Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Making the most of a least daisy

with 34 comments

The previous post showed you a densely mixed colony of four-nerve daisies and much smaller least daisies (Chaetopappa bellidifolia), whose flower heads are maybe only a fourth of an inch (6mm) across. While I was on the east side of Yaupon Dr. on April 23rd I found a least daisy rising a little above a horizontal spiderweb that lay close to the ground and sparkled with light reflected from morning dew. Those reflections played through the elements in my lens and in so doing created the unusual nonagon-strewn portrait you see here.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 3, 2020 at 4:46 AM

34 Responses

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  1. The combination of the shapes and the iridescence within them is particularly pleasing. The scientific name of the flower seemed unusual enough that I looked it up, and discovered the plant’s a Texas endemic. Not only that, it’s got a fairly limited range. Even though it’s in the Asteraceae, it reminds me of that little member of the iris family: the blue-eyed grass.

    shoreacres

    May 3, 2020 at 6:02 AM

    • I like not only the iridescence but also the bars and stripes (rather than stars and stripes) on the nonagons. I do see the resemblance to blue-eyed grass, with its similar color and size. Regarding the endemic status of this least daisy species, the fact that the range includes a couple of counties that border the Rio Grande makes we wonder if the species is found across the river in Mexico as well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2020 at 7:23 AM

  2. What a clever title for this image! I’m not sure I would have noticed the nonagon shapes had you not pointed that out. Hmm, to see this tiny beauty one either takes a trip to certain areas of Texas, or must be satisfied to enjoy your photographs.

    Littlesundog

    May 3, 2020 at 7:11 AM

    • I’d have had to relinquish my membership in Wordplayers of America if I hadn’t done something with least and most or last in my title or text. Math-minded me couldn’t see polygons without checking the number of sides. I see that another species of least daisy makes it into many Oklahoma counties:

      http://bonap.net/Napa/TaxonMaps/Genus/County/Chaetopappa

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2020 at 7:28 AM

      • Wow! Two species are found in Caddo County (our county is the shape of the state of Utah), so I am stoked to be on the lookout for these. I’d better make sure to be wearing my spectacles!! This is a tiny daisy!

        Math and science were never my strong points as a young girl, but now I find myself interested, realizing how much we’re exposed to both daily.

        Littlesundog

        May 3, 2020 at 9:15 AM

        • Good, now you’ve doubled your chances of finding a least daisy. Happy hunting (or squinting).

          Math makes sense of many things and is fun in its own right.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 3, 2020 at 10:02 AM

  3. i love tiny flowers and you’ve captured this beautifully

    beth

    May 3, 2020 at 7:18 AM

  4. So small and yet so pretty. Only macro photography can capture its beauty.

    Peter Klopp

    May 3, 2020 at 7:53 AM

  5. You were definitely making the most of it. Excellent picture.

    rabirius

    May 3, 2020 at 8:00 AM

  6. At least it was a daisy. 🙂

    whilldtkwriter

    May 3, 2020 at 9:17 AM

  7. Beautiful. And let’s hear it for lens internal reflections because somehow they move the whole scene underwater.

    Michael Scandling

    May 3, 2020 at 10:51 AM

    • I never imagined this being underwater. Now that you suggest it, I see that the darkness comports with being below the water, even if in reality the only water was the dewdrops.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2020 at 11:12 AM

  8. I love that shot, it’s absolutely stunning. It’s textural and the little bloom in the middle is just gorgeous. Well done!

    Tina

    May 3, 2020 at 2:33 PM

    • Thanks for appreciating it. Photographers are usually content to get some dewdrops on their subjects. I got that, all right, and much more from the out-of-focus sparkly drops below.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2020 at 5:12 PM

  9. Spectacular isolation in these odd times. And, speaking of oddities and nonagons, did you know there there is a Nonagon song by They Might Be Giants (a favorite group of my daughters)? Check it out: https://vimeo.com/7226029

    krikitarts

    May 3, 2020 at 4:31 PM

  10. That barely counts as a daisy. I mean, they are ‘composites’ for a reason. I can not see how many disc florets are in there, but it can not be more than a few.

    tonytomeo

    May 3, 2020 at 7:04 PM

    • I also noticed the small number of disc florets; not too surprising for such a small the flower head. All the more reason to play it up here, given how inconspicuous it is in nature.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2020 at 8:24 PM

  11. Thanks for another inspiring look at the little flowers. And the nonagon and TMBG song one comment referenced.. Makes me feel better about going out and pulling up all the lovely annual rye, Japanese brome, Malta thistle and bur clover the movers have contaminated the berm behind my house and the greenbelt with.Keep on finding the unique shots and the beauty in the native plants of Texas. And thanks for the photos of yours that are in this video https://youtu.be/OMLvgQ7zUaQ

    RobertKamper.TX

    May 4, 2020 at 9:05 AM

    • You’re welcome. The tiny wildflowers deserve more promotion, and I’ve done my part in giving it to them.

      The other day I stopped to photograph a colony of four-nerve daisies. When I got closer, I was sorry to see Malta star thistles making a big inroad. I did my “patriotic” duty by pulling some out, but there were just too many for me to be effective. Today on the prairie in northeast Austin I saw a lot of Torilis arvensis, even a few beginning to invade the large swath of prairie bishop I’d gone to see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 4, 2020 at 3:59 PM

  12. Hi Steve, I loved the look of the bokeh from your lens.

    Khürt Williams

    May 4, 2020 at 9:06 AM

    • Sometimes we can turn what’s actually a technical defect or limitation into an advantage. This was one of those times.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 4, 2020 at 4:04 PM

  13. My first impression was blue-eyed grass.

    Steve Gingold

    May 5, 2020 at 3:29 PM

  14. This is absolutely magical, Steve. I love it. 🙂

    bluebrightly

    May 8, 2020 at 4:07 PM


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