Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Bastrop County

Charred

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The wildfires that began on Labor Day in 2011 burned down
a large part of the forest in and near Bastrop State Park.

On August 14th of this year I made abstract portraits of some of the charred trees. Those included the standing remains shown in the first picture, along with two tree trunks on the ground that I could aim straight down at; the first of those two shows a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), and the second perhaps an oak.

There are plenty of relevant quotations I could cite. Here are a few.

“From small fires comes oft no small mishap.” — George Herbert.

“Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda.” “A little spark gives rise to a mighty flame.” — Dante, The Divine Comedy: Paradiso.

“A spark neglected makes a mighty fire.” — Robert Herrick.

“The most tangible of all visible mysteries—fire.” — Leigh Hunt.

“A little fire is quickly trodden out;
Which, being suffer’d, rivers cannot quench.” — Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3.

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” — New Testament, James 3:5.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 5, 2020 at 4:47 AM

Flourishing fasciation

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The heavily fasciated tall gayfeather (Liatris aspera) that we saw in Bastrop was only budding on August 23rd, so back we went on September 6th to find out what the flowers would look like once they emerged on this distorted plant. Even after two more weeks of development, the flowers were just barely beginning to come out, so I figured we might have to wait a week or two longer and make the 95-mile round trip yet again. Fortunately, as we began heading home we spotted another fasciated specimen about a mile away, and it was fully flowering. In the picture above, the flower stalk in the distance lets you compare a normal specimen to the fasciated one in the foreground. The picture below gives you a closer look at the heart of the strangeness.

For more information about fasciation, you can read this article or this other one. The phenomenon could even serve as a reminder of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s iconoclastic statement in “Self-Reliance“:

“Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.”

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2020 at 4:41 AM

Texas groundsel with phlox

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Click to enlarge.

From March 6th along TX 71 east of Bastrop, here’s a closer look at some Texas groundsel (Senecio ampullaceus) in a mixed colony with phlox (probably Phlox drummondii). The scattered bits of blue are bluebonnets (Lupinus sp.).

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2020 at 4:45 AM

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