Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘black


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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

American crow

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Two years ago today on our way down the California coast we stopped at the Marina State Beach and Dunes Preserve. Where the parking lot meets the beach I photographed this obliging American crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos (thanks to Shannon for the identification). Beyond the crow you can barely make out the Pacific surf, which will come into focus next time.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 3, 2018 at 4:45 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Redwing blackbird

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Redwing Blackbird on Cattail Remains 7214A

Just as I’ve seen redwing blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) do in Austin, one had landed on a cattail stalk at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th. This male seemed to be showing annoyance at our presence, or perhaps alarm, given how close the boardwalk passed to a nest with eggs in it.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 21, 2016 at 4:10 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Chiaroscuro comes to Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Fleabane Bud by Flower Head 7976

Or at least to a Philadelphia fleabane, Erigeron philadelphicus. On March 15th I made this side view of an opening bud in front of and just touching an already mostly open flower head near the creek that crosses Old Lampasas Trail in northwest Austin.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 4, 2016 at 5:11 AM

Black and grey

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Vulture Atop Dead Tree 1824

Compare the colors (except for the red) and textures of this vulture with those of the dead tree on which I found it sitting at Tejas Camp in Williamson County on January 13. If you’d like to zoom in on the vulture, you need only click the excerpt below.

Vulture Atop Dead Tree 1824 Detail

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 23, 2016 at 5:02 AM

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