Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘ferns

Green triangularity times two

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At least twice in the past month I’ve photographed plants that I noticed growing in the approximate shape of a triangle (at least as a two-dimensional photograph renders them). The first came on August 24th, when a mustang grape vine, Vitis mustangensis, that had covered the broken remains of a dead tree caught my fancy at Parmer Lane and Blue Bluff Rd. south of Manor. A greenbrier vine, Smilax bona-nox, had also climbed onto the mound; that accounts for the yellow-orange leaves near the photograph’s bottom edge.

I photographed the other green triangle on September 7th at the base of a cliff along Bull Creek near Spicewood Springs Rd. Even during a drought the rocks still seeped enough water to support some southern maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris. I don’t know what the mixed-in plant species are.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 18, 2019 at 4:43 AM

A new waterfall

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Way back on April 20th I found a waterfall in the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt that was new to me. I took pictures in rather harsh light and also went back the next day to take more photographs in slightly softer light. Somehow I never showed any of those pictures here, so partly to make up for that and partly as a scene-setter, I’ve begun this post with a ferns-on-boulder view of the falls from back then.

On June 28th I returned to the waterfall, where I experimented with fast shutter speeds (above, 1/1600 of a second, shades of Hokusai’s “Great Wave”) and slow shutter speeds (below, 1/25 of a second). Each approach has advantages and drawbacks.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 7, 2019 at 4:48 AM

Verdure on the seeping cliff

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As you heard last time, on June 12th I spent time at the cliff along Capital of Texas Highway a little north of the bridge over the Colorado River. The water that seeps out of the cliff supports vegetation, most notably southern maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris, which in one place formed a column that grew all the way up to the top of the cliff:

Here and there isolated maidenhair ferns found refuge in little alcoves.

In a couple of areas the lush maidenhair ferns turned the base of the cliff into a green wall.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 26, 2019 at 4:40 AM

Seeping cliff

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On June 12th I spent time at the cliff on the west side of Capital of Texas Highway
a little north of the bridge over the Colorado River.

You can see that as water seeps through the cliff it slowly deposits minerals.

Most of the cliff doesn’t seep. In some places the contrast between wet and dry calls attention to itself.

Might these be time- and weather-worn Mayan glyphs?

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 23, 2019 at 4:22 AM

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Organic and inorganic

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At Southwest Harbor in Acadia National Park on June 10, 2018, I photographed things organic and inorganic.

Jackson Pollock‘s got nothing on me:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2019 at 4:37 AM

Creek views from Great Hills Park on January 24th

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Southern maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris, greened up a panel of creekside wall.

Mustang grape vines, Vitis mustangensis, hung near the shallow waterfall at what’s called the fish pool.

In the southern part of the park a whale of a gravel bar in the main creek conjured up Moby Dick.

After I walked to the gravel bar and looked back, these reflections waved my way.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2019 at 4:37 AM

Far ferns — not

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Just because I enjoyed seeing the lush ferns in New York and Massachusetts and other places on our recent trip doesn’t mean I can’t find some good ones in Austin as well. So it was that on June 24th I spent time photographing along the cliff that looms above the west side of Capital of Texas Highway between Courtyard Dr. and RM 2222.

What allows ferns to thrive in such a sunny, open place is the perpetual seeping of water through portions of the rock. In the first picture you see how the ferns form a column from the base of the cliff right up to the top. Enough water makes it into the ditch at the base to support cattails as well. The second picture shows that little alcoves in the seeping cliff also partly shelter ferns from the full intensity of the Texas sun.

The last photograph gives a closer view of the embankment a couple of hundred feet further north, where two kinds of ferns take lush advantage of the seep. The ones in the back are Adiantum capillus-veneris, called the southern maidenhair fern. The ones overshadowing them may be Thelypteris ovata var. lindheimeri, known as Lindheimer’s marsh fern, which Bill Carr notes is often found growing with maidenhair ferns.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 18, 2018 at 6:54 PM

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