Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘flowers

Beards and webs

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The vine that botanists know as Clematis drummondii has earned the colloquial name old man’s beard because its fertilized flowers give rise to filaments that turn into an increasingly dingy fluff as they mature. (Notwithstanding the beard metaphor, those are of course female flowers.) Below from Great Hills Park on August 29th is a nice expanse of “beards,” along with seed heads of Mexican hats, Ratibida columnifera.

In contrast, a nearby Clematis drummondii plant (presumably male) was cobwebbed rather than bearded.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2019 at 3:53 AM

Goldenrod at Lucifer Falls

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As we drove around the Northeast in the second half of July and the first week of August, we were surprised to see goldenrod (Solidago sp.) already flowering abundantly in many places. One of those was at Lucifer Falls in New York’s Treman State Park on August 1st. That was seven weeks ago; I’ve yet to see any goldenrod flowering in Austin, though I’ve read reports online of people beginning to see some here.

And while we’re still talking about Treman State Park,
let me show you one more picture of the picturesque rock strata there:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 22, 2019 at 4:47 AM

Dynamic snow-on-the-prairie

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Here’s a dynamic look at snow-on-the-prairie, Euphorbia bicolor,
at Parmer Lane and Wildhorse Ranch in Manor on August 24th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 6, 2019 at 4:48 AM

Smartweed and blue sky

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On August 29th I found plenty of smartweed plants (Polygonum sp.)
flowering on the wet ground at the edge of the Riata Trace Pond in northwest Austin.
I was careless enough to get part of one shoe wet while hunching down to make my portraits.
Still, you needn’t worry about your monitor: I made sure today’s photo was thoroughly dry before posting it.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 31, 2019 at 4:25 AM

More from Huffman Prairie

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At Dayton’s Huffman Prairie on July 21st I found colonies of wild bergamot, Monarda fistulosa.
The USDA map shows it growing in all of the lower 48 states except California and Florida.
(When Steve Gingold mentioned this species in June I’d never knowingly seen any. A month later I had.)

I also saw two kinds of yellow composites that I wasn’t familiar with. Daniel Boone at the
Cincinnati Wildflower Preservation Society identified them for me as wingstem, Verbesina alternifolia,

and prairie dock, Silphium terebinthinaceum. Notice the echinacea in the background.

The kind of dark beetle that I saw on another prairie dock might have been the nibbler of the ray flowers.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 25, 2019 at 4:47 AM

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

Engelmann daisy in two stages

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The Engelmann daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, could as well be called a ribbon daisy, given the strong propensity of its ray flowers to curl under like ribbons. Notice also the way the little crown of ray flowers typically looks pinched as a bud opens. The curling and pinching took place on the flower mound in Flower Mound on June 9th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 12, 2019 at 4:44 AM

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