Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘red

Flaming flameleaf sumac fruit

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I’ve posted plenty of pictures showing the bright autumn leaves of prairie flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata. On August 11th I was driving up Alum Creek Rd. east of Bastrop when a group of sumacs caught my eye with the sunlight-saturated rich red of their freshly forming fruit clusters against the greenery of the trees’ foliage. I’m not sure which species or Rhus this was, as there are several similar-looking candidates in Bastrop County.

I’d gone out that morning to get acquainted with a new 100–400mm lens, so I used only it on the entire outing. The fruit clusters high up in the sumac trees proved worthy subjects to zoom in on, as you see below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 15, 2017 at 7:01 AM

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I thought I might have missed them

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We got back from New Zealand on March 9th. In driving around my Austin neighborhood in the days after that, I didn’t see any cedar sage (Salvia roemeriana) flowering in the accustomed place along Morado Circle so I thought I might have missed this year’s flowers while I was away. Toward the end of the month I finally saw one, and on April 1st I photographed a few beneath some “cedar” (Ashe juniper) trees on Floral Park Dr., as you see above. I found even more in another place a week later, and still more in Great Hills Park on April 15th.

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Even after six weeks, the Dauntless Duo has barely recovered from all the running around we did in New Zealand. Nevertheless, as of today we’re traveling again, so there’ll be fewer posts for the “foreseeable” future. (I used quotation marks because in a recent talk about the American Revolution historian David McCullough reminded people that the future isn’t foreseeable.)

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 19, 2017 at 4:48 AM

New Zealand: still more things than the glacier at the glacier

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When we visited the Franz Josef Glacier on February 20th, my attention leapt not only to the glacier and nearby waterfalls, but to the many rocks in the area. In particular, lots of rocks were coated to varying degrees with a fine red-orange lichen, shown above, that made the stone surface it was on seem painted.

In many cases, as you see below, mosses vied with the reddish lichens for territory on the rocks.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2017 at 4:59 AM

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Meanwhile, back in Texas, spring has flowered

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On March 14th, five days after returning from a month in New Zealand and still jet-lagged, I felt I had to go out and take a look at spring in Austin. On the strip of land between Arboretum Dr. and Loop 360 I found a bunch of my old floral friends. Of the two shown here, Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) is in the foreground and a bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) is behind it. I’ll get back to New Zealand in a few posts, after giving some deference to what’s happening at home.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2017 at 4:55 AM

Cottontop cactus

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When I got out of my car for the first time in California’s Joshua Tree National Park on November 5th last year and walked into the desert a short distance, I soon caught sight of this red cactus, the likes of which I’d never seen. Neil Frakes, Vegetation Branch Chief at the park, later identified it as Echinocactus polycephalus, known as the cottontop cactus. Even if there was no cotton at this stage, the red was rich reward enough.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 15, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Le rouge et le noir in Utah *

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On October 23rd of last year we followed Kolob Terrace Rd. northward in and out of the western side of Zion National Park. Eventually we got to the Kolob Reservoir and the grove of bare aspen trees you’ve already seen, but before then we stopped for the fall color shown here. While I didn’t pay attention to the dark trunks then, now they make me think a fire had passed through that area.

How different this is from the scenes of autumn in central Texas that you saw last time.


* Le rouge et le noir, or The Red and the Black, is the title of a novel by Stendhal.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 10, 2017 at 4:59 AM

How long could Portraits of Wildflowers go without showing a wildflower?

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The answer to the title’s question is: till today, after a bunch of pictures that mostly played up the grand scenery of the Southwest and California (and before other occasional trip pictures that will keep doing so). Now you’re looking at Penstemon barbatus, which I found flowering at Arizona’s Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument on October 21. The many common names for this attractive wildflower include scarlet bugler; beard-lip penstemon; beard-lip beardtongue; red penstemon; red beardtongue; goldenbeard penstemon; goldenbeard beardtongue; and Saint Joseph’s staff, along with its Spanish equivalent, varita de San José (I don’t know which is the original and which the translation).

Thanks to Kirstin Olmon Phillips, the botany collections manager at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, for identifying this species. You can read more about it if you’d like.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 7, 2016 at 5:11 AM

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