Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘leaves

Two experiments

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When I worked at the base of a cliff along the Capital of Texas Highway on June 27th, some of my pictures were experiments in abstraction. In the one above, I noticed that several cattail leaves (Typha domingensis) had dried out to the point that they turned white, and I played an in-focus leaf off against a few out-of-focus ones. A couple of hundred feet away I noticed that some leaflets on a flameleaf sumac tree (Rhus lanceolata) had turned prematurely red. Not only that, but the breeze was blowing the branches about, so I decided to go with the (air)flow and do some long exposures that would make the movement a key element. The picture below, taken at 1/6 of a second, flaunts its rich red; in contrast, the first photo is close to black and white.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 7, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Zebra mesquite

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On June 17th, when I saw how the sun cast shadows of mesquite tree leaflets (Prosopis glandulosa) onto a thorn and the branch it was on, the word zebra popped into my head.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 3, 2020 at 4:47 AM

Crinkliest of flowers

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A.E. Housman began a poem with the words “Loveliest of trees, the cherry….” An Austin counterpart could begin with “Crinkliest of wildflowers, the white prickly poppy….” I made these two portraits of aging Argemone albiflora flowers in Great Hills Park on April 30th.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 19, 2020 at 4:43 AM

New Zealand: Shadows and light at Riccarton Bush

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Three years ago today in Christchurch we visited Riccarton Bush,
where dense foliage created interplays of shadows and light.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2020 at 4:28 AM

Fronds

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Fronds caught my attention at the Bojo River Nature Reserve in Aloguinsan on December 17th.

The challenge was finding good ways to fill a rectangle.

In the last picture I took a different approach.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 26, 2020 at 11:40 AM

Two views of flameleaf sumac

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Longtime visitors here know that central Texas is too warm to get the kind of fall foliage that colder parts of the country are famous for. That said, we do get some autumn color, and one reliable source of it is the aptly named flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata. On November 9th I spent time on part of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail in Cedar Park, where I made the two flameleaf sumac pictures in today’s post.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 10, 2019 at 4:40 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

Horseweed

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Even though horseweed is one of the most widely distributed native plants in North America, it seldom if ever gets its praises sung. With that in mind, let me at least do some humming in favor of Conyza canadensis. Below you get a closer look at the seemingly energetic way the leaves on the main stalk dry out.

For temporal balance, have a look at those leaves on a fresh plant:

And here’s a closer look at a maturing inflorescence:

All these pictures come from the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin on August 24th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 12, 2019 at 4:08 AM

What’s reality, anyhow?

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The last post gave you a vintage red-white-and-blue look at a flowering Ipomopsis rubra, called Texas plume and standing cypress. This year I encountered the species for the first time on April 27th, before flowers or even buds had appeared. On the other hand, the firewheels (Gaillardia pulchella) beyond the standing cypress were blazing away, and I knew they’d complement the standing cypress in color and shape. Any red would come from the firewheels, with none from the standing cypress. I went for the feel of what I was seeing rather than trying to keep as much as possible in focus and recording reality—whatever that is. Here are three of the portraits I made that were new takes for me on Ipomopsis rubra.

 

 

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 6, 2019 at 4:40 AM

Scarlet leatherflower

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While at Bull Creek on April 8th I mostly photographed waterfalls but was also happy to see a Clematis texensis vine with a trio of flowers on it. Anyone watching me at work that morning could have said: “He stoppeth one of three.” It could also be said that Austin is home to three native Clematis species, with texensis being endemic to the state’s Edwards Plateau.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 19, 2019 at 4:39 AM

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