Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘pink

Mountain laurel

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Over here we’ve got Texas mountain laurel. At the Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, on June 12th I finally got to see the mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia, I’d heard about for years. Names to the contrary, neither of the mountain laurels is in the laurel family: the Texas one is a legume, while Kalmia belongs to the Ericaceae, or heather family.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 22, 2018 at 4:47 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

Red + white – blue

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For the Fourth of July four years ago and two years ago I showed photographs with red, white, and blue in them. This year the blue blew away, so to speak, and the red and white combined to make the color of mountain pinks, Zeltnera beyrichii (until recently Centaurium beyrichii). Notice how some of the pink was fading toward white as the flowers aged.

In contrast, one nearby mountain pink plant had flowers that were white from the outset:

I took these pictures on June 23rd along Loop 360, also known as the Capital of Texas Highway, on the hilly west side of Austin where mountain pinks find themselves at home.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 4, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Seven years

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Scientists tell us that over a period of seven years every cell in our body gets replaced. Not so with the “cells,” i.e. posts, in Portraits of Wildflowers, all of which are still here for your delectation. While a few of you have seen the post that started everything off on June 4, 2011, many of you have not, so here’s a copy of that first entry, which I entitled “Another Beginning.”

A basket-flower, Centaurea americana

In my “About This Column” page I noted that everything we create must have a beginning. The photograph shown here marked the beginning of what I think of as a new approach to nature photography for me. The date was May 3, 2000, and the place was Round Rock, a rapidly growing city north of Austin. I was in a field on one side of a cul-de-sac, a bit of prairie that members of the Native Plant Society of Texas had taught me was a good place to see lots of native species. That day I’d gone there alone so I could take my time photographing (other people understandably get impatient if I spend fifteen minutes or half an hour in the same spot, as I often do when I take pictures).

I was pleased to find a colony of basket-flowers, Centaurea americana, growing in the field, but they weren’t far from the road that had brought me there (which has since been expanded to a superhighway). In order to keep the road and the apartments across the way from ruining my picture, I leaned down so that my eyes would be closer to the level of the flowers. Not good enough: I could still see distracting things in the background. I ended up lying flat on the ground—a skin-threatening thing to do in Texas—and looking up at a single basket-flower so I could isolate it against the sky. The result was the picture you see here, which has become my best-known photograph. A view from this angle makes it clear why Anglo settlers called this a basket-flower.

(Here is information about Centaurea americana, including a map showing where the species grows.)

© 2011, 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 4, 2018 at 4:40 AM

More pink (and white) evening primroses

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A recent post showed you two less-than-pristine pink evening primrose flowers, Oenothera speciosa, and then compensated with one fresh specimen. Now here are two flourishing groups from April 10th along TX 20 east of Red Rock in Bastrop County. The colony above was mixed with some Indian paintbrushes, Castilleja indivisa. In the group below, the majority of the pink evening primrose flowers were natural white variants.

Two days earlier, at the site in Round Rock documented in the other post, I’d already found a few isolated white pink evening primroses, including the one below that I photographed with the sun beyond it to create shadows of the flower’s interior parts.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 30, 2018 at 4:36 AM

Texas dandelions en masse

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Behold a colony of Texas dandelions, Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus, flowering near a pond on the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin on April 16th. This wildflower has occasionally been called a false dandelion because it’s the true one here.

There were parts of the site where pink evening primroses, Oenothera speciosa, outnumbered the Texas dandelions.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 26, 2018 at 4:52 AM

Not everything is pristine. In fact, very little is.

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As an example of the thought in the title, take these two pink evening primrose flowers, Oenothera speciosa, that I photographed near Yaupon Dr. in my extended neighborhood on April 1st. If that’s too bedraggled for your taste, I’ll relent and balance it with a picture of a pink evening primrose flower that remained mostly pristine even in the stiff breeze on the Blackland Prairie in Round Rock seven days later. So windy was it that I set the camera’s shutter at 1/800 of a second in hopes of stopping the flower’s movements. You’ll recognize that the background color comes from the colony of bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, that the pink evening primrose had managed to find a roothold in.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 21, 2018 at 4:44 AM

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