Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘insects

A world all its own

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Click to enlarge and see more details.

For several weeks I’d been noticing webworm (Hyphantria cunea) webs at the tips of tree branches. On the morning of June 25th, after the previous day’s rain, I was walking along an overgrown path in the southeast extension of St. Edward’s Park when I encountered a webworm web still covered with raindrops. I got in close to record the fantasy world. I don’t recall ever before taking a picture like this one. Happy new.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, points 1 and 15 in About My Techniques apply to this picture.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Eight years

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On June 4, 2011, the first post in Portraits of Wildflowers went up. In commemoration, here’s one picture from each June in the first eight calendar years this series has been running. Clicking a photograph will take you back to the original post it appeared in so you can learn about or be reminded of the subject if you wish.

To inaugurate the June that began three days ago, after the eight pictures from yesteryear I’ve appended a picture of prairie verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida) from June 1st of this year at the intersection of RM 2222 and Mount Bonnell Rd. The dreaminess of the portrait belies the noise and heat I experienced.

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 4, 2019 at 2:44 AM

A red theme

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Wanderers through countryside with lots of prickly pears (Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri) know that the cactus often attracts certain bugs. This is one of those, Narnia femorata, on a tuna, or fruit of the prickly pear cactus, in the Zilker Nature Preserve seven years ago today. The bug is a nymph in one of its early instars, which are the developmental stages that the larva of an insect passes through. Click below if you’d like a closer look at the bug as it appeared in a different frame.

Although Texas in the summer of 2011 was suffering one of its worst droughts in decades, when I recently looked back at my archive for August 12th of that year I saw that I went photographing in four locations that day and ended up with hundreds of pictures, like this one along Scenic Drive of ripe snailseed fruit (Cocculus carolinus):

I also found from looking at my archive that I went out taking pictures on 19 of the 31 days in that torrid August of 2011. You could say that I lived up to the motto of the USPS (United States Photographic Service): “Neither heat nor drought nor sun nor sweat stays these intrepid image gatherers from the due documentation of their appointed rounds.”

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 12, 2018 at 4:49 AM

Katydid nymph on yucca flower

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Katydid Nymph on Yucca Flower 5892

Click for greater clarity and size.

For the second post in a row, here’s a view from the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin. The picture, which dates back to June 20, 2013, shows what I think is the nymph of a katydid, but if anyone knows otherwise, please speak up. The petal is definitely that of a yucca, probably Yucca rupicola. If you’d like an overview of how that species looks when it’s flowering, you can skip back to another post from 2013.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 20, 2018 at 4:30 AM

Mayday

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Today’s date reminds us that Mayday is a call of distress and a plea for help. Some help is what these conjoined flower heads of greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium) could have used in warding off attacks from at least two kinds of insects: in the first picture I see several thrips and one tumbling flower beetle.

The view from the other side shows you how the two flower heads were conjoined. As far as I can remember, this was the first such greenthread I’d ever seen. From time to time I’ve shown instances of fasciation but it’s not clear if this twin flower head counts as that.

The date was April 16th and the location was the Blackland Prairie just east of Louis Henna Blvd. and Donnell Dr. in Round Rock.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 1, 2018 at 4:44 AM

The Black Hills of South Dakota

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On June 2nd I took this picture from well up on the slope of a mountain (was it Mount Coolidge?) in Custer State Park, which lies in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In addition to looking outward and far away, I looked downward and close, where I found pastel-colored rocks and lichens, brown pine needles and cones, and an entrance to an ant nest.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 5, 2017 at 4:44 AM

Spittlebug spittle on wireweed

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spittlebug-spittle-on-wireweed-9408

Date: September 7.

Place: Northeast Metropolitan Park in Pflugerville.

Wireweed: Symphyotrichum subulatum, a.k.a. hierba del marrano.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 11, 2016 at 5:35 AM

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