Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘meadow

Another mini-meadow

with 19 comments

A recent post showed you a mini-meadow in bloom along Yaupon Dr. on the far side of my neighborhood. From the same area on June 2nd, here’s another. The many yellow flower heads are four-nerve daisies (Tetraneuris linearifolia) and those at the left with reddish-brown centers are a species of Coreopsis. The more numerous but smaller flowers are yellow stonecrop (Sedum nuttallianum), which you get a much closer and slightly fresher look at in the photo below, taken nearby on May 21st.

And here’s a relevant quotation:

“Le jaune est le fils aîné de la lumière, et il ne faut pas s’étonner qu’une nation de coloristes, les Chinois, le regardent comme la plus belle des couleurs. Sans le jaune, il n’y a point de spectacle splendide.” — Charles Blanc, Grammaire des arts décoratifs, 1870.

“Yellow is the eldest child of light, and you shouldn’t be surprised that a nation of colorists, the Chinese, regard it as the most beautiful of colors. Without yellow there are no splendid spectacles.” — Charles Blanc, Grammar of the Decorative Arts, 1870.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 7, 2021 at 4:28 AM

Mini-meadow Monday

with 40 comments

I’d call this little space covered with mixed wildflowers a mini-meadow. Photographed on May 21st just off Yaupon Dr. on the far side of my neighborhood, it offered up the white of a rain-lily, Zephyranthes drummondii; the red at the center of some firewheels, Gaillardia pulchella; yellow galore in a slew of four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia; and last but not least, as well as least in size while greatest in numbers, a starry sprinkling of least daisies, Chaetopappa bellidifolia.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

And here’s an unrelated quotation for today from Izabella Tabarovsky, who came to America from the Soviet Union at age 20:

Over the past year, as I have watched instances of American censorship multiply, and extend to speech, books, movies, opinions and plain facts, memories from those early years of my American life, when I first began to grapple with the consequences of living under censorship, have resurfaced. I have been flabbergasted to watch the staff of publishing houses become enraged over the publication of authors they disagree with, designate those works as harmful and demand that they be “cancelled.” I have been utterly perplexed to discover that some California schools have banned venerable classics such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, because of concerns about their use of racial slurs and stereotypes. Of course, we don’t want children to read racist literature. But believing that these particular works propagate racial hatred requires the same mental contortions that Soviet censors exercised when they laboured so hard to imagine all the ways a work of art might lead citizens astray.

You’re welcome to read the full essay, which is entitled
What My Soviet Life Has Taught Me About Censorship and Why It Makes Us Dumb.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 31, 2021 at 4:10 AM

May Day

with 30 comments

Today is May Day, the beginning of the new month. In contrast, “Mayday” is a distress call, but I think you’ll agree that this densely floral portion of a wildflower meadow was not feeling distressed at all. Flourishing is how I found it on the morning of April 23rd along Yaupon Dr. on the far west side of my Great Hills neighborhood. The yellow flowers are the familiar (because often shown here) four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia. Many people might overlook the equally numerous but much smaller flower heads of pale blue-violet mixed in among all those sunshiny yellow daisies. They’re Chaetopappa bellidifolia, appropriately called least daisies; you’ll get a much better look at one in the next post.

The four-nerve daisy colony served as a bright and conveniently out-of-focus backdrop for some blue curls, Phacelia congesta, that had completely uncurled. The plant farther back still shows some curling at the left.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 1, 2020 at 4:43 PM

A multitude of white

with 10 comments

On March 30th in a meadow underlain with limestone I found a dense colony of flowering Valerianella amarella, known by the strange common name of corn salad. By comparing the size of the prickly pear cactus pads, you can see that corn salad flowers are small. In fact they’re even smaller than you might think, because each dab of white in the picture above is actually a cluster of little flowers. Here’s a closeup of one cluster:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 6, 2017 at 4:55 AM

Fine and dandy

with 9 comments

Click for greater size and clarity.

Texas dandelions, Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus, added plenty of local color to the previous picture, but they remained indistinct in the background. Here’s a closer look at them on a property a few miles down the highway from the location shown in the last photograph. Now you can see some differences between the native Texas dandelion and the more widespread European one.

The slightly more orange yellow flowers in the background are bladderpods, which belong to the genus Lesquerella, and which are having a banner year; I’ve seen fields covered with these low-growing little plants this spring. The violet-colored flowers are baby blue-eyes, Nemophila phacelioides. The prominent green plant at the right is a species of Lepidium, commonly called peppergrass, even though it’s not a grass. People also call it pepperweed, the last part of which shows disdain, but my tongue disdains it not: whenever I get the chance, I nibble bits of this member of the mustard family in order to savor its tangy, peppery taste.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 5, 2012 at 5:43 AM

%d bloggers like this: