Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for the ‘nature photography’ Category

Two views of the Grand Canyon

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Here are two pictures of the Grand Canyon, one for each of the years since we visited the place on this date in 2016.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 19, 2018 at 5:15 PM

Fall sneezeweed

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Helenium autumnale, known as fall sneezeweed, is a wildflower I seldom come across. In fact it has appeared in these posts only once, way back in 2011. I found this happily blooming clump in Bull Creek on September 7th. You may recognize the species as a genus-mate of the yellow bitterweed you saw here last week.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 18, 2018 at 5:33 PM

Ant on pavonia mallow

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We have several pavonia mallow plants (Pavonia lasiopetala) in our yard, but I’ve never managed to get as good a portrait of one from behind as when I went walking through the Taylor Draper entrance to Great Hills Park on October 10th. The backlighting brought out patterns not apparent in a conventional view, as you can confirm by comparing a picture from 2012.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 17, 2018 at 4:44 AM

An unusually open Turk’s cap

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We have Turk’s cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. arboreus) growing in several places in our yard. On September 30th Eve looked out a back window and saw a flower that she first thought wasn’t a Turk’s cap but that turned out to be one when she went out to investigate. Turk’s cap flowers normally stay closed like a pinwheel, so why this one had come apart so much remains a mystery.

To make this picture I used my ring flash so I could stop down to f/18 and get all the nearer parts of the flower in focus. Another consequence of flash with such a small aperture is that the background went black.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2018 at 4:48 AM

Fasciation comes to a black-eyed susan

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Near the end of my visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on September 26th I photographed some seed head remains of black-eyed susans, Rudbeckia hirta. Here’s one of them, in which you can confirm the usual thimble shape:

Then I spotted an obviously fasciated specimen, with a flattened stem and a bunch of seed heads glommed together into an irregular bundle:

Click the “fasciation” tag below if you’d like to learn more about the phenomenon and see other examples I’ve shown over the years.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 13, 2018 at 4:50 AM

Yellow bitterweed

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At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on September 26th I photographed this flower head of a wildflower called yellow sneezeweed and yellow bitterweed, Helenium amarum var. amarum. (If that wasn’t enough amarums for you, I’ll add that amarum is the Latin word for ‘bitter.’) Because I was there early in the morning and the light was low, I went for a soft portrait in which relatively little would be in focus.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 11, 2018 at 5:45 PM

Playoffs

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Even if you’ve been coming to this website for only a while you’ve probably noticed that I’m fond of playing off a subject of one color against a background of another. (In fact it’s #5 in About My Techniques.) With that in mind, here from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on September 26th are two takes on a combination of wildflowers you’ve seen separately in the last two posts: showy palafoxia, Palafoxia hookeriana, and prairie goldenrod, Solidago nemoralis.

And in a different sort of playoff that’s minus the goldenrod, below you’ll find a pair of showy palafoxia seed heads in front of some fresh flower heads. The spider’s white lair is a bonus.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 10, 2018 at 4:44 AM

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