Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

An appropriate view from my computer room window

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Behold a red and green yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) casting shadows onto the otherwise sunny trunk of an Ashe juniper tree (Juniperus ashei) on the morning of December 4th. You may remember from the beginning of this year a close-up of a squirrel biting off one of these little fruits from the same yaupon tree.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 25, 2018 at 4:43 AM

Posted in nature photography

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What hedge apple, horse apple, monkey ball, Osage orange, and mock orange refer to

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The previous post highlighted (and backlighted) the yellow leaves on a tree that botanists call Maclura pomifera. The vernacular names hedge apple, horse apple, monkey ball, Osage orange, and mock orange all refer to the tree’s large and rugged fruits. Today’s photograph shows some that still clung to branches at the Arbor Walk Pond on December 3rd. In case you’re wondering, these fruits aren’t edible, at least not to people. Pit in Fredericksburg reports having seen deer eating them and a squirrel struggling to haul one up a tree; you can read descriptions in his second set of comments on the last post.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 16, 2018 at 4:37 AM

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

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Two years ago today we spent a couple of morning hours at Red Rock Canyon
National Conservation Area on the west side of Las Vegas.

You’re seeing a few pictures from there.
You’re not seeing the busloads of tourists that also swarmed there.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2018 at 4:50 AM

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

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Two years ago today we stopped at Arizona’s Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, which we’d never heard of it till we were in the area.

The oozing, highly textured trunk of an aspen tree (Populus tremuloides) caught my attention there.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Showy palafoxia

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Do you remember the small palafoxia you saw here two weeks ago? On September 27th at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center I photographed some showy palafoxia, Palafoxia hookeriana. The first picture is an isolated portrait of a flower head as it was opening.

The second photograph, a side view of a somewhat later stage in the opening, reveals the glandular hairs that characterize this species. I can confirm that the plant feels gooey.

Below is a flower head that has fully opened. Because I aimed horizontally when I took the picture, you see parts of some adjacent showy palafoxia plants.

This palafoxia species isn’t quite native in Austin, but years ago I photographed a few growing wild in Bastrop, one county to the east.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 7, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Lindheimer’s senna

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Walking along the North Walnut Creek Trail on September 19th I glimpsed some bright yellow flowers at a distance through the woods. Could they be my first Maximilian sunflowers for this year? No: when I hiked over to investigate I found the flowers were Lindheimer’s senna, Senna lindheimeriana, a member of the pea family.

Even close to the ground some of the senna plants were flowering.

Several senna leaflets still had morning dewdrops on them.

So did a few of the flowers.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 29, 2018 at 4:51 AM

Clematis drummondii: a familiar take and a new one

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On August 17th I stopped along S. 10th St. in Pflugerville to photograph an embankment covered with Clematis drummondii that had gone into the fluffy phase that earned this vine the colloquial name “old man’s beard.” After walking almost back to my car I spotted one clump of strands drooping in a way I’d rarely seen. Naturally I got close to photograph it, and then I noticed the dead ant that’s near the bottom of the picture, along with a few other tiny dead insects inside the clump. My first thought was of a spider but I saw no evidence of one. Those insect deaths remain a mystery.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 27, 2018 at 4:57 AM

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