Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘minimalism

How something can land

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On May 1st we went walking in our neighborhood. A few blocks from home I noticed that a drupe from a yaupon tree (Ilex vomitoria) had fallen onto an agave and gotten caught in the crook of one of the plant’s thorns. How long had the little fruit been trapped like that? Perhaps a few days, given how shriveled it was.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 21, 2020 at 4:29 AM

Minimalist mountains and clouds

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Here’s a different take on the Kananaskis Range of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada: a silhouetted view with graphic clouds beyond and above. The date was September 11, 2017.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 13, 2018 at 4:52 AM

Bent out of shape

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Don’t get bent out of shape by this portrait of a Mexican hat flower head, Ratibida columnifera, that I made a year ago today at Wild Basin.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 19, 2018 at 4:59 AM

Svelte or streamlined, take your pick

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Rain Lily Bud 4025

Click for better quality.

Either epithet fits the bud of this rain lily, Cooperia pedunculata, that I photographed along Great Northern Blvd. on August 19.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 4, 2016 at 4:58 AM

Öd und leer das Meer!

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Chicago Skyline Faintly Visible Across Lake Michigan 8185

“Öd und leer das Meer!” are the words that Wagner gives to the shepherd near the beginning of Act III in Tristan und Isolde: “Desolate and empty the sea!”

Lake Michigan isn’t the sea, but it’s so large that from most places along the shore you can’t see the other side. That was true in the photograph you saw that looked east from Zion, Illinois, on a stormy evening. It would also be true in this June 17th view looking northwest from Indiana Dunes State Park, except that the faintly visible Chicago skyline stands proxy for the western shore of Lake Michigan.

The skyline in this photo, though small, still looks larger and closer than it did in reality, thanks to the telephoto lens I used.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2016 at 4:35 AM

Minimalist Monday

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Mustang Grape Vine Looped 3946

Here to start off the week is a strangely and geometrically looped mustang grape vine (Vitis mustangensis) that I came across adjacent to the Mexican devilweed at Muir Lake in the town of Cedar Park on February 4th.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2016 at 5:03 AM

Belated color

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Colorful Oak Leaf Against Blue Sky 0773

I didn’t show you a lot of fall foliage in 2015, so here, belatedly, is an oak leaf I photographed along Rain Creek Parkway on December 6th last year.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 27, 2016 at 5:04 AM

After and before*

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Mexican Hat Seed Head Remains 1492

Click to enlarge.

The previous post showed a couple of Mexican hat flower heads, Ratibida columnifera, that I noticed on January 2nd had sprung up in the median of Morado Circle. Although most of the flowers on the plants were fresh, I found a small number that had been there long enough (perhaps a lot longer) to go to seed and begin to decay, as you see above. I also saw some specimens that were still on their way to flowering, like the one on the sinuous and aesthetically pleasing stalk shown below.

Mexican Hat Head Developing 1446

Click to enlarge.


* Our strong conception of time progressing from past to future almost always leads us to say before and after, so I thought I should give equal time—well, hardly equal—to after and before. I could also have written the post with all its words in reverse order, but that would have been a contretemps.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 17, 2016 at 5:05 AM

Same place and time, a very different view

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Rain-Lily Bud by Neptunia 5702

In contrast to the previous post’s September 15th panorama of rain-lilies, Cooperia drummondii, here I got in close for a minimalist treatment of a budding rain-lily in that same colony. The hazy “sun” behind the rain-lily was a conveniently out-of-focus flower globe of Neptunia pubescens, known as tropical neptunia or tropical puff. The pink in the upper background may have come from some of the aging flowers in the colony (whose colors you can reacquaint yourselves with), or perhaps from a silverleaf nightshade flower. Whatever caused that color, I like having it in the picture; don’t you?

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 20, 2015 at 5:33 AM

New Zealand: Toetoe

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Toetoe Grass Seed Head 6239

A tall and graceful native grass seen across New Zealand is toetoe, which as far as I can make out is properly pronounced in Māori like the English words toe-eh-toe-eh, but which has been Anglicized to toy-toy (and is sometimes therefore seen spelled toitoi). The relevant Wikipedia article says that there are five species, all of which botanists moved in 2011 from the genus Cortaderia (which includes Pampas grass) to the genus Austroderia.

I photographed this toetoe by a pond at Zealandia in Wellington on the overcast and sometimes drizzly morning of February 21st.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 8, 2015 at 5:20 AM

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