Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘spring

A double-headed Mexican hat

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I’d been keeping my eye on a stretch of median in Morado Circle in the Great Hills neighborhood of Austin where I live. At some point the median had been mowed, but now in the spring the vegetation was reasserting itself. A week ago I noticed some Mexican hat plants (Ratibida columnifera) coming up, and when I drove by on March 26th I saw that several were already flowering. The next day I went and sat myself down with them. The flower head shown here caught my attention and I took some pictures of it. Only when I went to look from the opposite side did I discover another central column jutting out at roughly a right angle to the one shown here. In other words, this was an unusual flower head, a twin. While I was still there I didn’t get the impression of fasciation, but in this photograph the stem does seem a little wide and flattened, so perhaps fasciation explains the doubling-up after all.

The two adjacent sets of ray flowers formed a broad collar that isolated one central column from the other. I looked from various angles but couldn’t find a good way to photograph the two columns together. In the end, just for the sake of documentation, I took the picture below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 29, 2017 at 4:13 AM

Looking up to prairie verbena

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Another wildflower I found on March 14 in the strip of land between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 was the prairie verbena, Glandularia bipinnatifida.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 24, 2017 at 4:43 AM

A brighter white

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Brighter white than the old plainsman buds you saw last time are the flowers of southern dewberry, Rubus trivialis. I photographed this member of the rose family on March 15th between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 in my northwestern part of Austin.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 18, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Old plainsman buds opening

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Again from the strip of land between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 on March 14th, here are some opening buds of old plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus). Don’t you find them sculptural?

As with the previous image, I had to lie down to take this photograph, given that the small buds were little more than a foot (0.3m) above the ground. Unlike the Indian paintbrush and bluebonnet shown in the last post, old plainsman is a native plant that few people pay attention to, much less appreciate. On the contrary, I suspect many consider it a weed. Not I.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Art critics, math teachers, nature photographers

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Phlox Bud Begining to Unroll 9697A

The art critic might talk about the negative space in this image.

The math teacher, hearing of negative space, might be tempted to talk about negative numbers. Oh, the arcane reality of a negative plus a negative making a negative but a negative times a negative making a positive. Not for nothing do math teachers think along those lines (or along the ellipse of the photo-frame).

The nature photographer will just present this portrait of a phlox bud beginning to unroll and tell you that the picture is from March 25th on Clovis St., which has a high FQ (floral quotient) for a street that’s just one short block long.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 15, 2016 at 5:02 AM

Anemone seed head coming apart in front of a mealy blue sage flower spike

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Anemone Seed Head Coming Apart by Mealy Blue Sage Flower Spike 9973

Click for greater clarity.

 

Remember the flowers of Anemone decapetala that you saw here in January and March? Now you get to look at a later stage in which a seed core has loosened up and is beginning to disperse its seeds (or disburse them if you’d like to think they’re the wealth of the species). And how about those fine hairs attached to the seeds?

Paralleling the anemone in the background is a flower spike of mealy blue sage, Salvia farinacea.

This photograph is from April 3 along E. University Blvd. in Georgetown, as was yesterday’s picture of a wild onion bud.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 10, 2016 at 5:11 AM

Wild onion bud

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Wild Onion Bud 9860

You’ll probably find more patterning and texture than you’d expect in the bud of a wild onion, Allium canadense. Though ancient in design, it could pass for the latest sculpture or architecture.

This photograph is from April 3 along E. University Blvd. in Georgetown. The property was one on which I’d never worked before.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 9, 2016 at 5:10 AM

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