Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘colony

Texas being Texas

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In the spring Texas does wildflowers.

Prompted by reports of good sightings a little over a hundred miles from home in Cestohowa, we headed south on March 18. We began finding good things just past Seguin and even better ones after we detoured a little from our route to check out New Berlin. In fact the wildflowers were so bountiful on some of the properties in that area that we never got any farther. Sorry, Cestohowa.

We’d first stumbled on the flowerful cemetery at Christ Lutheran Church of Elm Creek in 2014, and this year proved its equal. Here’s an overview:

To my mind, every cemetery should be covered in wildflowers.

The tombstones are interesting, with the oldest ones dating from the 1800s and inscribed in German (remember, the town is New Berlin). Still, as this blog is devoted to nature, here are a couple of photographs that focus on the profuse wildflowers in their own right. The colonies were so intertwined that I was able to frame the flowers in lots of ways. The bright yellow ones are Nueces coreopsis (Coreopsis nuecensis).

The red flowers are Indian paintbrushes (Castilleja indivisa) and the others are bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), the state’s official wildflower. You saw a closeup of one way back in early February.)

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 21, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Clematis drummondii: a familiar take and a new one

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On August 17th I stopped along S. 10th St. in Pflugerville to photograph an embankment covered with Clematis drummondii that had gone into the fluffy phase that earned this vine the colloquial name “old man’s beard.” After walking almost back to my car I spotted one clump of strands drooping in a way I’d rarely seen. Naturally I got close to photograph it, and then I noticed the dead ant that’s near the bottom of the picture, along with a few other tiny dead insects inside the clump. My first thought was of a spider but I saw no evidence of one. Those insect deaths remain a mystery.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 27, 2018 at 4:57 AM

Great ground cover at Ovens Natural Park

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It wasn’t only the rocks and seaweed that warranted attention at Ovens Natural Park in Nova Scotia on June 4th. Just slightly inland from the shore I discovered first one plant and then another that had enough extra shelter to form a ground cover. The colony with white wildflowers is Cornus canadensis, known as creeping dogwood or bunchberry.

The ground cover with yellow wildflowers is silverweed, either Argentina pacifica or Argentina anserina.

Even when the terrain wasn’t flat and sheltered enough for silverweed to form a colony, here and there I found an isolated plant staking claim to a precarious existence among the rocks right at the shore.

Thanks to Ana at Ovens Natural Park for identifying these wildflowers.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 21, 2018 at 4:48 AM

Horsemints flowering with firewheels

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Eight years ago today I found this colony of horsemints (Monarda citriodora) flowering with some firewheels (Gaillardia pulchella) in Pflugerville.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, point 18 in About My Techniques is relevant to today’s picture.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 19, 2018 at 5:09 AM

It’s been a good spring for the Engelmann daisy

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Click for better clarity.

That’s right, it’s been a good spring for the Engelmann daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, the wildflower you got a good look at yesterday. Above you see a flourishing colony of Engelmann daisies along Gattis School Rd. in Round Rock on April 16th. The white flowers are old plainsman, Hymenopappus artemisiifolius. In the back left you can make out some bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, and greenthreads, Thelesperma filifolium. Below is a little closer view of a part of the Engelmann daisy colony.

Did you know that Engelmann in German means Angel Man?

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 8, 2018 at 4:47 AM

More pink (and white) evening primroses

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A recent post showed you two less-than-pristine pink evening primrose flowers, Oenothera speciosa, and then compensated with one fresh specimen. Now here are two flourishing groups from April 10th along TX 20 east of Red Rock in Bastrop County. The colony above was mixed with some Indian paintbrushes, Castilleja indivisa. In the group below, the majority of the pink evening primrose flowers were natural white variants.

Two days earlier, at the site in Round Rock documented in the other post, I’d already found a few isolated white pink evening primroses, including the one below that I photographed with the sun beyond it to create shadows of the flower’s interior parts.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 30, 2018 at 4:36 AM

Texas dandelions en masse

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Behold a colony of Texas dandelions, Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus, flowering near a pond on the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin on April 16th. This wildflower has occasionally been called a false dandelion because it’s the true one here.

There were parts of the site where pink evening primroses, Oenothera speciosa, outnumbered the Texas dandelions.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 26, 2018 at 4:52 AM

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