Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘pink

Ant on pavonia mallow

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We have several pavonia mallow plants (Pavonia lasiopetala) in our yard, but I’ve never managed to get as good a portrait of one from behind as when I went walking through the Taylor Draper entrance to Great Hills Park on October 10th. The backlighting brought out patterns not apparent in a conventional view, as you can confirm by comparing a picture from 2012.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 17, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Playoffs

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Even if you’ve been coming to this website for only a while you’ve probably noticed that I’m fond of playing off a subject of one color against a background of another. (In fact it’s #5 in About My Techniques.) With that in mind, here from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on September 26th are two takes on a combination of wildflowers you’ve seen separately in the last two posts: showy palafoxia, Palafoxia hookeriana, and prairie goldenrod, Solidago nemoralis.

And in a different sort of playoff that’s minus the goldenrod, below you’ll find a pair of showy palafoxia seed heads in front of some fresh flower heads. The spider’s white lair is a bonus.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 10, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Pink and yellow thrills a fellow; pink and blue is pretty too.

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Palafoxia callosa goes by the common name small palafoxia because at half an inch in diameter its flower heads are indeed smaller than those of other species in the genus. The background in the first photograph owes its yellow to cowpen daisies, a few of which you’ve already seen from the same September 2nd session along Lost Horizon Dr. in my Great Hills neighborhood.

Back on August 24th along the right-of-way beneath the power lines west of Morado Circle I portrayed a small palafoxia from the side so that the blue sky could be the background, as you see in the picture below. The heads in this non-composite composite species consist entirely of disk flowers; there are no ray flowers.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2018 at 5:44 PM

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

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

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