Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘animal

Tumbling flower beetle on American basket-flower

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My first photo stop on May 1st was at the old Merrilltown Cemetery on Burnet Rd., at whose edges in past years I’d photographed plenty of American basket-flowers, Centaurea americana. Though it was still early in the season, a few basket-flowers had opened, and on one of them I found this tumbling flower beetle.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 22, 2017 at 5:00 AM

New Zealand: variable oystercatchers

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Driving north from Thames on March 6th along the eastern shore of the Firth of Thames, I stopped to photograph a colony of birds whose bills were conspicuously long and orange. I later learned that the birds were variable oystercatchers, Haematopus unicolor, and that the species is endemic to New Zealand. If many of the oystercatchers look as if they were turning away from me, they were, because even with a long lens I’d approached the limit of their comfort. Nevertheless, I did manage to get closer to a few more-tolerant birds, like this one:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 20, 2017 at 3:55 AM

Euphoria on a Texas thistle

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In a comment yesterday on the recent post showing plants flowering on the Blackland Prairie, Lisa asked whether I had a closeup of a Texas thistle. I answered that I might show a current picture of one in the days ahead. Now let me be more decisive, take the thistle by the thorns*, and post a photograph I took on May 6th of a Cirsium texanum in Cedar Park. Burrowing euphorically into the flower head was a Euphoria kernii beetle.

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* Technically speaking, a thistle has spines or prickles rather than thorns, but you wouldn’t want me to pass up a good alliterative alternative to “take the bull by the horns,” would you?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 11, 2017 at 4:46 AM

Black swallowtail caterpillar

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When I wandered out onto a piece of the Blackland Prairie on the west side of Heatherwilde Blvd. in Pflugerville on April 30th, I noticed that one of the prairie parsley plants (Polytaenia nuttallii) was host to the caterpillar of an Eastern black swallowtail butterfly (Papilio polyxenes). You can learn more about this species in a Wikipedia article.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 8, 2017 at 5:01 AM

New Zealand: basking in the sun

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It wasn’t I who was basking in the sun on pastel-colored rocks at the Matakaea Reserve on February 27th but a bunch of New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri), including this one. To enlarge the seal, click its image below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 27, 2017 at 5:00 AM

New Zealand: southern black-backed gull

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Driving S.H. 25 north from Thames on March 6th, I stopped to photograph a gull standing atop a mound of rock at the edge of the Firth of Thames. I think the bird was a southern black-backed gull.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 18, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Snowy egret

with 43 comments

snowy-egret-9178

At California’s Martinez Regional Shoreline last November 2nd I got low and slowly worked my way closer and closer to the bird shown here. Later, profiting from a site that tells how to distinguish white herons, I identified my subject as a snowy egret, Egretta thula.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 5, 2017 at 5:00 AM

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