Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘leaves

Fall colors at Stillhouse Hollow

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Another source of colorful fall foliage down here is the Texas red oak tree (Quercus buckleyi). Well into the afternoon on November 26th at northwest-central Austin’s little-known Stillhouse Hollow Nature Preserve I aimed upward to record the colors in the leaves of one of those oaks contrasted with the blue of the sky. The network that the many darker branches created appealed to me as well.

While at the preserve I also recorded the shades of magenta in six clusters of American beautyberry fruits (Callicarpa americana) that were in varied stages of drying out.

Click to enlarge.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 10, 2018 at 4:43 AM

Escarpment black cherry tree turned yellow

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Compared to places much further north, central Texas is too warm for a lot of colorful fall foliage. Still, we do get some, and its predominant color is yellow. That’s true for the escarpment black cherry treePrunus serotina var. eximia. We found this specimen at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County when we drove out there on November 24th hoping to find some bright autumn leaves. We weren’t disappointed.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 2, 2018 at 4:24 PM

Fall foliage at Meadow Lake Park

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I try to go to Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock at least once a year because I always find some good native plants to take pictures of there. On the afternoon of November 4th I visited the park and photographed this colorful bald cypress tree, Taxodium distichum, set off by fleecy clouds. (From a month-ago post you may remember an earlier stage in color change.) The trees beyond the bald cypress are black willows, Salix nigra.

By the stand of black willows visible at the left edge of the first photograph I found a tall, slender stalk with yellowing leaves that Joe Marcus of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center identified as likely a species of Morus, which is to say mulberry. What the vine whose leaves were turning warm colors was, I don’t know, but the combination of yellow and red and orange against the blue sky certainly appealed to me.

Click to enlarge.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 28, 2018 at 4:34 AM

Smartweed

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After doing my theme and variations with prairie agalinis in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183 on September 19th, I noticed a colony of smartweed (Polygonum spp.) that I’d overlooked. To give you a sense of scale, I’ll add that each smartweed flower is no more than one-eighth of an inch (3mm) in diameter.

Smartweed leaves have a tendency to turn bright colors when they age. I photographed the one below in roughly the same stance as the flowers and buds above, and with the backlighting that lit up the prairie agalinis in the previous post’s close views. And how about that little curlicue at the leaf’s tip?

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 5, 2018 at 4:38 AM

Shadow as an emblem of a bird in flight

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Along the North Walnut Creek Trail on the morning of September 19th I looked down at a mushroom and saw a dark bird winging west. Oh, the world of illusions we live in. Casting the magic shadow spell was a straggler daisy plant, Calyptocarpus vialis.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 27, 2018 at 4:46 AM

Three-and-a-half kinds of ferns at Garden in the Woods

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One pleasure of traveling in the Northeast is getting to see lush ferns in many places.

Hay-scented fern, Dennstaedtia punctiloba

In particular, today’s green post shows you three species of ferns I photographed on June 12th at the Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Northern maidenhair fern, Adiantum pedatum

Thanks to horticulturist Anna Fialkoff for identifying them.

Maybe cinnamon fern, Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

The half is this shadow of a fern on a stone:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 8, 2018 at 4:38 AM

The end of winter

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Today, March 20th, marks the official end of winter this year. Nature in Austin hadn’t waited that long. The photograph above, taken six days ago at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, shows a possumhaw tree (Ilex decidua) that had largely greened out while still densely laden with the bright red fruits it wore all winter. A clear blue sky pleasantly set off the other two colors. Aiming upward near midday let sunlight transluce the new leaves.

(Not long ago you saw a landscape view from Valentine’s Day showing a possumhaw in its winter form, which is to say totally leafless.)

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 20, 2018 at 4:45 AM

Posted in nature photography

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