Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘green

Old plainsman buds opening

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Again from the strip of land between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 on March 14th, here are some opening buds of old plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus). Don’t you find them sculptural?

As with the previous image, I had to lie down to take this photograph, given that the small buds were little more than a foot (0.3m) above the ground. Unlike the Indian paintbrush and bluebonnet shown in the last post, old plainsman is a native plant that few people pay attention to, much less appreciate. On the contrary, I suspect many consider it a weed. Not I.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Finally a redwood

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redwood-tree-trunk-with-orange-patch-8522

After teasing you here with pictures from redwood preserves, first the Armstrong Grove and then Muir Woods, I’m finally providing a clear shot of a California redwood tree, Sequoia sempervirens, from Big Basin Redwoods State Park on October 31. This species produces the tallest trees in the world, even if in today’s photo you’re looking only at the base of one. I was attracted by the way the orange patches on the redwood’s trunk, along with the dry redwood leaves fallen on the ground, contrasted not only with the green of the moss on the tree but also and even more so with the greater greenery of the forest beyond.

Click below to zoom in on the orange area.

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© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 20, 2017 at 4:40 AM

Temperate forest

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lace-lichen-hanging-from-trees-7398

When we visited the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville, California, on October 27th, we encountered rain. That’s not unusual in a temperate cloud forest, but it meant we couldn’t enjoy, nor I photograph, the redwood trees the way we’d hoped to. There were times when Eve held one umbrella over herself and another over me so I could take some pictures. Many of the resulting photographs were so-so, given the rain and the low light, but near the end of our stay the rain tapered off for a while and I made this lush picture of lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii) hanging from the trees.

While preparing this post I learned that in 2015 California made Ramalina menziesii its official state lichen. I searched online but didn’t turn up any other state that has chosen an official lichen. Oh, California.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 3, 2016 at 5:05 AM

Green on green in the greenbelt

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green-larva-on-buffalo-gourd-leaf-1421

In the greenbelt off Taylor Draper Ln. on October 7th I found what I think is the larva of a moth on a leaf of what I know is a buffalo gourd vine, Cucurbita foetidissima.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 14, 2016 at 4:45 AM

Milkweed buds

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Melisa Pierson: "It is usually less than 2' tall, and the leaves are variable from narrow to wide oval. I do see quite a bit of variation out there, in fact, I thought there were 2 different species but research tells me that it is one species. I am seeing an increase of it at Illinois Beach."

On June 9th at Illinois Beach State Park I photographed this cluster of milkweed (Asclepias spp.) buds. In looking at the picture now, I like the way the curves and lines of the elements farther back complement the buds whose closest tips are sharply detailed in the foreground.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 12, 2016 at 4:53 AM

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One green succumbs to another

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Green Lynx Spider with Killed Bee on Goldenrod Flowers 7796

Remember the metallic green sweat bee that I photographed on my hand in Arkansas three months ago? On September 1st at Southeast Metropolitan Park I found a similar bee that had fallen prey to a green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans. The yellow of some goldenrod (Solidago spp.) that was already flowering added to the colorful if ghastly scene. In fact it was the goldenrod flowers that I’d stopped to photograph, and then when I got close I discovered the spider and bee on them.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 7, 2016 at 5:02 AM

Elucidation

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Snow-on-the-Mountain Inflorescence from Above 7046

Most of the prominent brightness in yesterday’s photograph came from the white-margined (marginata) bracts of Euphorbia marginata, a species known on account of that whiteness as snow-on-the-mountain. As I understand it, the five-segmented white collars aren’t technically part of the plant’s flowers, nor are the smaller five-segmented dull-green collars within the white ones. Only the nondescript little elements at the heart of those concentric rings comprise the flowers. Geyata Ajilvsgi notes that there are “30–35 male flowers and one female flower congested in [each] small, cuplike structure.” If that works for snow-on-the-mountain—and it clearly does—then who are we to knock it?

This downward-looking view comes from August 29th along US 183 in Cedar Park, a rapidly growing suburb just to the north of Austin.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 1, 2016 at 4:59 AM

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