Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘prairie

It’s been a good spring for the Engelmann daisy

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Click for better clarity.

That’s right, it’s been a good spring for the Engelmann daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, the wildflower you got a good look at yesterday. Above you see a flourishing colony of Engelmann daisies along Gattis School Rd. in Round Rock on April 16th. The white flowers are old plainsman, Hymenopappus artemisiifolius. In the back left you can make out some bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, and greenthreads, Thelesperma filifolium. Below is a little closer view of a part of the Engelmann daisy colony.

Did you know that Engelmann in German means Angel Man?

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 8, 2018 at 4:47 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

Densely wildflowerful

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I’ve linked a larger-than-usual version of this picture. Click to expand it and see more details.

You’ve heard that some of the places in central Texas that usually produce lots of springtime flowers have fallen short this year. Still, every spring offers at least a few good displays. Take this piece of prairie in Round Rock along Gattis School Rd. across from Rolling Ridge Dr. as I happily experienced it on April 16th. The bright yellow flowers are square-bud primroses, Calylophus berlandieri. The few yellow-orange flower heads with brown centers are greenthread, Thelesperma filifolium. The predominantly red flower heads are Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels and Indian blankets. The violet-colored flowers are prairie verbenas, Glandularia bipinnatifida.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 22, 2018 at 4:48 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

Penstemon on the prairie

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It’s been four years since the first and only showing here of Penstemon cobaea, called wild foxglove, prairie penstemon, showy beard-tongue, large-flowered beard-tongue, dewflower, wild belladonna, and fairy thimbles. On April 8th I photographed some of these flowers on two properties close to the intersection of Greenhill Dr. and Old Settlers Blvd. on the Blackland Prairie in Round Rock. I couldn’t decide whether to show you the flowers in isolation against the clear sky or with a piece of the prairie behind them, so you’re getting both. You know what the flowers in the background below are.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 14, 2018 at 4:45 AM

Above and beyond the call

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Above and beyond the call of yellow put forth in the lower foreground by camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris), you’ll find leanings and standings of Maximilian sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani). Reaching in from the bottom left are some branches of paloverde (Parkinsonia aculeata).

This fall prairie display graced an undeveloped property along Joe Barbee Dr. in far north Austin on October 12th. I occasionally saw other Maximilian sunflowers around Austin through November. Just two days ago I found a few in the northern suburb of Cedar Park; while the bit of snow we’d had left their ray flowers bedraggled, the plants still stood erect.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 11, 2017 at 5:28 PM

A colorful autumn scene on the Blackland Prairie

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West side of Grand Avenue Parkway north of Royston Ln. on October 12.

Fluffy white: poverty weed, Baccharis neglecta.

Nearer yellow: goldenrod, Solidago spp.

Farther yellow: Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 17, 2017 at 4:53 AM

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