Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘creek

Johnston Canyon

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Here from September 9th are three views of Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Notice that not only lakes in the Canadian Rockies but also creeks there can look turquoise or aquamarine, thanks to minerals dissolved in the water. The color is even more noticeable in the pool at the Lower Falls.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2017 at 4:49 AM

Like a green snake in the water

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The sinuous algae you see here looked to me on July 25th, and still today, like a green snake in the water of Bull Creek. Notice the tiny aquatic insects. The leaf may be from a cedar elm tree (Ulmus crassifolia).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 15, 2017 at 4:37 AM

Strange white stuff

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Finding sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis) along creeks in Austin is commonplace. When I looked at this sycamore leaf along Bull Creek on July 25th I saw something I’d noticed once before, years earlier, but had never tracked down. Val Bugh came to the rescue this time: “the white stuff is a secretion that a female dobsonfly uses to cover her egg masses. Makes them look like bird droppings. The leaf should be over water so the hatchling hellgrammites will drop in.”

Me, I can’t help thinking the Hellgrammites were once a religious sect of the fire-and-brimstone type. In fact the American Heritage Dictionary says that the first part of the word probably is indeed hell, based on the insect’s painful bite. And we remember the old adage that hell hath no fury like a female dobsonfly scorned.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 3, 2017 at 4:40 AM

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Cardinal flowers

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I hadn’t seen any cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) for several years when I discovered one plant flowering right at the edge of Bull Creek on August 14th. (I found one more when I went to Great Hills Park on August 21 to photograph my colanderized eclipse.)

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 1, 2017 at 5:04 AM

The shallow water shimmered as it flowed

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Bull Creek; July 25th. The darkened leaf is from a sycamore tree, Platanus occidentalis.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 28, 2017 at 5:01 AM

A buttonbush flower globe

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It’s been a long time since I showed you a buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) flower globe, so here’s one from the edge of Bull Creek on 7/25. Throw in the 24 hours that made up that day, and you’ve got a 7-24-25 right triangle: 7 x 7 + 24 x 24 = 25 x 25. The arithmetic smells as fragrant as these flowers (and Google once again thinks that’s a unique statement).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 26, 2017 at 4:55 AM

Some colorful geology on a small scale

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Nothing in Austin is going to compare to the Badlands of South Dakota. Sorry, Austin, that’s just how it is. Still, we have some much smaller geological formations here that warrant a look. One is a long limestone slab that arches up and then out over a creek in my Great Hills neighborhood. Historically, of course, aeons of water flowing through the creek eroded the limestone to create the overhang. The back wall, which I don’t think ever gets direct sunlight, stays rather dark even during the brightest part of the day. When I went there on June 29th, I stood facing the wall and used flash to reveal the colors and patterns of the always damp and sometimes wet stone.

No more than a hundred feet to the right of the formations shown here are the mud dauber wasp tubes some of you may remember from five years ago. Two years after that, I showed something that wasn’t a tuft of hair on the underside of the overhang.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 9, 2017 at 4:54 AM

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