Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘spring

Densely wildflowerful

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I’ve linked a larger-than-usual version of this picture. Click to expand it and see more details.

You’ve heard that some of the places in central Texas that usually produce lots of springtime flowers have fallen short this year. Still, every spring offers at least a few good displays. Take this piece of prairie in Round Rock along Gattis School Rd. across from Rolling Ridge Dr. as I happily experienced it on April 16th. The bright yellow flowers are square-bud primroses, Calylophus berlandieri. The few yellow-orange flower heads with brown centers are greenthread, Thelesperma filifolium. The predominantly red flower heads are Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels and Indian blankets. The violet-colored flowers are prairie verbenas, Glandularia bipinnatifida.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 22, 2018 at 4:48 AM

Not everything is pristine. In fact, very little is.

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As an example of the thought in the title, take these two pink evening primrose flowers, Oenothera speciosa, that I photographed near Yaupon Dr. in my extended neighborhood on April 1st. If that’s too bedraggled for your taste, I’ll relent and balance it with a picture of a pink evening primrose flower that remained mostly pristine even in the stiff breeze on the Blackland Prairie in Round Rock seven days later. So windy was it that I set the camera’s shutter at 1/800 of a second in hopes of stopping the flower’s movements. You’ll recognize that the background color comes from the colony of bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, that the pink evening primrose had managed to find a roothold in.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 21, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Four-nerve daisy upstaged

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The upstager was a budding wild garlic, Allium drummondii, in the median of Morado Circle on April 5th.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 20, 2018 at 4:37 AM

Indian paintbrush colony flowering

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On April 10th we followed leads from Craig78681 and Betty Wilkins to head southeast in search of good wildflower displays. We ended up driving a 114-mile circuit that took us as far to the southeast as the intersection of TX 20 and TX 71 outside Bastrop. Today’s photograph shows the welcoming Indian paintbrush colony (Castilleja indivisa) we found there. That display made quite a contrast with Austin, where we didn’t see a lot of Indian paintbrushes this spring.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 18, 2018 at 4:51 AM

Another white variant

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In a recent post you saw a pretty white variant of a spiderwort, a wildflower that is normally purple or magenta or violet. Another purplish wildflower that occasionally shades to white is the bluebonnet, Lupinus texensis, one of the five lupine species in Texas that are collectively the official state wildflower. I found this pleasantly pale bluebonnet in the median of Morado Circle in my neighborhood on April 5th. The tiny tan insect is a thrips (that’s one of those nouns ending in -s whose singular and plural are spelled and pronounced the same way, like series and species).

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 17, 2018 at 4:51 AM

A tiny bee

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Strangely, this tiny bee didn’t leave the Texas stork’s bill (Erodium texanum) even when I handled the flower. To give you a sense of scale, I’ll add that flowers of this species are about one inch across (for the metrically minded, that’s 2.5 cm). If you’d like a closer look at the unbothered bee, click the icon below. The date was April 1st, Easter Sunday, and the place was Yaupon Dr. in my extended neighborhood.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2018 at 5:01 AM

Penstemon on the prairie

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It’s been four years since the first and only showing here of Penstemon cobaea, called wild foxglove, prairie penstemon, showy beard-tongue, large-flowered beard-tongue, dewflower, wild belladonna, and fairy thimbles. On April 8th I photographed some of these flowers on two properties close to the intersection of Greenhill Dr. and Old Settlers Blvd. on the Blackland Prairie in Round Rock. I couldn’t decide whether to show you the flowers in isolation against the clear sky or with a piece of the prairie behind them, so you’re getting both. You know what the flowers in the background below are.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 14, 2018 at 4:45 AM

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