Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘orange

Prairie flameleaf sumac flamed out with respect to fall foliage this year.

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2018 wasn’t a good year for colorful fall foliage from prairie flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata), of which I’ve shown you many good examples in other years (for example in 2012 and in 2015). However, I did find a few small instances of bright leaves from that species this year. The one that you see in the first photograph came my way on November 26th as I drove down (literally) Ladera Norte and quickly pulled over to record the bright color I’d glimpsed in the leaflets of a sapling. Even at so young an age it knew how to turn colors.

I’d found the other example of flaming flameleaf sumac much earlier, before you’d normally expect it, along a path on the southwestern edge of my Great Hills neighborhood. The date was October 4th, and a small portion of a full-grown tree had unexplainedly turned colors while all the other leaves were still green. Scrunching myself in behind the bright leaflets, I aimed outward to take advantage of the backlighting sun, grateful for how early these warm colors had begun.

Sometimes the minimalism of a single leaflet is the way to go, and so I went:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 27, 2018 at 4:56 AM

Nevada’s Valley of Fire

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Two years ago today we visited the wonderful Vally of Fire State Park about an hour northeast of Las Vegas. The place may be best known for its “beehive” formations.

On a smaller scale, I saw prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) and desert holly (Atriplex hymenelytra).

Following my pattern at Zion, I kept photographing as long as the light lasted. Though the day remained heavily overcast and we got some real rain for a while, late in the afternoon the sun briefly emerged beneath the lowest clouds and its light drenched the formations in warm colors—the fire in the Valley of Fire. You can see that I photographed the rocky Art Nouveau castle below when the shadows had already started climbing its base. A minute or two more and the magical illumination was gone.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 24, 2018 at 4:45 AM

Orange is the color of Alibates

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A year ago today we spent some time at the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument in the Texas Panhandle. You could say orange is a predominant color of the place. Yucca glauca, known as soapweed yucca, plains yucca, and narrowleaf yucca, is the predominant yucca in the area.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 27, 2018 at 4:41 AM

Blister beetle on Penstemon cobaea

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On April 8th in Round Rock I came across this blister beetle in the genus Pyrota, apparently P. lineata or P. bilineata. The flower is the kind of foxglove, Penstemon cobaea, that you saw from farther back in a post here last month. Thanks to bugguide.net for identifying the genus of the beetle.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 15, 2018 at 5:05 AM

More about the Paint Pots

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Last month you had an introduction to the Paint Pots in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park. Now here’s a little more from our September 8th visit. The first photograph shows the ochre-saturated mound we encountered as we approached the end of the main trail. What a contrast between the dark green of the trees and the saturated orange earth, don’t you think?

The second picture lets you walk up over the rise and have a look at a portion of the picturesque “paint pot,” i.e. pond, beyond. Notice in this closer view how the ochre had stained the bases of the sedges at the pond’s margin and made rings around the leaning dead trees at the waterline. And what’s not to like about the ghostly reflections of those dead trees?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 19, 2017 at 4:58 AM

Relentless, relenting

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All that gorgeously relentless yellow you saw last time in a field of Maximilian sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani) in far north Austin on October 12th has led me to relent and give you this much closer view of a monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) that I photographed there that day.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 11, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Ochre

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(Here’s a pumpkin-colored post for Halloween.)

Wikipedia says of ochre (or ocher) that it “is a natural clay earth pigment which is a mixture of ferric oxide and varying amounts of clay and sand. It ranges in colour from yellow to deep orange or brown. It is also the name of the colours produced by this pigment, especially a light brownish-yellow. A variant of ochre containing a large amount of hematite, or dehydrated iron oxide, has a reddish tint known as “red ochre” (or, in some dialects, ruddle).”

On September 8th in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park we got our biggest dose ever of ochre when we visited the area known as the Paint Pots. We followed in the steps of native peoples and Anglo settlers, as you can read on the national park’s website. While world travelers may see merely mediocre ochre occur occasionally elsewhere, I rate this deposit more than just an okay ochre.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 31, 2017 at 4:42 AM

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