Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Still more from Gault Lane at Burnet Road on October 11th

with 24 comments

⇧ Huisache daisy, Amblyolepis setigera, with a small insect.

⇧ Aquatic plants at sunrise.

⇧ Cardinal flowers, Lobelia cardinalis.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 12, 2020 at 4:32 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Maybe instead of ‘a chicken in every pot,’ we should go with ‘an insect for every flower.’ The cardinal flowers are lovely. I looked up their range on BONAP, and was surprised to see them shown across our area, and in east Texas. I’ve only found them once, around Kerrville. I’d love to see them growing together with the downy lobelia I found in east Texas. That’s another vibrant color combination that’s especially pleasing: like pink and orange.

    shoreacres

    November 12, 2020 at 7:34 AM

    • We’ve both seen that “an insect for every flower” isn’t much of an exaggeration. I wonder whether your surprise at finding cardinal flowers shown for your county can be explained by this comment on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website: “Although relatively common, overpicking this handsome wildflower has resulted in its scarcity in some areas.” I was surprised years ago to find the distribution ranges into eastern Canada at one end and southern California at the other.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2020 at 6:09 AM

      • I’m willing to believe that over-picking’s involved. When I was in Kansas, I learned that a common name for Penstemon digitalis is ‘bride’s bouquet.’ I was told that every year the society pages and gardening pages of the newspapers urge people not to pick the flowers. They’re so popular for weddings that, like the cardinal flower, they’ve become quite scarce in some areas.

        shoreacres

        November 15, 2020 at 7:01 AM

        • I’ve read the same kind of thing about picking bluebells in Texas, though not specifically for weddings. When a Filipina that Eve knew got married here in the fall a decade or so ago we went out and gathered a bunch of Maximilian sunflowers and gayfeathers to make table decorations for the reception. I imagine gathering wildflowers for festive occasions must once have been common, especially in rural areas.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 15, 2020 at 7:26 AM

  2. The cardinal flower is one of the few wildflowers I recognize from here in the north, although I don’t remember ever seeing one as loaded with blossoms.

    Robert Parker

    November 12, 2020 at 7:36 AM

    • I just replied to Linda that the distribution of cardinal flowers ranges into eastern Canada at one end and southern California at the other. I’d say the number of flowers on the specimen shown in this post is typical for my area.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2020 at 6:11 AM

  3. I am almost certain that aquatic plants show no trace of yellow. Yet, under the golden rays of the rising sun, they and their reflection in the pond have been so amazingly transformed.

    Peter Klopp

    November 12, 2020 at 8:15 AM

    • I’ve occasionally seen the leaves of water-loving plants turn yellow, but in this case the yellow does seem to have come primarily from the morning’s encroaching sunshine. I toyed with the idea of cropping the picture to show not much more than the reflection and the water in front of it, which is the section that most appealed to me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2020 at 6:18 AM

  4. I really like the picture of those aquatic plants at sunrise: beautiful!

    Pit

    November 12, 2020 at 9:18 AM

    • At the time I took the second photograph I don’t think I appreciated the scene as much at the time I took the picture as I did when I looked at it on my computer later.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2020 at 7:23 AM

  5. I really like your aquatic plants at sunrise image. I love the soft reflections.

    circadianreflections

    November 12, 2020 at 10:57 AM

    • I replied to a previous commenter that I considered cropping the picture to show not much more than the reflection and the water in front of it, which is the section that most appealed to me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2020 at 7:24 AM

  6. I always love seeing those cardinal flowers!

    Lavinia Ross

    November 12, 2020 at 12:57 PM

    • Me too. Some years I don’t see any. I’m glad that this year has given me several sightings.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2020 at 7:27 AM

  7. The closeup is, as always, lovely. I like the landscape too. Nice to see that little colorful island.

    Steve Gingold

    November 13, 2020 at 3:47 AM

    • I replied to a previous commenter that I appreciated the reflected island of vegetation more when I looked at the picture later than I did at the time I took it. I also mentioned that I considered cropping the picture to show not much more than the reflection and the water in front of it, which is the section that most appealed to me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2020 at 7:30 AM

      • That often happens with images that we make as “record shots” only to discover some hidden aspect that makes them more special.

        Steve Gingold

        November 14, 2020 at 3:08 AM

  8. I’m glad that you resisted the urge to crop the sunrise vegetation and I really like your daisy with the gnat(?).

    krikitarts

    November 13, 2020 at 8:18 PM

    • To crop or not to crop, that is the question. Actually the middle picture as it appears here is already cropped somewhat at the bottom; I removed out-of-focus water that was also mostly brighter than what I kept and would have been distracting. Sometimes the scene just doesn’t fit the ratio of the sensor’s height and width.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2020 at 9:33 PM

      • Back when I was developing prints, most photographers were sticking to making them according to the format of the negatives they were using. Adams usually stayed with 4×5; 35mm negs are 2×3; medium format either square or 4.5×6…I soon decided (and have remained convinced) that the subject, not the film (or the paper) should be the basis of the format of the final image.

        krikitarts

        November 14, 2020 at 3:05 PM

        • Those are my sentiments, too. The one downside is that printing papers and frames are made to standard sizes. I’ve had to improvise to print pictures in non-standard sizes and then frame them.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 14, 2020 at 3:24 PM

          • So have I, many times. I presume you do your own matting and framing as well. That helps so much with the joy of the presentation of the fine print, as well as tremendously defraying the cost.

            krikitarts

            November 15, 2020 at 10:48 PM

            • I’ve done little printing and framing in recent years, but when I have, arithmetic has come to the fore. Three years ago I had a lab print some of my pictures on metal, an effect that I like. In a few cases I still had to sacrifice a bit at the edges to fit the available sizes. I recently saw an ad from another company that will cut the metal to order to fit whatever size photograph you send them.

              Steve Schwartzman

              November 16, 2020 at 6:57 AM


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