Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘leaves

New Zealand: weaving

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Do a search for Māori weaving and you’ll turn up plenty. What you see in today’s picture, though, is nature’s own weaving in New Zealand in the form of some dry fronds hanging from a tree fern that caught my attention at the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley on March 5th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2017 at 4:46 AM

New Zealand: koru

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What kind of nature photographer would I be if I returned from New Zealand without showing you at least one koru? Koru is the Māori word for what English sometimes calls a fiddlehead, the spirally curled tip of a new fern leaf. I photographed this one on February 19th along the path leading from Dorothy Falls to Lake Kaniere.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 16, 2017 at 4:58 AM

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Sumac in the Guadalupe Mountains

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At the Guadalupe Mountains National Park visitor center late on the afternoon of November 9th I realized I had to give up on the idea of seeing the excellent fall foliage I’d hoped for. A ranger said that some bright color still existed in the park’s interior, but the sky was overcast, as you saw in the previous post, and not much daylight remained. As we continued driving east along US 62 headed for Carlsbad, New Mexico, a little color caught my eye, and when I pulled over and walked closer I saw that several sumacs (Rhus spp.) were the source. Adjacent to the sumacs were some composite plants that had turned fluffy; I never found out what they were. Near by were some scraggly dead branches that appealed to my scraggly nature.

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© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 13, 2017 at 4:53 AM

Le rouge et le noir in Utah *

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On October 23rd of last year we followed Kolob Terrace Rd. northward in and out of the western side of Zion National Park. Eventually we got to the Kolob Reservoir and the grove of bare aspen trees you’ve already seen, but before then we stopped for the fall color shown here. While I didn’t pay attention to the dark trunks then, now they make me think a fire had passed through that area.

How different this is from the scenes of autumn in central Texas that you saw last time.

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* Le rouge et le noir, or The Red and the Black, is the title of a novel by Stendhal.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 10, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Colors above, colors below

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Welcome to a tree that’s native in central Texas but that has never appeared in these pages till now: Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii, known as western soapberry. I couldn’t help noticing this one turning colors on the afternoon of November 30, 2016, outside the office at Monument Hill State Historic Site in La Grange, some 75 miles southeast of my home in Austin.

It wasn’t only above me that I found fall foliage. Close to the ground I noticed some vine leaves becoming patterned and taking on warm colors. I believe the plants were pearl milkweed vines, Matelea reticulata.

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Click to enlarge.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 9, 2017 at 4:46 AM

A botanical surprise

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I got close to a substantial Joshua tree a few miles north of Barstow, California, on October 25. Despite the common designation of “tree” based on the presence of bark and a sturdy trunk, the scientific name Yucca brevifolia tells us that the plant is actually a yucca. Surprise. A closer look at a cluster of Joshua tree leaves clearly shows their yucca-ness.

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Click to enlarge.

Yuccas in central Texas are a lot smaller than Joshua trees, but west Texas has some closer in stature to California’s giants.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 6, 2017 at 5:01 AM

Flameleaf sumac in a dull autumn

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The autumn of 2016 in Austin has proven a dull one for foliage: we haven’t even reached the typical low level of color we expect in this warm climate. On November 24th I went over to a piece of undeveloped land off Seton Center Drive where in recent years I’ve relied on some prairie flameleaf sumacs (Rhus lanceolata) for good fall foliage. While I didn’t find the trees as bright as usual, I did discover a few small areas of color. Of more interest this time were the clusters of tiny sumac fruits.

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(Just a reminder that I’m punctuating the string of pictures from the great Southwest trip with an occasional view of what’s been going on in Austin since our return.)

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 16, 2016 at 4:55 AM

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