Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘macro

White prickly poppy center

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Here’s a close and downward look at Argemone albiflora, the white prickly poppy. Notice the crowd of yellow stamens invariably paying homage to the red-topped pistil that rises above them in the center of the flower. This photograph is from Great Hills Park on April 23, 2013, five years ago today. I’d planned to show the picture soon afterward but put the post aside and only recently rediscovered it. Better late than never.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 23, 2018 at 4:47 AM

When red precedes white

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A few days ago Austin got some rain, which people here appreciated because until then we’d dropped to some five inches below average for the year so far. The rain got me thinking about rain-lilies, Cooperia pedunculata, and yesterday I found a few whose flower stalks had poked up about an inch above the ground. Thanks to the magic of a macro lens, what you’re seeing here is therefore much larger than life. Another discrepancy is that although rain-lilies are known for their graceful white flowers, this picture shows that the buds start out mostly reddish.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 31, 2018 at 4:47 AM

Texas mountain laurel

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The Texas mountain laurels (Sophora secundiflora) have been fragrantly—and some would say flagrantly—flowering all around Austin.

I took pictures of this Texas mountain laurel on March 13th along Shoal Creek Blvd. in north-central Austin. One of the tree’s branches rose well above the others:

The next day I visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where I got close and photographed a Texas mountain laurel flower opening:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2018 at 4:55 AM

So why is it called marsh gumplant?

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Grindelia stricta var. angustifolia is called marsh gumplant because it grows in marshes and is gummy (I’d have said gooey). You can see that second feature in this closeup that I took, like the previous photograph, in the wetlands of California’s Martinez Regional Shoreline on November 2nd of last year.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2017 at 5:04 AM

Snake-cotton

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Soon after we drove into Arizona from New Mexico along Interstate 10 on October 17, we pulled over at the Texas Canyon rest area, where I was pleased to come across some snake-cotton. When I searched online later I found that two species are native in that area, Froelichia arizonica and Froelichia gracilis. I can’t tell which one this is.

If you want, you can have a look back at the Texas Canyon rest area from our 2014 trip to the Southwest.

You can also review the only other post in which a species of snake-cotton has appeared here.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 27, 2016 at 4:52 AM

Those silky strands again

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The last time you saw Clematis drummondii was as a constellation of flowers in far north Austin on September 7th. Some of the plants there that day were more advanced and their flowers had begun producing the silky strands that when still further along and dingier give the species the common name old man’s beard. None of that dinginess here yet, only a fresh silvery green sheen.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 12, 2016 at 4:53 AM

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Purple wood-sorrel

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In my back yard on September 8th I found this little purple wood-sorrel flower (Oxalis drummondii). When I say little I mean maybe five-eighths of an inch (15mm) across.

(Yesterday at Muir Woods National Monument in California I saw plenty of redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana), though none of it was flowering.)

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 30, 2016 at 5:01 AM

Paper wasps

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When I was out on August 30th at a property along US 183 in Cedar Park photographing sumpweed and snow-on-the-mountain, I also found some paper wasps busy working on their nest. Notice the egg in one cell.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 4, 2016 at 5:00 AM

Golden dalea

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Posting that picture of the springwater dancer damselfly yesterday reminded me that I’d forgotten to show you something else I photographed on August 1 out at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County. It’s a wildflower called golden dalea or golden prairie clover, Dalea aurea, which makes its debut here today.*

How about that sinuous inflorescence? It’s as soft to the touch as it looks. Call it Texas’s answer to the pussy willow, and you’ll get no argument from me.

On a historical and counter-confusionary note: this genus was named for the English apothecary, physician, and geologist Samuel Dale, whereas the better known dahlia ended up getting named after the Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.

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* Two other species of Dalea have appeared in these pages: Dalea enneandra and Dalea formosa.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 28, 2016 at 4:56 AM

Olive hairstreak butterfly

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During the same September 12th outing along the upper reaches of Bull Creek that brought you the previous picture of prairie agalinis I noticed that some frostweed plants (Verbesina virginica) had begun flowering. My focus in this picture, however, was on the Callophrys gryneus butterfly that was busy on many of those frostweed flowers. The generally docile little butterflies in this species are known as olive hairstreaks or juniper hairstreaks due to the green on their wings.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2016 at 4:57 AM

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