Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for the ‘flowers’ Category

Blackfoot daisy from below

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Blackfoot Daisy Flower Head from Below 9391

And here’s what a flower head of a blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum, looks like from below; only from this side can you see the darker lines on its white rays. Like the previous photo, this one is from the front yard of native plant promoters Dale and Pat Bulla in northwest Austin, but I took the picture on February 24 of the current year. The blue in the lower right is from a patch of sky visible through the trees, a consequence of lying on the ground and aiming partly upward.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Blackfoot daisies

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Blackfoot daisies, Melampodium leucanthum, often appear in clusters, as you see in this photo taken on the property of native-plant-ophiles Dale and Pat Bulla in northwest Austin exactly one year ago today.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 5, 2013 at 6:22 AM

Prairie brazoria

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Here’s a moody picture of still another native wildflower you haven’t seen in these pages till now: it’s Warnockia (or Brazoria) scutellarioides, a member of the mint family known as prairie brazoria. I photographed this one on April 9 not on the prairie but in my Great Hills neighborhood in northwest Austin. The complementary daub of yellow in the background is from our old friend the four-nerve daisy, Tetraneuris linearifolia.

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Posted on this day last year: an upward look at a pennant dragonfly against a clear blue sky.

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The daily posts that you’ve become accustomed to will continue while I’m away from Austin. Feel free to comment if you’d like, but please be aware that it may be a while before I can respond.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 26, 2012 at 5:33 AM

Bush sunflower from behind

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The bright yellow bush sunflower in the previous post, which I photographed on March 11 on Great Northern Blvd. in north-central Austin, might pass for a regular sunflower when seen from above, but the view from the side or below can show a reddish-brown coloring that Simsia calva doesn’t share with its much more familiar relative. Like the common sunflower, this is a hairy plant, as you clearly see here. While the common sunflower can be found just about everywhere, the bush sunflower grows natively in Mexico and, within the United States, only in Texas and New Mexico.

For those interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 3, 4, and 8 in About My Techniques are relevant to this image.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2012 at 1:37 PM

What is this?

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“What is this?” That’s what I repeatedly asked myself on March 11 on Great Northern Blvd. as I kept seeing more and more of these flowers. My first thought was some kind of goldeneye, but the only Viguiera in Bill Carr’s Travis County plant list is Viguiera dentata, which wasn’t this (in spite of the fact that some goldeneyes in Austin, which normally fade in December, had miraculously maintained a few flowers through the winter and well into March).

After I got home I did some checking and comparing and finally realized I’d photographed a native plant I’d been seeing for a decade in Marshall Enquist’s Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country and wondering year after year when I’d ever encounter one. But 2012 has been a crazy year, and I’d finally come across bunches of what turned out to be the long-sought bush sunflower. The familiar sunflower is Helianthus annuus, but the bush sunflower isn’t even in the same genus: it’s Simsia calva. Happy new for me, and happy sunflowers in March for all of us.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2012 at 5:26 AM

Wild garlic

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These pages have recently shown you two white-flowered members of the lily family, crow poison and death camas. Another local member of the family is wild garlic, Allium drummondii, whose flowers can be white but often range through pink and violet to reddish-purple. The open flowers in this emerging cluster were about half an inch across. I photographed them on Great Northern Blvd. in north-central Austin on March 11. Since then I’ve seen lots of wild garlic flowers all over central Texas.

Allium drummondii grows in Mexico and in the parts of the central United States shown in the USDA map.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 28, 2012 at 5:44 AM

Death camas

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Believe the name: death camas can kill you if you eat it. This was one of at least a dozen plants of Zigadenus nuttallii that I found in an undeveloped lot in northwest Austin on March 6. If you see a resemblance between an individual flower here and one in the recently featured crow poison—which may or may not actually be poisonous—it’s because both plants are in the lily family.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 23, 2012 at 5:21 AM

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