Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘bud

Devil’s claw bud and flower

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Here’s Proboscidea louisianica, called devil’s claw, not long for this world
at a construction site along Duval Rd. in northwest Austin on September 8.

The glandular hairs confirm that this flower is a gooey one,
and that accounts for the many clinging bits of grit you see.
Backlighting accounts for the translucence in the second picture.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 28, 2019 at 4:45 AM

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Hibiscus laevis

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From today’s date in 2018 at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center comes this opening bud of Hibiscus laevis, known as smooth rose mallow or halberd-leaved rose mallow. If you’re curious about the flower this kind of bud will open up into, you can check out a post from 2013.

The species name laevis is the Latin word for ‘light in weight.” It reminds me now of the first line in the opening stanza of poet Augusto Gil‘s “Balada da neve,” Ballad of the Snow,” which our teacher introduced us to in my first Portuguese class way back in 1965:

“Batem leve, levemente,
como quem chama por mim.
Será chuva? Será gente?
Gente não é, certamente
e a chuva não bate assim.”

“There’s a light, light tapping,
As if someone were calling for me.
Could it be the rain? Could it be people?
People it certainly isn’t,
And the rain doesn’t sound like that.”

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 26, 2019 at 4:41 AM

Looking more familiar

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By the time we reached the Alabama Gulf Coast on our way back to Austin we were increasingly seeing wildflowers that we recognized because they also grow in Texas. One of those (which actually grows as far away as New York and Massachusetts) was Chamaecrista fasciculata, commonly called partidge pea. Here you see a bud of that species in front of a flower that I believe to be a saltmarsh morning glory, Ipomoea sagittata, based on its leaves (sagittata means ‘shaped like an arrowhead’). I took this colorful picture on August 10 outside the Estuarium on Dauphin Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you’re wondering what kind of flower will emerge from the bud, you can check out a post from 2014. And if you’re interested in the craft of photography, today’s portrait illustrates point 5 in About My Techniques.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2019 at 4:47 AM

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Two takes on Texas thistles

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Cirsium texanum; Waters Park Rd. on May 5th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 20, 2019 at 4:50 PM

Like flames

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Behold the opening bud of a prairie fleabane daisy, Erigeron modestus, in my neighborhood on March 10th. Call it modest if you like; my mind sees flames.

(I didn’t intend to do a burst of daily posts but it’s spring in Texas and so much is happening.)

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 24, 2019 at 4:42 AM

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Green

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‘Tis not shamrocks but wood-sorrel (Oxalis spp.) greening the ground in our back yard on February 25th.

And if it’s more three-part green leaves ye be craving, here’s another view of southern dewberry
(Rubus trivialis),
this time from February 27th in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2019 at 4:46 AM

Fragrance where you don’t normally find it

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In my experience, daisy-type flowers almost never have a fragrance. Here’s one that does, and it also has a strange common name: nerve-ray. Botanists know it as Tetragonotheca texana. A tetragon is a four-angled figure: Greek tetra = four and gon = angle; theca = a place to put something, a receptacle, a case. In the first photograph, you have no trouble seeing the green tetragon behind the flower head’s yellow rays.

 

Before the flower heads of this species open, their buds justify the description of them as four-angled cases:

I took these photographs beneath the power lines west of Morado Circle on April 17th.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 25, 2018 at 4:55 AM

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