Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Damianita for only the second time here

with 22 comments

The one and only time here that I showed you the fragrantly-foliaged plant called damianita was in 2016. I’ve intermittently photographed Chrysactinia mexicana since then, so another post about this species is long overdue. In my county damianita grows naturally a bit to the west of Austin but people have been cultivating this aromatic native in town for some years now. That accounts for the specimens I photographed in the southwest quadrant of Gault Lane and Burnet Road on October 11th. The first portrait depicts a typically “long-fingered” bud opening in front of an already fully open one. The second photograph shows how the flower heads in this species typically occur in clusters.

If you’d like to see a whole bunch of them, you’re welcome to look back at the 2016 post.

And here’s an unrelated but striking fact for today: “[A]ncient skeletons show that human brains have shrunk by some 20 per cent in the last 20,000 years, a fact that has often puzzled biologists.” — Matt Ridley, How Innovation Works, 2020.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 10, 2020 at 3:46 AM

22 Responses

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  1. that’s pretty – and not surprised about our brains )


    November 10, 2020 at 3:57 AM

  2. Possibly we have become more efficient in our usage as our society provides for much that was challenging before civilization developed. Kind of the way computer chips are much smaller but have more capacity. Mine swelled when I had West Nile Virus encephalitis but I didn’t feel any smarter.

    I couldn’t help but think I was looking at a fork in the first image.

    Steve Gingold

    November 10, 2020 at 5:25 AM

    • Eve also saw a fork when she looked at this picture last night. And you read my mind about shrinking transistors delivering ever more computer power. The book I quoted from outlines many of the ways innovation has made life so much better for so many people all around the world.

      What you say about your encephalitis is funny, in spite of all the trouble it caused you and how serious it was. We were all relieved when you overcame it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2020 at 6:43 AM

      • Thanks. I appreciated all the support I received from everyone. I try to approach difficult situations with a sense of humor. It wasn’t funny at the time but as everything turned out okay it is more comfortable to laugh about it. My favorite joke from that time was when my doctor told me it would take a good year to become normal I told him that would be a new experience.

        Steve Gingold

        November 11, 2020 at 3:57 PM

  3. When I looked at your first photo, this four-nerve daisy came to mind immediately. It was easy to imagine the crenellated bud as a castle, with attackers in the background. As unfocused as the attackers are, they’ll never scale that stem!


    November 10, 2020 at 7:01 AM

  4. In the first picture of this lovely flower, I detect again your inclination to present a flower with its own kind serving as a background, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    November 10, 2020 at 9:15 AM

    • You’re certainly right that I often line things up that way. What’s in the background can be a different stage of the same species, as here, or something different, preferably of another color than the foreground subject.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM

  5. I like this plant very much. I have two little shrubs which bloom, despite being overshadowed by some larger plant. That yellow is bright, bright. Mine always bloom in spring, but only bloom in fall if we have rain–so no blooms this fall on mine. Were the ones you photographed in a garden that receives regular irrigation?


    November 10, 2020 at 5:58 PM

    • You hit it right: these plants were among various others that have been planted around the good-size pond in the southwest quadrant of Gault Lane and Burnet Road. I noticed irrigation hoses snaking through parts of the area, presumably to establish and perhaps also maintain the vegetation. I’m fond of damianita not only for the bright, bright yellow flowers you mentioned, but also for the fragrance of the foliage.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2020 at 6:25 PM

  6. Your penchant for lining up your subjects with similar or related backgrounds has certainly paid off for you, and they are a pleasure to see. What a glorious yellow.


    November 11, 2020 at 3:03 AM

  7. I love the drama in the second photo but – where’s the scratch ‘n’ sniff??


    November 11, 2020 at 6:33 PM

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