Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Austin

Not passing the buck

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White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianuslive in my northwestern part of Austin—or I in theirs, depending on your point of view. It’s common to see does, but bucks put in rarer appearances. While driving home on February 6th I decided to detour along Q Ranch Rd., where I’d seen deer in the woods on other occasions. Sure enough, I quickly spotted a group, and to my surprise all had antlers. After pulling over in the first available place I walked back and managed to get about a dozen pictures before the last of the deer had moved out of range.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2019 at 4:48 PM

Posted in nature photography

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What I’d actually stopped to photograph

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First one and then another recent post showed things I photographed along the northern end of Spicewood Springs Rd. on February 6th. What I’d actually stopped to take pictures of there is the possumhaw (Ilex decidua) that you see below. My intention on that overcast and drizzly morning was to make a rich but subdued portrait using a telephoto lens, and that’s what I did.

On the way home I checked out a creek in the northern part of my neighborhood. There I found a few more fruit-laden possumhaws and also noticed that some of the trees’ red drupes had fallen on the limestone creekbed. Here’s a downward view of one that ended up isolated on some subtly colored rocks.

Bright green mosses cushioned other fallen possumhaw drupes nearby.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 19, 2019 at 4:28 AM

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Fungi on a dead branch

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Adjacent to the blossoming Mexican plum tree you recently saw in a picture from February 6th were these fungi growing on a dead branch. Mycologist David Lewis says they’re probably in the genus Trametes.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 17, 2019 at 5:35 PM

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Time again to say that spring has sprung

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Yesterday morning’s weather forecast predicted that by afternoon the temperature would go above 80°F, so before it got too hot we went over to the Southwest Greenway at the Mueller development in east-central Austin, where we confirmed that spring had indeed arrived. One token of that was some agarita bushes (Mahonia trifoliolata) flowering away, as you see in a broad horizontal view above and in a closer upward view in the following photograph.

The Mueller development occupies the site of the old Austin airport that closed in 1999. It’s likely that at least some of the wispy clouds we saw yesterday coincidentally came from diffused airplane contrails, so I’ve decided to follow that theme and add a non-botanical photograph from the Southwest Greenway: it shows Chris Levack’s “Wigwam.” Six years ago I semi-broke botanical ranks and showed his adjacent “Pollen Grain” sculpture.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 16, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Mexican plum blossoms

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On February 6th along the northern stretch of Spicewood Springs Rd. I photographed a few early blossoms on a Mexican plum tree (Prunus mexicana), which is also native in central Texas. This was the first flowering tree I saw in 2019; in fact it’s still the only one because overcast skies, cold, and drizzle have combined to keep me from going out much in nature this past week.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 12, 2019 at 4:30 AM

First bluebonnets for 2019

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Earlier this week I heard on a local television news channel that some bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) had already flowered along the Capital of Texas Highway near the Arboretum. Yesterday I followed up that lead and, sure enough, there were the bluebonnets. Despite the overcast sky and the wind I took lots of pictures, picking varied stages of development and of course varying my compositions. I chose to show this picture because of the orange-brown rock in the background, which added a novel touch, at least in my experience. As I see it, color carries much of the weight of the picture, and only the flower parts in the upper center of the photograph are in focus. Below is another use of selective focus, this time on a developing inflorescence.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 8, 2019 at 4:33 AM

Downstream

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Downstream from the places you saw a couple of posts ago, the main creek flows out of Great Hills Park
and wanders through a golf course. Near Rain Creek Parkway, that stretch of the creek is bordered
by switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), which by January 25th had done a pretty job of drying out.

Here’s a closer view of the switchgrass on the other side of the creek.

Across the road some sycamores (Platanus occidentalis)
also wore their winter look. Notice the many hanging seed globes.

When I drove past there yesterday I found that all the switchgrass
on both sides of the creek had just been cut back to the ground.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 7, 2019 at 4:05 AM

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