Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘spiderweb

Beards and webs

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The vine that botanists know as Clematis drummondii has earned the colloquial name old man’s beard because its fertilized flowers give rise to filaments that turn into an increasingly dingy fluff as they mature. (Notwithstanding the beard metaphor, those are of course female flowers.) Below from Great Hills Park on August 29th is a nice expanse of “beards,” along with seed heads of Mexican hats, Ratibida columnifera.

In contrast, a nearby Clematis drummondii plant (presumably male) was cobwebbed rather than bearded.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2019 at 3:53 AM

Back to Bastrop

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June 6th this year was both D-Day and B-Day. No, not a birthday, but a trip back to Bastrop after not having visited the state park there for several years. Go around as we would, in no place were we not reminded of the devastating 2011 fire that burned for weeks and destroyed 90% of the pine trees.

Still, there was plenty of life. Look at all the greenery around that strangely burned tree trunk.
And look at this little orb-weaver spider in the genus Argiope:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 15, 2019 at 4:50 PM

Dewdrops on spiderwebs on silver bluestem seed head remains

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Click for better clarity.

West of Morado Circle this past Christmas morning.
Silver bluestem = Bothriochloa laguroides subsp. torreyana.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 21, 2019 at 4:27 AM

Posted in nature photography

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What made the nonagons

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Drops in Spiderweb 8745B

Click for larger size and greater detail.

I believe that light refracted by drops of water caught in the spider’s web you saw last time made the glass elements in my 100mm macro lens produce the nonagonal artifacts that you also saw. What you didn’t see was the drops, so here’s another photograph from the same session at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, on June 20. Notice that some of the nonagons in this second photograph are elongated.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 27, 2016 at 5:06 AM

Dropped on my head

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Dewdropped Spiderweb Over Rock 9627

If I’d immediately followed up the recent consecutive posts showing drizzle drops around a straggler daisy and then around a funnel web spider, you might have thought I’d been dropped on my head. Now at a decent distance in time from those photographs, here’s a downward-looking view showing dewdrops in a horizontal spiderweb less than half an inch above the parallel rock beneath it. This time the drops themselves are the subject. To see some of the orbs more clearly as little planets unto themselves, and to make out the delicate strands holding them in place, click the excerpt below.

Dewdropped Spiderweb Over Rock 9627A

I took this picture on March 25 off Harold Ct. within sight of the pale blue bluebonnet you recently saw.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 14, 2016 at 5:06 AM

Bejeweled

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When I went to Great Hills Park on the morning of March 17th I found many little patches of ground blanketed with drizzle-bejeweled spiderwebs like the ones you saw last time surrounding a straggler daisy. Some of the webs had a noticeably dark funnel, and in one of those I glimpsed a spider waiting deep inside. After I knelt and got close with my camera to take pictures, the vibration from one of my movements prompted the spider to rush out toward what it incorrectly took to be prey, startling me in the process (things are magnified when you look through a macro lens). Fortunately the spider stayed outside the funnel long enough for me to make several portraits of it. I later learned from the BugGuide.net folks that this funnel weaver spider is in the genus Agelenopsis, whose members are called grass spiders.

Two days before my outing in Great Hills Park, Dale and Pat Bulla had alerted me to the National Wildlife Week Photo Contest being held by Austin Parks and Wildlife. I entered this photograph and it ended up winning first place. The picture will appear in the April issue of the Austin Treebune.

Funnel Web Spider in Spiderweb with Drizzle Drops 8222

If you’d like a closer view of this Agelenopsis spider, click the excerpt below.

Funnel Web Spider in Spiderweb with Drizzle Drops 8222 Detail

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 31, 2016 at 4:54 AM

A drizzle-drazzled droplet-dazzled view of a straggler daisy

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Straggler Daisy Flower Head with Drizzle-Dropped Funnel Web 8179

Click for larger size and therefore more detail.

The diminutive plant known as the straggler daisy, Calyptocarpus vialis, forms a natural ground cover in some parts of Austin. Here from the morning of March 17th in Great Hills Park is the little flower head of a straggler daisy with drizzle on it, along with much more sparkling drizzle on the spiderweb around it. To give you a sense of scale, I’ll add that a flower head in this species typically runs about a quarter of an inch (6mm) in diameter.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2016 at 5:01 AM

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