Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘native plants

Less than a full puff of silverpuff

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Above is a chiaroscuro portrait showing less than a full puff of silverpuff (Chaptalia texana) in the heavy shade beneath some Ashe juniper trees (Juniperus ashei) on Floral Park Dr. in my neighborhood on March 30. It’s been a good while since this species has appeared here, so below from the same photo session I’ve added a reminder that silverpuff’s flower heads are cylindrical, tend to nod, and stay mostly closed.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 7, 2019 at 4:45 AM

Texas being Texas

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In the spring Texas does wildflowers.

Prompted by reports of good sightings a little over a hundred miles from home in Cestohowa, we headed south on March 18. We began finding good things just past Seguin and even better ones after we detoured a little from our route to check out New Berlin. In fact the wildflowers were so bountiful on some of the properties in that area that we never got any farther. Sorry, Cestohowa.

We’d first stumbled on the flowerful cemetery at Christ Lutheran Church of Elm Creek in 2014, and this year proved its equal. Here’s an overview:

To my mind, every cemetery should be covered in wildflowers.

The tombstones are interesting, with the oldest ones dating from the 1800s and inscribed in German (remember, the town is New Berlin). Still, as this blog is devoted to nature, here are a couple of photographs that focus on the profuse wildflowers in their own right. The colonies were so intertwined that I was able to frame the flowers in lots of ways. The bright yellow ones are Nueces coreopsis (Coreopsis nuecensis).

The red flowers are Indian paintbrushes (Castilleja indivisa) and the others are bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), the state’s official wildflower. You saw a closeup of one way back in early February.)

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 21, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Green

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‘Tis not shamrocks but wood-sorrel (Oxalis spp.) greening the ground in our back yard on February 25th.

And if it’s more three-part green leaves ye be craving, here’s another view of southern dewberry
(Rubus trivialis),
this time from February 27th in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2019 at 4:46 AM

Tooting your own horn

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A few days ago an e-mail went out announcing the results of the 2018 NPSoT photo contest. Below I’ve copied the parts of that message pertaining to me (toot toot). Some of the pictures (or variants) have appeared in my posts but others have not. You can click an image to enlarge it quite a bit.

 

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Photo contest winners from 2018

By Bill Hopkins
Photo contest winners from all 12 Level III Ecoregions in Texas. Winners were chosen by popular vote and first announced at the 2018 Fall Symposium in San Antonio.

 

Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion
Steven Schwartzman, Fallugia paradoxa, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Central Texas Great Plains Ecoregion
Steven Schwartzman, Castilleja purpurea var. purpurea, US 84 near Coleman

Cross Timbers Ecoregion
Steven Schwartzman, North of Lampasas, Erythronium albidum

High Plains Ecoregion
Steven Schwartzman, Penstemon buckleyi, Monahans Sandhills State Park

Coast Prairies and Marshes Ecoregion
Steven Schwartzman, Gaillardia pulchella, Coreopsis spp., Galveston

East Central Plains Ecoregion
Steven Schwartzman, Argemone albiflora, Bastrop State Park

Southwestern Tablelands Ecoregion
Steven Schwartzman, Astragalus racemosus, Caprock Canyons State Park

Western Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion
Steven Schwartzman, Osmunda cinnamomea, Big Thicket

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 10, 2019 at 4:16 AM

Lake Pflugerville

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This morning we walked part of the path around Lake Pflugerville on the Blackland Prairie.
One thing that caught my attention was the reflection of a bare tree.

Another thing was a shaft of light in the clouds.

At the edge of the lake near the main parking lot I noticed seed head remains of bushy bluestem
(Andropogon glomeratus) and cockleburs (Xanthium strumarium) among the cattails (Typha latifolia).

I took these photographs with my iPhone.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Subtleties of fall

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Here are two subtle views of fall from the Riata Trace Pond on the overcast afternoon of November 21st.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 17, 2018 at 4:48 PM

Return to Meadow Lake Park

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On November 15th I returned to Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock to see what the morning light could do for the large stands of bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus) that had caught my eye there but that I hadn’t photographed during my afternoon visit 11 days earlier. This is the showiest of the native grasses I regularly see in central Texas as the end of each year approaches. And speaking of native, that’s what this grass is on damp or wet ground in parts of many American states, as you can confirm on the USDA map (use the slider there to zoom in to the county level).

In the first photograph the light came mostly from in front of the camera,
and in the second photograph mostly from behind the camera.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 29, 2018 at 4:29 PM

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