Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘animal

C-ing is B-lieving

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Don’t you think this view of a bespidered grass seed head from far north Austin on October 12th warrants a better grade than the C it proclaims?* Speaking of academics, perhaps the C is an emblem of my undergraduate days at Columbia. Or maybe the C stands for the Canon camera I used to take the picture. If you see the C as standing for something else, here’s your chance to speak up.

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* In case you’re unfamiliar with American schools, work is graded from A, the highest quality, down through D, the lowest that’s still considered marginally passing. Failing work gets a conveniently alliterative F.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 5, 2017 at 4:47 AM

From Monday to Wednesday

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On Monday evening, October 23rd, I bought a copy of John Abbott’s Damselflies of Texas. On Wednesday at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center I photographed these two reddish damselflies in the penultimate stage of their mating sequence on a fern. Thanks to the field guide I’d so recently come home with, I identified them as desert firetails, Telebasis salva. They’re small, with a body length of from 24–29mm, or roughly one inch.

I see that the Spanish name for this damselfly is caballito del diablo. That means ‘little horse of the devil,’ presumably because of the red color. If you’d like to see more details of these little devil’s horses, click the excerpt below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 1, 2017 at 7:40 AM

Skipper on Gregg’s mistflower

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While at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on October 25th I couldn’t help noticing that the Gregg’s mistflowers (Conoclinium greggii) in particular acted as scent magnets for many butterflies, including several types of skippers. Thanks to Dan Hardy for identifying this one as a female sachem (Atalopedes campestris).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 28, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Do you see it?

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Here from my neighborhood on October 21st are some buds and flowers of Ageratina havanensis, known as shrubby boneset, white mistflower, and Havana snakeroot.

Did you notice the little visitor?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 25, 2017 at 4:43 AM

Spittlebug on resin bush

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My first visit in a good while to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center came on October 25th. During that photo foray I noticed a resin bush (Viguiera stenoloba) with plenty of spittlebug spittle on it. For a closer look, click the excerpt below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 21, 2017 at 4:54 AM

New Zealand: Red-billed gull

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In the last year and a half we’ve taken five trips averaging a little over three weeks each. It became common for me not to have finished showing pictures from the most recent trip before we launched into the next one, whose photographs then clamored in their turn to be shown as soon as possible. The result is that some worthy pictures never appeared in these pages. From time to time I’ll spring one or several on you.

Today’s first photograph, taken on February 13th, shows a somewhat put-out juvenile red-billed gull (Larus novaehollandiae) in the village of Mangonui, on New Zealand’s North Island. Below is a sub-adult of the same species. Colin Miskelly of the Te Papa Museum, who identified these birds for me, pointed out that “It is common for gulls and other shorebirds to stand on one leg, mainly to conserve body temperature.”

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 20, 2017 at 4:34 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Appontiament with a butterfly

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No, the title of today’s post isn’t a typo. It’s my way of saying that the butterfly in this August 26th photograph belongs to the genus Pontia. Chris Kotzer of bugguide.net thought it might be Pontia occidentalis, known as the western white. No doubt this butterfly and others were drawn to the asters that managed to thrive even in the dry ground of the badlands in Alberta’s Midland Provincial Park.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 16, 2017 at 4:51 AM

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