Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘flower

Rocky Mountain beeweed

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As if to corroborate the common name Rocky mountain beeweed, I found a native bee on these flowers of Cleome serrulata at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in northern New Mexico on June 12th. An online article about this species notes that other vernacular names for the plant are stinking-clover, bee spider-flower, skunk weed, Navajo spinach, and guaco. This wildflower is a relative of the clammyweed that grows in Austin.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 20, 2017 at 4:50 AM

A floral balance at Kasha-Katuwe

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In addition to balanced rocks at Kasha-Katuwe in northern New Mexico on June 12th, here’s a balanced jimsonweed flower (Datura wrightii). Note the tiny native bee on the left side of the flower.

I’d pulled off to the side of the entrance road to photograph the jimsonweed and had barely gotten out of my car when a tribal policeman stopped his patrol car to see what I was up to. I guess very few visitors pull over at a place that doesn’t offer a view of the rock formations.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 18, 2017 at 4:48 AM

Haven’t shown you this for a good while

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2014 was the last time I showed you a flower of the pearl milkweed vine, Matelea reticulata. To compensate for that long lapse, here you have not one but two pearl milkweed flowers I photographed on a vine in my neighborhood on June 22nd. What happy propinquity.

If these flowers weren’t so common here, they’d be rare.* What I mean is that while pearl milkweed readily grows in northwest Austin, it’s easy to forget how seldom we see green flowers, much less any that possess net-like patterns and have a tiny pearly shelter covering their center. Notice that the central structure is curvily pentagonal, with each vertex gesturing toward the tip of a pointy petal. Milkweeds speak in fives.**

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* Google turned up no hits for “If they weren’t so common, they’d be rare,” so I’ll claim that witticism.

** In this case Google says I’ve just spoken a novel four-word sentence about fiveness.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 12, 2017 at 4:54 AM

A tiny fly on narrowleaf penstemon flowers

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It was late in the afternoon on May 28th and the wind had picked up at the top of Scott’s Bluff National Monument in western Nebraska. Concentrating on the tiny fly that became my subject once I noticed it, I had to let most of the flowers fade out of focus in order for the fly to stay sharp. The flowers are Penstemon angustifolius, called narrowleaf penstemon or narrowleaf beardtongue. Call the photographer Nimbletongue Beardface and you might not be far wrong.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 2, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Sphaeralcea coccinea

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Remember Nebraska’s Chimney Rock? When we visited on May 28th, I photographed these flowers of Sphaeralcea coccinea, called scarlet globemallow, caliche globemallow, and copper mallow. The article linked to in the previous sentence points out that “While on the course of his expedition, near the Marias River [in what is now Montana], Meriwether Lewis collected a specimen of this species.” In fact it grows across much of the western United States. I’ve seen scarlet globemallow in Texas’s hot Trans-Pecos region, so the species tolerates a broad range of temperatures.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 31, 2017 at 4:45 AM

Death camas

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On May 29th atop Scott’s Bluff National Monument in Nebraska I found no shortage of Zigandenus venenosus flowers. You can recognize that the scientific species name means ‘poisonous.’ The common name death camas is no exaggeration, as people have died from eating the various species of this pretty wildflower. And speaking of the genus Zigadenus, a few of you may remember that I belatedly showed an Austin species back in 2015.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 29, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Western wild rose

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How about this flower I found on a western wild rose bush (Rosa woodsii) near the top of Scott’s Bluff National Monument in far western Nebraska on May 29th?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 22, 2017 at 4:51 AM

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