Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Austin

A brighter white

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Brighter white than the old plainsman buds you saw last time are the flowers of southern dewberry, Rubus trivialis. I photographed this member of the rose family on March 15th between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 in my northwestern part of Austin.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 18, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Old plainsman buds opening

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Again from the strip of land between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 on March 14th, here are some opening buds of old plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus). Don’t you find them sculptural?

As with the previous image, I had to lie down to take this photograph, given that the small buds were little more than a foot (0.3m) above the ground. Unlike the Indian paintbrush and bluebonnet shown in the last post, old plainsman is a native plant that few people pay attention to, much less appreciate. On the contrary, I suspect many consider it a weed. Not I.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Meanwhile, back in Texas, spring has flowered

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On March 14th, five days after returning from a month in New Zealand and still jet-lagged, I felt I had to go out and take a look at spring in Austin. On the strip of land between Arboretum Dr. and Loop 360 I found a bunch of my old floral friends. Of the two shown here, Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) is in the foreground and a bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) is behind it. I’ll get back to New Zealand in a few posts, after giving some deference to what’s happening at home.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2017 at 4:55 AM

First native wildflowers from Austin in 2017

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On a couple of recent walks I’d been hoping to spot some four-nerve daisies because Tetraneuris linearifolia can be found flowering here in any month of the year. Yesterday along Tom Miller Street near an edge of the Mueller Prairie Restoration I finally came across a few. This is a species I’ve photographed many times and shown here often enough, so the challenge was to take a different approach. For this portrait I lay on the ground so I could get some oblique blades of grass as a background. That also allowed the shadows of some blades to fall on the flowers and reinforce the grid-like pattern of the picture as a whole.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 29, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Beginning of winter in Austin

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Thanks to two bridges, on the first official day of winter (December 21) we walked a two-mile circuit around a portion of downtown Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. At Vic Mathias Shores on the south side of the lake I pulled out my iPhone and recorded this view of bald cypress trees, Taxodium distichum, turning their end-of-year colors. The tall, bare plants in the foreground are giant ragweed, Ambrosia trifida. How could I pass up a sky like this as a contrasting background?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 16, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Colors and textures of native grasses

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Native grasses provide subtle visual delights in Austin near the end of the year. This November 23rd photograph shows a backlit group of little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) in the southwestern fringe of my Great Hills neighborhood.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 3, 2017 at 4:53 AM

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A different kind of fluff

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In contrast to the fluff of the snake-cotton from Arizona that appeared in the previous post, behold the fluff I saw yesterday along Misting Falls Trail in my Austin neighborhood. I was driving to the store when I caught sight of a pearl milkweed vine (Matelea reticulata) hanging in some denuded tree branches. Several pods had opened, and as I watched them the breeze occasionally scattered bits of their seed-bearing fluff.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 28, 2016 at 4:53 AM

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