcast and drizzly morning was to make a rich but subdued portrait using a telephoto lens, and that’s what I did.

On the way home I checked out a creek in the northern part of my neighborhood. There I found a few more fruit-laden possumhaws and also noticed that some of the trees’ red drupes had fallen on the limestone creekbed. Here’s a downward view of one that ended up isolated on some subtly colored rocks.

Bright green mosses cushioned other fallen possumhaw drupes nearby.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 19, 2019 at 4:28 AM

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Fungi on a dead branch

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Adjacent to the blossoming Mexican plum tree you recently saw in a picture from February 6th were these fungi growing on a dead branch. Mycologist David Lewis says they’re probably in the genus Trametes.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 17, 2019 at 5:35 PM

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