Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Texas Hill Country

Yuccas flowering up high

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To allow FM 1431 to cross the Colorado River just south of Kingsland in the Texas Hill Country, engineers had to cut the roadbed through the flank of a steep hill. The result was an even steeper cliff, and it was at the interface between that cliff and the untouched hillside above it that these yuccas were flowering on April 4th. Sources show three species of yucca in that county. I’m leaning toward Yucca torreyi; Yucca pallida and Yucca constricta are the other possibilities.

Note the pads of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia spp.) that are such a common sight in Texas. Here’s a closer look at both kinds of plants:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 9, 2018 at 4:50 AM

A multitude of white

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On March 30th in a meadow underlain with limestone I found a dense colony of flowering Valerianella amarella, known by the strange common name of corn salad. By comparing the size of the prickly pear cactus pads, you can see that corn salad flowers are small. In fact they’re even smaller than you might think, because each dab of white in the picture above is actually a cluster of little flowers. Here’s a closeup of one cluster:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 6, 2017 at 4:55 AM

Dense snow

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At the risk of snowing you under, here for the third post in a row is a view of snow-on-the-mountain, Euphorbia marginata. Again from September 29th along TX 46 in Comal County, this view emphasizes the chaos of details when plants farther back are seen through the spaces in the closer plants. Notice also the complementary red in all those stalks.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2016 at 5:19 AM

New life, old life

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The new life is a sycamore tree, Platanus occidentalis. Presumably the fallen trunk, which gleamed bright in the sunlight, is also from a sycamore, but I don’t know that for sure. What I do know is that the scene is from Guadalupe River State Park on September 29.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 11, 2016 at 4:49 AM

Cowpen daisy

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At Guadalupe River State Park on September 29th I found a cowpen daisy plant (Verbesina encelioides) that was flowering. Dig those dark shadows.

Only once before has Verbesina encelioides appeared in these pages. Does the genus name sound familiar? Perhaps it’s because frostweed is also in that genus.

As attractive as the flower heads of the cowpen daisy are, the plant has an unpleasant odor.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 10, 2016 at 4:58 AM

Maximilian sunflowers and feathery clouds

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Along State Park Road P31 south of Guadalupe River State Park on September 29th I stopped to photograph some Maximilian sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani). The only way I could line up any of the tall plants against the array of feathery clouds overhead was to face toward the sun. Even with a lens hood on my wide-angle lens I had to hold one hand out in front of and above that lens to block the sun that was just above the frame in order to eliminate flare and polygons inside the frame. It was hit and miss, what with my left hand involuntarily moving as I held the camera in my right hand while the plant swayed back and forth in the breeze, so I took a bunch of pictures in the hope that at least a few would work well. The one shown here seems pretty good.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 9, 2016 at 5:00 AM

Down the road a little bit

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About two miles south of the waterfall you saw last time, Edge Falls Rd. crosses the Guadalupe River. Because the horizontal picture above doesn’t show you the tops of the nearest bald cypress trees, I’ve added a vertical picture that does. Even though the photographs were taken from different positions and at different angles, you can still match up some of the stones in the river.

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© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 8, 2016 at 5:03 AM

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