Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Texas mountain laurel with dense flowers

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Texas Mountain Laurel Flowering 9616

On February 25th, 2013, I photographed a Texas mountain laurel, Sophora secundiflora, that was blossoming its head off. This is the bush whose flowers some people say smell like grape Kool-Aid.

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I’m still away from home. I welcome your comments, but please understand if I’m slow in responding from the other side of the world.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 25, 2015 at 6:00 AM

Male cardinal

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Male Cardinal in Tree 6420

Here’s a rather soft and impressiony picture of a male cardinal on February 2, 2009, along Bull Creek in my northwestern part of Austin.

As is often the case with birds, the male is much more colorful than the female, as you can confirm in a photograph from 2013.

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I’m away from home. You’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if I’m slow in responding.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2015 at 5:26 AM

Add red

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Possumhaw with Fruit in Snow 2136

To the almost monochrome images of the last two photographs taken during the snowfall of February 23, 2010, add this one that includes the familiar red of a possumhaw’s small fruits. Need I say why another vernacular name for Ilex decidua is winterberry?

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I’m still away from home. You’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if I’m slow in responding.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 23, 2015 at 5:29 AM

A change in scale

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Prickly Pear Spine Emerging from Snow 2034

After the large live oak tree that you saw last time doused in white during the snowfall of February 23, 2010, here’s a change in scale to a prickly pear cactus spine emerging from the snow on that same afternoon.

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I’m away from home. You’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if I’m slow in responding.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2015 at 5:12 AM

Snow

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Live Oak Tree in Snow 2076

Austin doesn’t often get snow, but that’s what happened on February 23, 2010, and I went out to take what pictures I could before the snow melted. Here you see a live oak tree, Quercus fusiformis, as it looked on that afternoon.

Those of you in cold climates probably won’t find anything unusual in this photograph, but one thing that might differentiate this tree from any snow-covered oaks you’re used to is that this one has lots of leaves on it. If you look carefully, you might well see some of them.

The photograph may seem to be in black and white, but I took the picture normally and didn’t reduce or eliminate any color after the fact.

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I’m away from home. You’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if I’m slow in responding.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 21, 2015 at 5:24 AM

Cocklebur seed head remains by pond

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Dry Cockleburs by Sump 9511

From February 21, 2012, on the Blackland Prairie in far northeast Austin, come the remains of a cocklebur plant, Xanthium strumarium, that was standing in shallow water near the edge of a sump. Like the seed capsules of the European burdock that inspired Velcro, these prickly seed capsules are designed to break off and cling to the fur of animals (and now to the hair and clothing of people).

Although Xanthium strumarium isn’t a rare plant in Austin, today marks its first appearance in these pages.

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I’m away from home. You’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if I’m slow in responding.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2015 at 5:15 AM

Red buckeye leaves opening

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Red Buckeye Leaves Opening 0377

Aesculus pavia var. pavia is a small tree that’s commonly known as red buckeye. Here you see some of its foliage opening on February 22, 2012, in the greenbelt behind the Austin Nature Center. Isn’t that sheen something?

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I’m away from home. You’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if I’m slow in responding.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 19, 2015 at 5:11 AM

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