Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘bud

An unusual pink evening primrose bud

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I’ve long been intrigued by the buds of pink evening primrose, Oenothera speciosa, especially as they open. Usually they’re pretty straight, but this one at the Riata Trace Pond on April 5th attracted me all the more because of its curved tip. People have told me that the little green insect, which I’m not sure I even noticed at the time, is an aphid nymph.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 23, 2020 at 4:38 PM

Dioxyna picciola

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During my time on the wildflowery embankment along Mopac at Braker Lane on March 18, I got in close to photograph the bud of a greenthread, Thelesperma filifolium. That’s when I noticed a tiny insect on it, not much more than 1/8 of an inch long (3mm). In looking more carefully, I realized I was seeing two insects, one on top of the other. Not recognizing them, I turned to Val Bugh, who quickly identified these for me as “the almost perpetually mating fruit flies… Dioxyna picciola. I think they don’t mate ALL the time, but they are so small that it is easier to notice them as a pair.” On the esthetic side, note the way the bud lines up with the center of a greenthread flower head. Note also the pleasant colors, including a little indigo from nearby bluebonnets. Below you get a better look at the action in a side view from a different frame.

Given the insects’ tiny size, the low light due to overcast skies, and the fact that the breeze moved the greenthread bud even as the flies sometimes moved about on it, I set a high ISO and a fast shutter speed and adopted the strategy of taking a bunch of pictures in the hope that a few of them would turn out okay. My minimally acceptable rate ended up being only one in six.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 26, 2020 at 4:26 AM

Flower bud and leaf bud

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When I worked along the northern stretch of Spicewood Springs Rd. across from the library on March 3rd, several familiar spring friends were in evidence, including the agarita you saw last time and a few Mexican plum trees, Prunus mexicana. This close-up shows you two kinds of plum buds, one for flowers and the other for leaves. It’s also possible to have budding photographers.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 11, 2020 at 4:44 AM

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Early blackfoot daisies

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At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center I found a few precocious blackfoot daisies
(Melampodium leucanthum) already budding and even flowering on February 3rd.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 19, 2020 at 4:44 AM

Prairie fleabane daisy bud

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At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on February 3rd I found some opening prairie fleabane daisy buds, Erigeron modestus. At the stage shown in this portrait, each bud is maybe a third of an inch (8 mm) across.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 5, 2020 at 4:45 AM

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

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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