Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘red

Paintbrush in northern New Mexico

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Driving south from Colorado a year ago today, we couldn’t help noticing the rich red of some paintbrushes flowering healthily on the dry ground of northern New Mexico. I can’t tell what species of Castilleja this one was because several grow in the area.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 9, 2018 at 4:38 AM

Engelmann daisies

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I know the Engelmann daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, only from central Texas, yet the USDA map shows a distribution up through the Great Plains into South Dakota. Botanists refer to the genus Engelmannia as monotypic, meaning that it contains just one species. Call that species an only child and no one will fault you for the analogy.

The picture above shows the bud of an Engelmann daisy opening in front of an Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa. The photograph below lets you see what the open and opening flower heads of an Engelmann daisy look like. Both pictures are from Blackland Prairie remnants in Round Rock on April 8th.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 7, 2018 at 4:59 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

Indian paintbrush colony flowering

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On April 10th we followed leads from Craig78681 and Betty Wilkins to head southeast in search of good wildflower displays. We ended up driving a 114-mile circuit that took us as far to the southeast as the intersection of TX 20 and TX 71 outside Bastrop. Today’s photograph shows the welcoming Indian paintbrush colony (Castilleja indivisa) we found there. That display made quite a contrast with Austin, where we didn’t see a lot of Indian paintbrushes this spring.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 18, 2018 at 4:51 AM

When red precedes white

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A few days ago Austin got some rain, which people here appreciated because until then we’d dropped to some five inches below average for the year so far. The rain got me thinking about rain-lilies, Cooperia pedunculata, and yesterday I found a few whose flower stalks had poked up about an inch above the ground. Thanks to the magic of a macro lens, what you’re seeing here is therefore much larger than life. Another discrepancy is that although rain-lilies are known for their graceful white flowers, this picture shows that the buds start out mostly reddish.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 31, 2018 at 4:47 AM

The end of winter

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Today, March 20th, marks the official end of winter this year. Nature in Austin hadn’t waited that long. The photograph above, taken six days ago at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, shows a possumhaw tree (Ilex decidua) that had largely greened out while still densely laden with the bright red fruits it wore all winter. A clear blue sky pleasantly set off the other two colors. Aiming upward near midday let sunlight transluce the new leaves.

(Not long ago you saw a landscape view from Valentine’s Day showing a possumhaw in its winter form, which is to say totally leafless.)

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 20, 2018 at 4:45 AM

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Possumhaw fruits brightening a misty morning

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Several times the bright red fruits on a bare possumhaw tree (Ilex decidua) had caught my eye along the route that lets traffic heading southeast on the access road of US 183 merge onto the southbound access road of Mopac. On this year’s cool and misty Valentine’s Day morning I finally celebrated the red by parking as close as I could to the possumhaw, walking across several lanes of intermittently coming cars, and then stepping onto the ground beyond, there to wield my camera. Today’s picture gives no hint of the noisy traffic zooming by less than a hundred feet away on Mopac. Mixed in with the possumhaw are some bare branches of flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata). The greenery in the lower right is from a related bush with the apt name evergreen sumac (Rhus virens).

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 12, 2018 at 4:58 AM

Posted in nature photography

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