Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘macro photography

Chrysopsis pilosa

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Chrysopsis pilosa Flower Head and Bud 5694

Chrysopsis pilosa is one of those DYCs (darn yellow composites) that I don’t see in Austin, but on June 4th I went 30 miles east, to Bastrop County, and there I saw this flower head and opening bud of that species, which people call soft goldenaster. This is one of those lie-on-the-ground-and-aim-upward sorts of pictures.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2015 at 5:32 AM

Drummond’s skullcap

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Drummond's Skullcap Flower 0761

Again from July 7th along W. Courtyard Dr., behold a somewhat moody picture of a wildflower you haven’t seen here before: Scutellaria drummondii, a member of the mint family known as Drummond’s skullcap. Putting on your thinking cap won’t help you determine the scale, so I’ll tell you that each of these flowers was at most half an inch (13 mm) in size. You’re welcome to scoot on over to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for more information on Scutellaria drummondii, and to Wikipedia for a brief account of Thomas Drummond, a Scotsman who botanized in Texas and died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 10, 2015 at 3:55 AM

Firewheel abstraction

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Firewheel Edge-On by Bluebonnet 4159

There he goes again with his abstractions…

The wildflower that botanists know as Gaillardia pulchella has the popular names firewheel, blanketflower (or blanket flower), and Indian blanket. I photographed this firewheel flower head close and edge-on and with a wide aperture of f/4.5 so that at most the tips of a few rays would be in focus. The bluish-purple in the background came from some bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis. Except for a few lingering strays, they’re long gone in central Texas now, but firewheels are still (Indian-)blanketing parts of the land here. Today’s colorful view is from April 21st at the intersection of Blackjack and Rio Vista Cove east of Lockhart, a town nearly an hour south of my home in Austin.

In a banal comparison suggested by childhood memories, this firewheel might pass for floral candy corn.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 4, 2015 at 5:28 AM

New Zealand: Little hard fern koru

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Little Hard Fern Koru 4658

Click for greater clarity, especially in the little hairs.

Now that I’ve shown you a little (and only a little) of what’s been going on in springtime Austin, here comes a second round of pictures from my February trip to scenic New Zealand.

At the Christchurch Botanic Gardens on February 14th I photographed this koru (the Māori word for the curled shoot of a fern) on what’s called a little hard fern, Antarctic hard fern, alpine hard fern, or alpine water fern, whose scientific name is Blechnum penna-marina. The species part of the name is Latin for ‘sea feather,’ but that refers to the plant as a whole rather than to this koru, which I think people are more likely to liken to the scroll on a violin, even if no violin scroll has smaller scrolls within it the way this fern does.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 8, 2015 at 5:28 AM

Not a spider on the spiderwort

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Katydid Nymph on Spiderwort Flower 9466

Last time you saw some spiderwort buds (Tradescantia spp.) from the preserve behind the Austin Nature Center on March 23rd, but mostly on that outing I looked at spiderwort flowers rather than buds. When I got close to this spiderwort flower I noticed a green nymph that I think might be Dichopetala catinata, the spoon-tailed short-winged katydid. Note how the curve of its antenna continues the curve of its back.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 5, 2015 at 5:21 AM

Spiderwort buds

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Spiderwort Buds 9324

Click for greater clarity, especially in the little hairs.

In the preserve behind the Austin Nature Center on March 23rd I photographed this little cup of spiderwort buds, Tradescantia spp.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 4, 2015 at 5:29 AM

No fooling: crow poison

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Small Weevil on Crow Poison Buds with Dewdrops 9366

No fooling (even on April Fools’ Day), there really is a flower called crow poison. Whether Nothoscordum bivalve actually poisons crows—or people, for that matter—isn’t clear. What is clear is that crow poison can be seen flowering in Austin in the spring and again (though usually to a lesser degree) in the fall.

I photographed these dew-covered crow poison buds in the preserve behind the Austin Nature Center on March 23rd. As a bonus, you get a small weevil.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 1, 2015 at 5:10 AM

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