Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two takes on sensitive briar

with 20 comments

From July 13th in northwest Austin, here are two takes on sensitive briar that relegate the flowers to secondary roles. In the first photograph, pride of place goes to the buds of the species, Mimosa roemeriana. In the second portrait, the color of the flowers works well to complement the iridescent green of a busily working metallic sweat bee (sorry, I don’t know what species.)

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 10, 2020 at 4:38 AM

20 Responses

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  1. I smiled to see that single filament emerging from the bud. There’s always a first, but they’re not always easy to find. I like the way you lined up the bud and the flower, with the out of focus flower stem obvious but not obtrusive. It’s an unusual but pleasing ‘shadow.’


    August 10, 2020 at 6:49 AM

    • Far from being a puzzlement, that filament is a prominent element; such is your beguilement with it. As for the out-of-focus flower stem, it was originally brighter and seemed to draw too much attention to itself, so I darkened it a little to make it less obtrusive.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2020 at 8:42 AM

  2. I love the coloring of the “ant bee”! It looks wonderful against the pink of this bloom.


    August 10, 2020 at 7:59 AM

    • Apparently ants and bees both evolved from wasps. I agree that the pink and green go great together.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2020 at 11:57 AM

  3. The picture of the bee on the briar is truly a piece of art, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    August 10, 2020 at 8:54 AM

    • Thanks. It’s hard to beat that iridescent green, especially when complemented by all the surrounding pink.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2020 at 11:59 AM

  4. Wow, beautiful shots. I love the close up of the bee; my camera is fine for my needs, but I can’t get that kind of shot. Here’s a nice site for information about our local bees: The homepage:
    http://w3.biosci.utexas.edu/jha/about-native-bees The bees: http://w3.biosci.utexas.edu/jha/wp-content/uploads//Texas-Bee-ID-Guide.pdf


    August 10, 2020 at 12:32 PM

    • Thanks for the links to the two guides. There’s more than one kind of green sweat bee around here, and I couldn’t tell what species this one is. As for closeups, without my macro lens I couldn’t take most of the pictures that I do; I use the macro lens the most of any I have. Many point-and-shoot cameras these days have macro capability, so if that’s something you think you’d have enough use for you might want to check into it. I’ve also heard about macro attachments for cell phone cameras but I don’t know how effective they are.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2020 at 2:43 PM

  5. Love the bee macro – great color combo!

    Eliza Waters

    August 10, 2020 at 3:52 PM

    • As much as I like green sweat bees in their own right, that color combination jumped out at me, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2020 at 4:11 PM

  6. Did you intend to juxtapose pink and green in both photos, Steve? If not, the colors complement one another very well.


    August 10, 2020 at 9:11 PM

    • In the first picture I made a point of lining up the green buds with the pink flower globe. When it comes to the second picture, I was fortunate that a metallic green sweat bee just happened to show up while I was there; no way could I could have expected that, and also no way was I going to pass up the opportunity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2020 at 9:20 PM

  7. Your first looks like it’s wearing an Easter bonnet. There are many similar metallic greenies, but I think the one in your second may well be an Agapostemon bee.


    August 11, 2020 at 12:23 AM

    • Thanks for suggesting an identification. That genus name seems to mean ‘loves stamens’ (compare the ‘five stamens’ of Penstemon).

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 11, 2020 at 6:18 AM

  8. The sweat bee was a great catch on the flower. If you’ve been trying to get an ID from BG.N they have been down due to the terrible storm that went through Iowa. Might be back by now.

    Steve Gingold

    August 12, 2020 at 1:48 AM

    • The green bee was indeed a great catch. I didn’t try for a bugguide.net identification on this one because the picture doesn’t include a good look at the bee’s abdomen or side, and I figured without that kind of information an identification wouldn’t be possible. Gary thinks the genus might well be Agapostemon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2020 at 5:32 AM

  9. Amazing photos Steve .. terrific colour combinations 🙂


    August 17, 2020 at 2:56 PM

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