Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Echinacea on the prairie

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Echinacea pallida 6763

As we drove through northeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Missouri on June 4th we saw good stands of Echinacea along the highway. Whether they were natural or sown there I don’t know. The Echinacea pallida in today’s mostly pallid photograph from the Diamond Grove Prairie in southwestern Missouri is presumably natural.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 16, 2016 at 5:09 AM

Patterns in the sand

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Beach Patterns with Seagull Tracks and Stone8309

Place:  Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Date:  June 17.

Tracks:  Seagull.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 15, 2016 at 5:07 AM

Sand coreopsis

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Sand Coreopsis Flower Head 7010

The wildflower I saw the most at Illinois Beach State Park in early June was the sand coreopsis, Coreopsis lanceolata.

Sand Coreopsis Flower Head from Behind 7015

© Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 13, 2016 at 5:00 AM

Volo

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Marsh Calla Flower 7377

Volo is Latin for ‘I want.’ How convenient, because I want to show you a Calla palustris flower that I photographed at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7. Vernacular names for this native plant are bog arum, marsh calla, wild calla, and water-arum.

Thanks to Melissa Pierson for taking us to one of her favorite places in nature.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 12, 2016 at 4:40 AM

A perennial favorite

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Melissa Pierson: "Lupinus perennis. This is closely associated with black oak sand savanna and fire. If a fire isn't run through pretty regularly, we see sharp declines in numbers of lupine. This is the host plant for the Karner Blue butterfly, which used to be found at Illinois Beach but is no longer. There is still a population of them at Indiana Dunes, I understand."

From June 9 at Illinois Beach State Park here’s Lupinus perennis, known as wild lupine and apparently also as sundial lupine, Indian beet, and old maid’s bonnets.

Melissa Pierson provides more information about the species: “This is closely associated with black oak sand savanna and fire. If a fire isn’t run through pretty regularly, we see sharp declines in numbers of lupine. This is the host plant for the Karner Blue butterfly, which used to be found at Illinois Beach but is no longer. There is still a population of them at Indiana Dunes, I understand.”

Speaking of an association with fire, here’s a nearby scene from the same outing; notice the oaks and lupines.

Burned Tree by Lupines 7568

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 11, 2016 at 4:41 AM

I would have missed them if I’d missed them.

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Mountain Pinks Flowering on Cliff Face 9449

Our three-week trip to the Midwest in June took me out of Austin during the prime season for mountain pinks (Centaurium beyrichii). I hadn’t seen any before I left and didn’t know whether I’d see any after I returned. Fortunately I did, as confirmed by this picture from June 27th on the west side of Capital of Texas Highway just north of Champion Grandview Way. The pareidolia partisans among you can consider this photograph an Austin take on Mount Rushmore. For those of you who are more down-to-earth, below is a closer look at one of those flowering mountain pink plants.

Mountain Pink Flowers 9475

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 10, 2016 at 4:46 AM

Like a light in the dark

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"One of the cinquefoils - I'm guessing the native Potentilla simplex."

Here’s another picture from the Diamond Grove Prairie in southwestern Missouri on June 4. Scott Lenharth identified the wildflower as “One of the cinquefoils — I’m guessing the native Potentilla simplex.”

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 9, 2016 at 4:58 AM

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