Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘colony

In a Pickle, literally but not figuratively

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On March 18th I took what I think were my first pictures ever on the grounds of the West Pickle Campus of the University of Texas in north Austin. The fact that the place had shut down, like almost everything else, made my work easier, and at one point I even sat in what would normally have been the busy entrance road to take closeups of bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) right by the curb. I was standing, though, for this post’s two colonial views, the first atypically vertical. This floral density is common in a bluebonnet colony.

Oh well, might as well include one of the closeups I sat in the road for.
It has nothing in common esthetically with the first two views.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 27, 2020 at 4:40 PM

Greenthreads among the bluebonnets

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One of Austin’s most common wildflowers is Thelesperma filifolium, which has yellow-orange flowers but is called greenthread because of its threadlike leaves. This year greenthread flowers began appearing along the edges of highways in my part of town in January; the flowers have become more conspicuous since then. The view above is from March 18th at the intersection of Mopac and Braker Lane. Last spring the people in charge of mowing prematurely cut down all the wildflowers along the entire length of Mopac, so in spite of overcast, occasional slight drizzle, and a breeze, I went out to get some pictures in case the opportunity didn’t last.

The arc of greenthreads shown below especially caught my attention.

Of course the bluish-purple flowers are bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 21, 2020 at 4:31 PM

Just your run-of-the-mill spring wildflowers in Texas

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The yellow flowers are Texas groundsel, Senecio ampullaceus. The magenta, red, and even white are a species of Phlox. I felt compelled to stop for this scene along TX 71 east of Bastrop on March 6th.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2020 at 4:38 AM

Flowering goldenrod colony

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Cumulus clouds enhanced this get-on-the-ground-and-aim-upward view of a flowering goldenrod colony (probably Solidago altissima) at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge near the Gulf of Mexico on October 7th:

A higher vantage point from farther back shows how densely expansive the flowering goldenrod colony was:

Despite the overnight freeze in Austin this morning, the few isolated goldenrods in my neighborhood whose flowers I’ve been observing look as good and fresh as before the freeze. Hardy plants, these goldenrods.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 12, 2019 at 4:25 PM

More cardinal flowers

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Ms. Liz, MelissaBlue and Michael Scandling were up for seeing more cardinal flowers, so here are two group portraits of Lobelia cardinalis that I made along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 26th. Notice how the quality of the red ends up different depending on where the sun is coming from, what’s in the background, and how the camera’s sensor and computer render those things. Then, of course, the processing software adds its interpretation, as does the processor, a.k.a. me.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 2, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Huffman Prairie Pink

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Huffman Prairie looms large in the history of aviation because it’s the place in Dayton, Ohio, where the Wright Brothers improved their early flying machines to the point of being reliably controllable in the air. According to a source that I read during our trip, Huffman Prairie also happens to be the largest native prairie remnant in the state of Ohio today. When we visited on July 21st we found plenty of wildflowers managing to flourish in the glaring summer light and heat. Prominent among them was a colony of echinacea (Echinacea purpurea.)

Here’s what an individual flower head looks like:

And here’s a somewhat bedraggled fasciated double flower head I noticed there:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2019 at 4:46 AM

Some last pictures from Bastrop

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On June 6th we’d gone to Bastrop by traveling south and then east, so we spiced up the return to Austin by heading north from Bastrop and then turning west. The show-stopper (and me-stopper) along TX 95 was a colony of beebalm, Monarda punctata, interspersed with brown-eyed (also called black-eyed) susans, Rudbeckia hirta. Below is a view of some susans in their own right that I’d hung out with while still in Bastrop State Park. As you can confirm, the excellent wildflower spring of 2019 hadn’t yet quit by early June.

Oh, and do you see that bare dead tree in the upper left of the second landscape? I walked up to it, wanting to isolate it against the sky, but I couldn’t find a position from which it appeared completely by itself. Below is the best I could do; at least I got a puff of a cloud as an accompaniment.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 22, 2019 at 4:38 PM

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