Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘seeds

Anemone seeds

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Behold a ten-petal anemone (Anemone decapetala) that was already dispersing its seeds on April 5th. The color in the background came from bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) that were also growing in the median on Morado Circle. Those bluebonnets stayed fresh for about three weeks but are now following the anemone’s lead from back then.

While I was in the median, I noticed that a couple of rain-lilies, Cooperia pedunculata, had somehow crossed each other. One of them had even snagged a couple of wind-borne anemone seeds and their attached fluff.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 25, 2018 at 4:39 AM

New Zealand: Lake Taupo

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A year ago today we stopped at the south end of Lake Taupo, where I photographed some graceful toetoe (pronounced in Māori tó-eh-tó-eh, placed in botany in the genus Austroderia). Here’s a closer looks that lets you see the detailed structure in one of the seed heads:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 17, 2018 at 4:42 AM

Bushy bluestem covered with droplets

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As you heard once before, on the morning of December 3rd last year I set out to get some fog pictures. I didn’t get any, unless you count pictures of plants covered with droplets that had condensed out of the fog. The bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus) seed head shown here is another example. If you’re unfamiliar with this native grass that takes on delectable colors and textures in the late fall and winter, you can look at a stand from farther back in space in time.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 6, 2018 at 4:45 AM

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What I didn’t know about fireweed

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To tell the truth, before the trip to the Rocky Mountains in Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia, I knew almost nothing about fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium). In nature shows on television I’d occasionally caught a glimpse of the plants flowering, and that was about it.

In addition to yesterday’s strictly “vegetarian” post, three previous photographs showed you fireweed flowers and animals. In one case it was with a bumblebee, in another with a ground squirrel, and the third with a caterpillar. What impressed me about the plant in its own right was its seeds. The reddish seed pods are long and narrow, and when they open, which surprisingly often happens from the proximal rather than the distal end, they release seeds attached to silky strands, much like milkweed seeds. At the moment when I took the photograph above in Waterton Lakes National Park on August 29th, the newly freed seeds still partly preserved the alignment they’d had just a short while earlier when compressed inside their slender pods. That same temporary clinging to the past is visible in the photograph below, which is from near the shore of Emerald Lake in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park on September 7th.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 24, 2018 at 4:52 AM

Colonizing

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As we begin colonizing 2018, I’m reminded of the appealing little plants that had colonized flat, open areas in several places along Alberta’s Icefields Parkway when we drove north along it on September 4th of what we now get to call last year.

Not knowing what these feathery plants were, I appealed to the Alberta Native Plant Council, and the answer came back that they are a species of Dryas, probably D. drummondii or D. octopetala. I learned that Dryas is in the rose family, and its seed heads are similar to those of its family mate Fallugia paradoxa, known as Apache plume.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 5, 2018 at 4:55 AM

C-ing is B-lieving

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Don’t you think this view of a bespidered grass seed head from far north Austin on October 12th warrants a better grade than the C it proclaims?* Speaking of academics, perhaps the C is an emblem of my undergraduate days at Columbia. Or maybe the C stands for the Canon camera I used to take the picture. If you see the C as standing for something else, here’s your chance to speak up.

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* In case you’re unfamiliar with American schools, work is graded from A, the highest quality, down through D, the lowest that’s still considered marginally passing. Failing work gets a conveniently alliterative F.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 5, 2017 at 4:47 AM

Two closer looks

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Here you have two closer looks than last time at Baccharis neglecta, a shrub or slender tree known as poverty weed, which in the fall produces no poverty of fluff.

The yellow in the background of the second picture came from Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani, and goldenrod, Solidago spp. Notice the characteristic herringbone pattern of the small branches.

I took these photographs in a “vacant” lot on the west side of Grand Avenue Parkway north of Royston Ln. on October 12. If this is a vacancy, no one need apply to fill it.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 18, 2017 at 4:52 AM

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