Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘panorama

Rocky Mountain iris colony

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On June 9th, after we’d driven clockwise more than half-way around the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway north of Taos, New Mexico, I came across this happily flowering colony of Rocky Mountain irises. Given the wildflower’s popular name, which I learned on the trip, I was later surprised to find out the scientific name is Iris missouriensis. As far as I know, the Rocky Mountains don’t make it into that state; sorry, Missouri.

Today’s picture confirms what the website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says of this species: “it often forms dense, large patches in low spots in pastures, where the tough leaves are avoided by cattle.”

After the reactions to the rattlesnake in the previous post, I’ll bet many of you are relieved to see wildflowers again.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 15, 2017 at 4:49 AM

Did I tell you that basket-flowers can form large colonies?

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The title is a rhetorical question. I know I didn’t tell you. But they can.

Note the various stages of the basket-flowers, Centaurea americana, in this colony: some still opening, some at their peak, some already fading and turning brown. The smaller pink daubs in the background are Texas thistles, which had a colony of their own abutting the colony of basket-flowers.

Date: May 18.  Location: southeastern Round Rock, less than a quarter of a mile east of where I took the last two pictures. Because this colony was new to me and was larger than the other one had been even in its heyday, I considered it a great find. Both are adjacent to what is now a frontage road of the TX 45 tollway, so eventually the properties will be built on, but I’ll keep photographing these sites in their undeveloped state for as long as they last.

For those of you who are interested in photography as a craft, points 6 and 15 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 1, 2012 at 5:33 AM

Now add some live oaks to the floral mix

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Here’s the fourth of four pictures that I’ve interpolated to show you that dense displays of wildflowers are still a common sight well into May in central Texas. The flowers shown here are black-eyed (or brown-eyed) susans, Rudbeckia hirta; firewheels or Indian blankets, Gaillardia pulchella; horsemints, Monarda citriodora; Texas thistles, Cirsium texanum. There’s a prickly pear cactus at the lower right, and the trees in the background are live oaks, Quercus fusiformis.

It’s hard to appreciate everything that’s going on in this blog-sized picture, but if you click the panel below you’ll get a larger view of the wildflowers by themselves.

Date: May 22.  Location: Cedar Park, a northern suburb of Austin. In particular, you’re seeing a portion of Lakeline Mall—yes, a shopping mall! This group of flowers and others like them border the far side of a road that separates the undeveloped from the developed portions of the mall property. I’ll bet most of you won’t see a sight like this at a shopping center in your area.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Same species, similar density, richer color

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So yes, I’ll say it again, we’re still having dense displays of mixed wildflowers in central Texas. While the last post showed the paler shades that horsemints, Monarda citriodora, can take on, this picture shows how rich the purple can be. It’s just a matter of normal variation, like complexion in people.

The date was May 21, and as I drove along back roads through ranching and farming country in Burnet County, about 45 minutes north of Austin, I saw dozens of large fields like this one, with dense colonies of horsemints stretching into the distance. Quite a sight. The interspersed red-and-yellow flowers are Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels and Indian blankets; as flowers or maturing seed heads, they also still blanket large areas in central Texas.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 24, 2012 at 5:31 AM

A different set of colors

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As I was saying, we’re still having dense displays of mixed wildflowers in central Texas. If the last post favored yellow, here’s one where the color of the horsemints, Monarda citriodora, predominates. Some Mexican hats, Ratibida columnifera, and firewheels, Gaillardia pulchella, are mixed in.

Date: May 16.  Place: a thankfully still undeveloped piece of prairie on the east side of Interstate 35 adjacent to a funeral home in far north Austin.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 23, 2012 at 1:15 PM

We interrupt our regularly scheduled milkweed post…

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Click for considerably greater size, better color, and more clarity.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled milkweed post to remind you that many meadows and fields in central Texas are still home to dense stands of mixed wildflowers. Here you see primarily two species that have already appeared in individual views in these pages, Mexican hats (Ratibida columnifera) and coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria). Note that the rays of the Mexican hats vary from virtually all yellow to almost completely brown. The traces of pink mixed in with the yellow and brown are horsemints, Monarda citriodora. This has been a good year for all three of those wildflowers.

Date: May 11.  Place: Brushy Creek Lake Park in Cedar Park, an adjacent suburb to the north of Austin.

The antelope-horns milkweed series will resume presently (in its original sense of ‘soon’).

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 23, 2012 at 5:28 AM

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