Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘spring

Interpenetrating wildflower colonies

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From April 27th along Park Road 4 in Burnet County here are three pleasantly interwoven wildflower colonies. The yellow flower heads with brown centers are brown bitterweed, Helenium amarum var. badium. The red ones are firewheels, Gaillardia pulchella, even if they have more red and less yellow than this species does on average. The white flowers are wild onions, Allium canadense, though I’m not sure which subspecies.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 5, 2020 at 4:49 AM

An unusual pink evening primrose bud

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I’ve long been intrigued by the buds of pink evening primrose, Oenothera speciosa, especially as they open. Usually they’re pretty straight, but this one at the Riata Trace Pond on April 5th attracted me all the more because of its curved tip. People have told me that the little green insect, which I’m not sure I even noticed at the time, is an aphid nymph.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 23, 2020 at 4:38 PM

Sometimes a right angle is the right angle

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How about this curiously flexed rain-lily (Cooperia drummondii) that I found at the Doeskin Ranch on April 8th? And before anyone gets all bent out of shape by the flower in the picture not quite living up to the post’s title, yes, I realize that the angle here is a little less than 90°. I claim geometricopoetic license.

I also claim—and I think you’ll agree—that this is quite a different take on a rain-lily from the March 26th one that appeared here not so long ago.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 20, 2020 at 4:40 PM

A moody old plainsman

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You can draw your own conclusions about whether the title of today’s post describes the author. Not at issue is this moody view of what is indisputably an old plainsman, Hymenopappus scabiosaeus, whose buds were opening up the promise of white flowers. A Texas dandelion, Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus, provided the yellow halo in this April 5th view from the Riata Trace Pond. Note the coincidence in the pappus that’s the second part of both genus names and that gives me pause when I try to remember which name goes with which plant.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 19, 2020 at 4:34 AM

A view from below

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Most of the time we see flowers from above. A look from below is often more interesting artistically, even if (or perhaps in part because) it’s harder to get. The view from down under also lends itself to abstraction, as in this photograph that emphasizes the curving lines and surfaces in a pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa). I made this ant-enhanced portrait at the Riata Trace Pond on April 5th.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 17, 2020 at 4:23 PM

Red and green

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Another thing I photographed at the Doeskin Ranch on April 8th
was this scarlet leatherflower (Clematis texensis).
Below you see how a bud develops.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2020 at 4:43 AM

P.S.A. or S.S.A., that is the question*

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I’d been scheduled to do a presentation for the Williamson County chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas on April 9th. I decided to illustrate some techniques of nature photography that conduce to good pictures and therefore might lead to more submissions and better competition in this coming fall’s statewide NPSoT photo contest. As the date drew near, though, it became obvious that the presentation couldn’t be a present-ation, as everyone was already keeping to their homes. Fortunately technology let folks attend live online, and the show also got recorded. If you’re interested in techniques of nature photography, you’re welcome to watch some or all. My part begins at 9:37 and lasts for about an hour; it includes 90 photographs.

Not wanting today’s post to be only an announcement, I’ve added a jolt of sunshiny yellow in the form of a Texas dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus); the little round structure in the upper right is an about-to-open bud. The picture comes from April 8th at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County. I’d hoped for solitude there, but plenty of other homebound people had the same idea, and I was surprised to see so many cars in the normally almost empty parking lot. I was also dismayed when I came back to my car a couple of hours later and found a swarm of teenagers hanging around the car that had parked right next to mine.

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* It occurred to me that this public service announcement could also be construed as a self-service announcement, especially with S.S. happening to be my initials. Oh well, as another S. wrote: “one man in his time plays many parts.”

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 14, 2020 at 4:31 PM

Syrphid self-portrait

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Don’t let the title mislead you. It wasn’t a syrphid fly that did a self-portrait, but me, inadvertently, when leaning in to take a picture of this hoverfly (Toxomerus marginatus) on a Texas yellow star (Lindheimera texana) a couple of miles from home on April 5th. If you’re having trouble seeing my reflection on the thorax in the main picture, below is an enlargement. These tiny flies are about a quarter of an inch (6mm) long.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 13, 2020 at 4:32 AM

Spider-folded greenthread

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A strand of silk reveals that a spider was responsible for the folded-over ray flower on this greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium). Spiders do that to make little hideaways for themselves. The purple flowers in this March 18th view along Mopac were of course bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis).

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 10, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Gray vervain flowering

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From the West Pickle Campus of the University of Texas on March 18,
here are two flower stalks of gray vervain, Verbena canescens,
one of several kinds of verbena that grow in Austin.
The yellow flowers were four-nerve daisies.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 8, 2020 at 4:31 PM

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