Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Surprise on a ten-petal anemone

with 33 comments

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


Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 28, 2019 at 4:40 AM

33 Responses

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  1. this is an amazing shot in so many ways


    February 28, 2019 at 4:55 AM

    • I was pleased to get it, especially because the spider wasn’t thrilled with having its portrait made.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2019 at 6:31 AM

  2. I’m inclined. Quite a surprise to see this in my Reader!


    February 28, 2019 at 5:40 AM

  3. Superb!


    February 28, 2019 at 7:57 AM

  4. You didn’t catch him napping~ he’s all ready to “face” the day.


    February 28, 2019 at 7:58 AM

    • Unfortunately I had to face the fact that the spider quickly hid inside the sepals. I ended up with exactly one picture, but one is all it takes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2019 at 8:07 AM

      • It is if it is a good one, as this is.


        February 28, 2019 at 8:08 AM

        • I was satisfied. My routine is to take several pictures of a thing because slight changes (the breeze, camera movement, subject movement, accuracy of focus, etc.) let me pick the image that’s the best, or occasionally enhance a picture by borrowing a better part from a similar frame in the sequence.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 28, 2019 at 8:16 AM

          • That is called bracketing, isn’t it? Or does that only refer to changes in settings? I didn’t know you could borrow a part of a similar frame.


            March 2, 2019 at 8:45 AM

            • In my experience people have used the term bracketing to mean taking several pictures of the same thing at different exposures. My camera has a setting that lets me take three pictures in quick succession automatically, with one at the exposure the camera meters as proper, and the other two an adjustable number of f/stops over and under the metered one.

              Borrowing part of a frame amounts to selecting the desired part (say one that’s focused correctly) and pasting it over the corresponding part in another frame (where that part wasn’t focused as well). That way you can optimize the image as a whole.

              Steve Schwartzman

              March 2, 2019 at 11:20 AM

              • That’s really cool. I don’t think I have the software to do that. It would come in very handy with some of my paintings I think.


                March 5, 2019 at 10:08 AM

                • I use Photoshop but I suspect there are free programs out there that let you do many of the same things. You could do a search for “free software editing program” and see what turns up.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  March 5, 2019 at 10:16 AM

                • Thanks~ I would not have thought of that.


                  March 6, 2019 at 9:11 AM

  5. Very good shot Steven! 🙂

    H.J. for avian101

    February 28, 2019 at 4:00 PM

  6. I not only see the face, I’m amused by its expression of astonishment. Perhaps it didn’t expect to be entertaining a visitor with a camera. The anemones weren’t exactly thick in the hill country last weekend, but they were widespread, and a few already had shed their sepals. Despite the foggy and gloomy weather, spring’s clearly here.


    February 28, 2019 at 8:11 PM

    • I also read astonishment into the face, especially with the spider’s two rear legs acting as upraised arms around the pareidolic head.

      I’m glad you got to observe some anemones, even if sparser than you’d have liked.

      Spring’s here, sort of. We got up to 77° yesterday but the temperature dropped 30° today and overcast and drizzle returned. The current forecast for lows on Monday and Tuesday says 32° and 33°. I hope the weather gods won’t make me do frostweed ice pictures again.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2019 at 9:56 PM

  7. I love the crab spiders, but only have one really good set of pictures. The rest of the time, they moved too fast and I couldn’t whip out the camera fast enough.



    February 28, 2019 at 8:14 PM

    • I’ve had generally good luck photographing crab spiders. Usually I’ve already had the camera with macro lens out to photograph a flower, as was true in this case, and then noticed the spider. Good luck adding to your one good set of pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2019 at 9:59 PM

  8. I see the face – I believe he also has a mustache!!


    February 28, 2019 at 8:23 PM

  9. Cute little bonus that crab is. As mentioned earlier, a mustachioed face. Needless to say, not only do we have no flowers yet but a dearth of spiders as well. Just a few in the corners of the bathroom.

    Steve Gingold

    March 1, 2019 at 2:43 PM

    • I’m concerned about our wildflowers now because the latest weather forecast predicts even lower lows than the forecast a couple of days ago: 29° in the overnight from Sunday to Monday and again from Monday to Tuesday. That’s not cold enough for ice, so we get no benefit there, but it could do in the flowers.

      Maybe you could photograph some of those spiders in your bathroom.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 1, 2019 at 3:01 PM

      • We have that happen here fairly often, but here is very different from there. We almost had Wisteria flowers last year until a frost did them in. Most plants fare alright, but flowering shrubs and trees take a solid hit from the cold.

        Steve Gingold

        March 1, 2019 at 4:02 PM

  10. Hey Steve what a fantastic shot!


    March 6, 2019 at 4:02 PM

  11. […] On March 10th I went back to the lot along Balcones Woods Dr. where I’d photographed the stemless evening primrose flowers you saw here not long ago. The highlight of my latest stop was a strange ten-petal anemone flower (Anemone berlandieri) that had two central fruiting columns instead of the one that’s normal. […]

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