Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘fall

Softer colors at Stillhouse Hollow

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After leaves have fallen, trees reveal summer-hidden branches and sometimes things within them, like the nest now disclosed here. This bare tree, while neither massive nor colorful like the still-clad oak you saw yesterday, nevertheless appeals in the intricacy of its many slender branches and twigs. Visible beyond it you can make out upper parts of a sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis) tall enough to catch light from the late-afternoon sun. Though the tree with the nest in it had no leaves left to help with identification, it might have been a cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia). I have no idea what kind of animal made the nest. Below is an unobstructed view of the sycamore’s browning crown in its own right.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 11, 2018 at 4:38 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Not many ladies’ tresses orchids this year

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On October 22nd I checked out a site a few miles from home where I look for ladies’ tresses orchids (Spiranthes magnicamporum) in the fall. I didn’t find any. On November 17th at Wild Basin I located exactly two and photographed exactly one. What an exacting fellow I am.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 8, 2018 at 4:38 AM

Return to Meadow Lake Park

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On November 15th I returned to Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock to see what the morning light could do for the large stands of bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus) that had caught my eye there but that I hadn’t photographed during my afternoon visit 11 days earlier. This is the showiest of the native grasses I regularly see in central Texas as the end of each year approaches. And speaking of native, that’s what this grass is on damp or wet ground in parts of many American states, as you can confirm on the USDA map (use the slider there to zoom in to the county level).

In the first photograph the light came mostly from in front of the camera,
and in the second photograph mostly from behind the camera.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 29, 2018 at 4:29 PM

First goldenrod for 2018

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At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on September 26th I found my first flowering goldenrod for 2018. It was prairie goldenrod, Solidago nemoralis.

Then on September 4th on the far side of my neighborhood I photographed a tall goldenrod, Solidago altissima, that wasn’t as tall as it should have been because something had caused the inflorescence to take a 90° bend. I believe it’s the only right-angled goldenrod inflorescence I’ve ever seen.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 8, 2018 at 5:44 PM

Green lynx spider with hatchlings

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Click for greater clarity.

On December 1st last year, upon approaching a prairie flameleaf sumac tree (Rhus lanceolata) in Cedar Park to photograph its fall foliage, I noticed that one bunch of leaflets had been pulled together to make a shelter. I soon figured out that a green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) had created the shelter as a nest. Plenty of hatchlings scurried about, no doubt disturbed by my close presence and the closer presence of my camera.

Of the various pictures I took there, I chose to show this one because the two curved sumac leaflets in the upper right with the hatchlings on them somehow reminded me of a Hokusai wave. (Hey, that’s all the way over in Japan, so my imagination has a right to be far-fetched.)

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2018 at 4:51 AM

Fall foliage in Wimberley

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One of the scenic places we went in Wimberley on November 21st was Jacob’s Well. There we saw exactly one tree showing bright fall colors, this rusty blackhaw, Viburnum rufidulum. I think you’ll agree that that one was enough to make the visit to Jacob’s Well worthwhile.

A couple of weeks ago you got to look at another scenic place in Wimberley.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 3, 2017 at 4:42 AM

Meanwhile, from back in Austin, here’s some yellow.

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Here’s some flowering goldenrod (Solidago spp.) on Morado Circle in northwest Austin on September 26th. The nearest flower heads are in focus but in the image as a whole I’ve emphasized color over sharpness, abetted by a rather wide aperture of f/5.6. If that number doesn’t sing to you, as the French say, then listen to the flowers’ chanson instead.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 5, 2017 at 4:54 AM

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