Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘grass

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

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 29, 2018 at 4:29 PM

Switchgrass drying in autumn

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People joke about watching paint dry. In contrast to that, nature lovers take serious pleasure in watching a dense stand of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) dry out in the fall. The one shown here was doing so next to the pond at the Central Market on N. Lamar Blvd. on October 29th. Getting in close, I made an abstraction:

These two takes exemplify points 15 and 14, respectively, in About My Techniques.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 19, 2018 at 4:59 AM

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Long and slender shadows

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In mid-June of 2017 the last stop on our return from South Dakota was at Monahans Sandhills State Park in west Texas. Look at the long and slender grass shadows cast by a morning sun that was at an angle of elevation close to that of the sand slope shown here.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 18, 2018 at 10:03 AM

New Zealand: Lake Taupo

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A year ago today we stopped at the south end of Lake Taupo, where I photographed some graceful toetoe (pronounced in Māori tó-eh-tó-eh, placed in botany in the genus Austroderia). Here’s a closer looks that lets you see the detailed structure in one of the seed heads:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 17, 2018 at 4:42 AM

Bushy bluestem covered with droplets

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As you heard once before, on the morning of December 3rd last year I set out to get some fog pictures. I didn’t get any, unless you count pictures of plants covered with droplets that had condensed out of the fog. The bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus) seed head shown here is another example. If you’re unfamiliar with this native grass that takes on delectable colors and textures in the late fall and winter, you can look at a stand from farther back in space in time.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 6, 2018 at 4:45 AM

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C-ing is B-lieving

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Don’t you think this view of a bespidered grass seed head from far north Austin on October 12th warrants a better grade than the C it proclaims?* Speaking of academics, perhaps the C is an emblem of my undergraduate days at Columbia. Or maybe the C stands for the Canon camera I used to take the picture. If you see the C as standing for something else, here’s your chance to speak up.

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* In case you’re unfamiliar with American schools, work is graded from A, the highest quality, down through D, the lowest that’s still considered marginally passing. Failing work gets a conveniently alliterative F.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 5, 2017 at 4:47 AM

Regeneration

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When I stopped in Glacier National Park on August 30th to photograph the remains of a forest fire from a few years before, I was taken with these seed heads of a grass that had filled in parts of the forest floor since that fire. The dry grass stalks stood immobile that afternoon, yet their leaning and their arcs might prompt your imagination to see movement. The gray skies in the distance need no imagination to be seen for what they were: smoky from the wildfires that became the backdrop for much of our trip.

Sonja Hartmann at the park’s plant nursery identified the photogenic seed heads as Calamagrostis rubescens, known as pinegrass. Above the center of the picture’s lower border are the similarly colored but differently structured seed head remains of yarrow, Achillea millefolium.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 12, 2017 at 4:54 AM

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