Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Austin

Bright autumn yellow

with 45 comments

What would fall in Austin be without the bright yellow flower spikes of Helianthus maximiliani, the Maximilian sunflower? This October 19th view is from the walk in Pease Park I mentioned last time.

On November 11th at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center I got in closer for a more-abstract portrait:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 23, 2019 at 4:41 AM

Rain-lilies in autumn

with 15 comments

On October 19th I drove to Pease Park for an ecologically oriented walking tour. As soon as I parked I noticed some rain-lilies, Cooperia drummondii, by the edge of the road, and because I was a bit early for the walk I had the chance to get down and make some portraits. Here’s one that shows a colorful flower:

While wandering west of Morado Circle three days later I found fresh rain-lilies still coming up.
The one shown below lacked the magenta that increases as the flower ages.
Click each photograph for greater detail.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 21, 2019 at 4:42 AM

Front- and backlit Lindheimer’s senna pods

with 39 comments

The first photo highlights the outside of a pod; the second, like an x-ray, reveals what’s inside.
These views of Senna lindheimeriana come from October 22 west of Morado Circle.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 19, 2019 at 4:40 AM

Backlit Lindheimer’s senna flower

with 25 comments

Senna lindheimeriana; October 22 west of Morado Circle.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 17, 2019 at 4:28 AM

The change from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning

with 45 comments

From Monday’s weather forecast I learned that the overnight temperature into Tuesday morning would drop a few degrees below freezing. Sure enough, when I checked the thermometer early Tuesday morning it read 29°. Equally sure enough, that meant I had to dress warmly and go out into the cold for the season’s first possible pictures of frostweed ice. I drove the half-mile to my usual stand of plants (Verbesina virginica) in Great Hills Park and found—nada. Despite the freeze, not a single frostweed plant had produced ice.

On Wednesday morning the thermometer read 32° and I gave the project a second try. This time a couple of dozen frostweed plants had woken up and remembered what they’re supposed to do when the temperature drops to freezing, and they did it, as these two photographs confirm. The second image is more abstract, which I consider a good thing in my quest for different ways to photograph a familiar subject.

If the frostweed ice phenomenon is new to you, you’re welcome to look back at previous posts to learn more.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 14, 2019 at 4:41 AM

White-tailed deer stag

with 36 comments

I opened my front door a couple of hours ago and saw a white-tailed deer stag (Odocoileus virginianus) nestled on the lawn. Getting my camera, which conveniently had a long lens on it, I quietly opened the door again, went outside, and gradually inched my way forward. At some point the deer became aware of me, stood up, and slowly started to walk away. That’s when I noticed it had a limp in one of its rear legs. Keeping my distance, I followed as it walked across the street and began eating some of my neighbor’s plants and even what appeared to be grass in the lawn. I assume the stag was hungry enough to eat things that deer generally avoid. From time to time the stag stopped and looked up at me, as shown here, but never seemed frightened.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 2, 2019 at 11:50 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

Another new species for me

with 33 comments

On the bank of Bull Creek in St. Edward’s Park on September 26th I came across a plant with small flower heads (maybe a third of an inch across) that I didn’t recognize. I could tell that it clearly belonged to the sunflower family, and that was all. Not knowing what it was didn’t keep me from taking some pictures, helped along by intermittent sunlight filtering through the treetops and reaching the plant.

After I got home I started going down the Asteraceae section of Bill Carr’s Travis County plant list, looking on the Internet for pictures of each species I wasn’t familiar with to see if I could make a match. Fortunately I didn’t have to go too far down the list, as the plant seemed to be Bidens frondosa. According to a Wikipedia article, “its many common names include devil’s beggarticks, devil’s-pitchfork, devil’s bootjack, sticktights, bur marigold, pitchfork weed, tickseed sunflower, leafy beggarticks, and common beggar-ticks.” Those names allude to the plant’s fruit, which I haven’t yet seen. The USDA map shows this species growing in the 48 contiguous American states except Montana.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 10, 2019 at 4:38 AM

%d bloggers like this: