Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

A red theme

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Wanderers through countryside with lots of prickly pears (Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri) know that the cactus often attracts certain bugs. This is one of those, Narnia femorata, on a tuna, or fruit of the prickly pear cactus, in the Zilker Nature Preserve seven years ago today. The bug is a nymph in one of its early instars, which are the developmental stages that the larva of an insect passes through. Click below if you’d like a closer look at the bug as it appeared in a different frame.

Although Texas in the summer of 2011 was suffering one of its worst droughts in decades, when I recently looked back at my archive for August 12th of that year I saw that I went photographing in four locations that day and ended up with hundreds of pictures, like this one along Scenic Drive of ripe snailseed fruit (Cocculus carolinus):

I also found from looking at my archive that I went out taking pictures on 19 of the 31 days in that torrid August of 2011. You could say that I lived up to the motto of the USPS (United States Photographic Service): “Neither heat nor drought nor sun nor sweat stays these intrepid image gatherers from the due documentation of their appointed rounds.”

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 12, 2018 at 4:49 AM

Two insights

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1) “Third-graders who spend a class session in a natural outdoor setting are more engaged and less distracted in their regular classroom afterward than when they remain indoors, scientists found in a new study.” You’re welcome to read more about the study.

2) For those of you in the Austin area, you’d do well to check out the Blanton Museum’s exhibit called “Ancestral Modern,” which features Aboriginal Australian paintings. The show will remain up through September 9th. As a sample, here’s a painting by Rosie Nangala Fleming called “Three Dreamings: Fire, Mulga Seed, and Emu,” from 1993.

Click to enlarge.

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Posted in nature photography

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No flowers, buds, plants, grasses, trees, seeds, or bugs

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Bubbles at Base of Small Waterfall in Creek 7986

Doesn’t this flowing water at the base of a small waterfall in Great Hills Park on July 18, 2014, look like ice?

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2018 at 4:43 AM

A drooping rain-lily

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Because Austin had gotten some recent rain and I’d seen a few stray rain-lilies around town, on the morning of July 11th I went to an undeveloped lot on Balcones Woods Dr. where I’ve come to rely on finding rain-lilies and copper-lilies. While I found not a single one of the latter, I did find a scattering of the former.

In particular, I noticed one rain-lily (Cooperia pedunculata) that was bent over and configured in a way I don’t recall ever seeing before. That was good news, because after two decades of photographing rain-lilies I’m always wondering if I can find a new way to portray them.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 17, 2018 at 4:53 AM

More than rocks at Hopewell Rocks

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As impressive as the rock formations are at New Brunswick’s Hopewell Rocks, on the trail down from the parking lot to the shore I had to stop and photograph some trees with peeling bark, presumably birches.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 15, 2018 at 4:38 AM

More from Garden in the Woods

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Wild bleeding heart, Dicentra eximia

Buds of black cohosh, Actaea racemosa

A species of Phlox

To see the bright white flowers of black cohosh, you can revisit a post from 2016.

Thanks to horiculturist Anna Fialkoff for identifying many of the plants I photographed at Garden in the Woods on June 12th.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 14, 2018 at 4:35 AM

A Rembrandtian composite

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This post’s title notwithstanding, today’s photograph is not a composite of several images. No, “composite” is a traditional botanical name for any member of the sunflower family. Of which composite these are the remains remains unclear. Horticulturist Anna Fialvoff said that she thought it might be running groundsel, Packera obovata [which amazingly also grows in Austin], but that she would expect more fluff on the spent seed head.

I made this portrait, which strikes me as Rembrandtian in its tonality, at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, on June 12.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 11, 2018 at 6:29 PM

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