Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘rain

Rain, rain lilies, rain

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Rain lilies (Zephyranthes drummondii) took their common name from the fact that they come up a few days after a decent rain. We got that rain on April 25th, and by the 28th I noticed plenty of buds in the area where I photographed lace cactus flowers that day. I returned on the 29th and found almost all the buds had become flowers. I went back again on the 30th to follow their progress. A little light rain had me going back and forth to my car for shelter twice, but then I got to photograph rain-covered rain lilies. The picture above shows a still-fresh flower; the rain lily below was already beginning its decline.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 2, 2022 at 4:21 AM

No poverty of approaches

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As October advanced I noticed more and more poverty weed bushes (Baccharis neglecta) putting out their many little white flowers. The typical visual effect is shown above in a view from alongside Bull Creek on October 14th. Notice the characteristic herringbone pattern of the branches at the right. Overnight rain had left the bushes wet, and I took advantage of that to do closeups of sodden poverty weed flowers.

As different as the last two photographs look, I took both of them at f/22 using flash. In the bottom view I aimed upward toward the cloudy-bright sky; in the middle photograph I aimed sideways.

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“For the contemporary reader, much of English literature can induce a kind of moral peanut allergy.” That’s one zinger from Michael Lewis’s article in the November 2021 issue of Commentary, “Wokeness and the English Language,” which I recommend.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 29, 2021 at 4:37 AM

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Rainy view across to Panglao Island

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On December 21st, 2019, from a window seat at the Lantaw Native Restaurant in Tagbilaran on the Philippine island of Bohol we looked across the water to Panglao Island. Rain softened the view.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 14, 2020 at 4:48 PM

A rain-soaked rain-lily

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Rain-Soaked Rain-Lily 1545

The raindrops on this rain-lily (Cooperia pedunculata) on April 18 hadn’t caused the flower to appear. No, that was the work of rain the previous week, and yet there’s a happy symbolism in rain on a rain-lily. Or maybe not so happy: the downward-looking view below shows how a pelting rain had bedraggled an already fully open rain-lily and turned parts of some sepals transparent.

Rain-Soaked Rain-Lily 1518

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 18, 2016 at 5:11 AM

A better look at yellow stonecrop

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Yellow Stonecrop Flowering with Funnel Web 1046

The last photograph gave you an overview of a Texas Hill Country wildflower meadow that featured a colony of yellow stonecrop, Sedum nuttallianum. On May 13th I went back to the undeveloped area along Yaupon Dr. and managed to put in just a few minutes of picture taking before a drizzle began that soon forced me to stop. It was just as well that I quit when I was still near my car, because a little later the drizzle turned into real rain.

Some things to observe in this downward-looking photograph:

The yellow stonecrop had noticeably advanced in its flowering compared to the view from a week earlier. If you’re wondering about size, an individual flower is about a quarter of an inch (6 mm) across.

Where the dark ground is visible through the stonecrop, you can more easily make out the tiny drizzle drops in the broad funnel web that covers two-thirds of the low plants shown here.

Peer carefully into the web’s dark funnel and you can make out the spider lurking in there. If you want a better look at a funnel web spider, you’re welcome to check out one from 2012 and an even closer one from last October.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 20, 2015 at 5:26 AM

Figurative lemonade

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Square-Bud Primrose Flowers with Raindrops 8750

You’ve heard it a zillion times: if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. After my return to Austin on February 27th, the skies remained dreary for days and there was often fog and drizzle. Finally on March 4th I made a run for it; profiting from a lessening of the drizzle, I drove to Great Northern Blvd. and photographed my first springtime Texas wildflowers for 2015, including this square-bud primrose, Calylophus berlandieri. The species is also known as sundrops because of the flowers’ bright yellow color, which is akin to that of lemons, even if in this photograph you see drops of rain rather than of lemonade.

UPDATE: the latest botanical classification for the square-bud primrose is Oenothera capillifolia subsp. capillifolia.

NZ – 2.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2015 at 5:42 AM

Possumhaw on the last day of 2012

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Click for greater clarity.

Click for better clarity and color and considerably greater size.

On the drizzly last day of 2012 we went to return a couple of DVDs to the Spicewood branch of the Austin Public Library. On the other side of Spicewood Springs Rd. from the library’s parking lot I saw some red that from a distance I thought might be the changing foliage of a flameleaf sumac, but Eve said she thought it was possumhaw “berries.” When I crossed the street to investigate I found out that she was right and that the red did come from the many small fruits of some possumhaws, Ilex decidua, that were just on the verge of shedding their leaves, as the species name says these smallish trees are wont to do. After driving the several miles home, I picked up my photo gear, came back, and took pictures until the continuing drizzle eventually led me to call it a day.

I’ve often enough photographed possumhaw fruits against a clear blue sky, and I’m certainly fond of that color contrast, but in today’s picture I like the way the bright red fruits and green leaves play off the muted tones of the tree trunks and the misty background.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 6, 2013 at 6:23 AM

Another gift from Costco

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Do you remember three-seeded mercury, Acalypha phleoides? If not, you may want to take a moment and look back at the colorful picture of it from last November. It’s yet another species that never entirely stopped flowering through our warm winter.

On the morning of February 15th I stopped to get gas at my neighborhood Costco, the place that has already brought you pictures of a rain-lily and silverpuff. Because of that history of small native species on the raised earth islands in the store’s large parking lot, I looked around a bit after filling my tank and noticed a little clump of three-seeded mercury that not only was flowering but also had many small drops of water on it from the overnight rain we’d had. The sky was still overcast, and with the trees on the island blocking a portion of even that low light, I knew that this would be a job for a dedicated flash.

I drove home, got my camera and ring light, and returned to the spot. Above is one of the pictures from the resulting session. The span of female flowers that you see here represents a real height of about an inch.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2012 at 5:48 AM

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