Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘native plants

Not many people at Niagara Falls

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Okay, so this post’s title is misleading; in fact hordes of tourists were at Niagara Falls when we visited on July 25th. Nevertheless, not many people at Niagara Falls photograph the plants there, but you could count on me to get a few botanical pictures. The first one shows swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium). In the second photo you’re seeing fruit clusters on a staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina).

Thanks to horticulturalists at the New York State Parks Department for identifying the species of the milkweed and the sumac. I didn’t ask them to try to figure out the identity of the tree whose remains you see standing below; perhaps it was another sumac.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 12, 2019 at 4:36 AM

Flowers and stems

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What you see in the informational picture above from August 29th on the shore of Brushy Creek Lake in Cedar Park may be an annual aster known locally as hierba del marrano, Symphyotrichum subulatum. Then I wasn’t sure and wondered if the plant might be Mexican devilweed, Chloracantha spinosa. After vacillating, I’m leaning toward my first assumption again.

Whatever the plant is, I experimented with abstract compositions in which one of the small flower heads stood out against the vague network of lines that the long and slender stems created in the background.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 25, 2019 at 4:41 AM

Dynamic snow-on-the-prairie

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Here’s a dynamic look at snow-on-the-prairie, Euphorbia bicolor,
at Parmer Lane and Wildhorse Ranch in Manor on August 24th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 6, 2019 at 4:48 AM

What’s reality, anyhow?

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The last post gave you a vintage red-white-and-blue look at a flowering Ipomopsis rubra, called Texas plume and standing cypress. This year I encountered the species for the first time on April 27th, before flowers or even buds had appeared. On the other hand, the firewheels (Gaillardia pulchella) beyond the standing cypress were blazing away, and I knew they’d complement the standing cypress in color and shape. Any red would come from the firewheels, with none from the standing cypress. I went for the feel of what I was seeing rather than trying to keep as much as possible in focus and recording reality—whatever that is. Here are three of the portraits I made that were new takes for me on Ipomopsis rubra.

 

 

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 6, 2019 at 4:40 AM

The twining and the twined upon

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From June 24th in Great Hills Park here’s the tendril of a Texas bindweed, Convolvulus equitans, that had twined its way around a developing Mexican hat, Ratibida columnifera. (Unfortunately jpegging and WordPressing have made the background somewhat splotchy.)

And here’s what a nearby Texas bindweed flower looked like.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 2, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Woolly ironweed

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I’ve had trouble over the years getting good pictures of woolly ironweed, Vernonia lindheimeri, because it’s hard to get many of its parts in focus at the same time. On June 18th I found some woolly ironweed budding along the Capital of Texas Highway and recorded this straight-down, limited-focus, double-asterisk view that seems okay. To see what the flowers of this species look like, you can check out a post from 2015.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 1, 2019 at 4:47 PM

Whorled milkweed

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How convenient for a photographer: growing right at the edge of the path we walked on in Bastrop State Park on June 6th were some flowers whose structure yelled out “Milkweed!” Not recognizing the species, I later looked in Michael Eason’s Wildflowers of Texas, which led me to conclude the plant was whorled milkweed, Asclepias verticillata. Below is a closeup showing a developing seed pod, beyond which you can again make out the characteristic color of the iron-rich earth in Bastrop.

While preparing this post I realized that five years ago I showed a picture of a milkweed in New Mexico with a slightly different scientific name, Asclepias subverticillata.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 18, 2019 at 4:49 PM

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