Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘trees

Four views of Ashe junipers

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If you’d been out on the morning of May 29th in central Texas last year you’d have taken pictures of the great wispy clouds, too. I did so from a bunch of places, including a property at the corner of Bagdad Road and Brashear Lane in Cedar Park. I’d never worked there before and I don’t know if I will again, given the rapid development that’s been taking place in that area for years.* In the photograph above, the clouds served as a backdrop for a line of Ashe junipers (Juniperus ashei), the most common and widely distributed evergreen tree we have in central Texas. Below, from my own front yard on June 17th, you get a closeup of an Ashe juniper trunk that shows how these trees usually have stringy bark and also sometimes develop a corrugated texture.

From July 13th near Old Lampasas Trail, here are two more views. The first shows how a slew of dry leaves fallen from an Ashe juniper covered the ground so thoroughly you can’t detect any of the earth beneath them.

And below you see a shaft of sunlight on one Ashe juniper that was particularly sinuous.

 

* When I started taking pictures in Cedar Park in the late 1970s, it seemed way out in the country and its population was in the hundreds. Now home to about 80,000 people, it’s the second-largest suburb of Austin and there’s no break between it and the northernmost part of the city.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2020 at 4:42 AM

Usnea trichodea

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During a March 6th visit to Buescher State Park we saw plenty of grayish-tan stuff conspicuously hanging from trees. Three years ago and a little further east in Texas I thought I was looking at Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, but reader Bill Dodd clued me in that it was most likely the lichen Usnea trichodea, which people apparently call bony beard lichen. Notice how Spanish moss’s species name, usneoides, even means ‘looking like Usnea’. Further evidence comes from the fact that the USDA distribution map for Spanish moss is not marked for Bastrop County, which is where Buescher State Park is located. Some ball moss, Tillandsia recurvata, in the upper parts of the trees in both photographs adds to the complexity of the situation.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 14, 2020 at 4:42 AM

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New Zealand: Shadows and light at Riccarton Bush

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Three years ago today in Christchurch we visited Riccarton Bush,
where dense foliage created interplays of shadows and light.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2020 at 4:28 AM

New Zealand: Otari-Wilton’s Bush

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Five years ago today we spent time at Otari-Wilton’s Bush in Wellington.
That calls for five pictures, the first being a typical bush scene there.

The next one shows you a Marlborough rock daisy, Pachystegia insignis.

I’m a sucker for lichens, as you see in the following two pictures.

The lichen in the first of these was on the trunk of a tawa tree (Beilschmiedia tawa).

And how could I not show you another tree fern, especially from above?

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2020 at 4:49 AM

Back to my roots on the Bojo River

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Okay, so I don’t have family roots along the Bojo River in Aloguinsan on the island of Cebu in the Philippines, but I do have pictures of some wonderfully intricate tree roots from our December 17th boat tour of the river.

Did you notice the snail under the frontmost limb in the third picture?
Click below for more detail.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 30, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Bojo River

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On our trip to the Philippines we visited the Bojo [pronounced Boho] River Nature Reserve in Aloguinsan on the west side of Cebu. Local residents of what was (and still is) a fishing village have been recruited to guide eco-tours of the Bojo River, and that’s how Eve and I found ourselves on December 17th in a slender outrigger being paddled down the quiet river on a leisurely ride. What botanical purpose the “partially overlapping pancakes” serve in the second picture, I have no idea.

We approached the farthest point on the tour as we neared the place where the Bojo River empties into the Tañon Strait. The rocks on the river banks get steeper there, as the next three pictures confirm.

The “bathtub rings” in the final two photos show how much the river rises and falls with the incoming tide.

Eventually the water got choppy, and it probably wouldn’t have been safe to go farther in such a small boat.
In the distance we could see the island of Negros.

Upcoming posts will bring you more pictures from the Bojo River Nature Reserve.

©2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 25, 2020 at 4:44 AM

Still more from Coron’s island-hopping tour on December 13

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© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 9, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Two views of flameleaf sumac

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Longtime visitors here know that central Texas is too warm to get the kind of fall foliage that colder parts of the country are famous for. That said, we do get some autumn color, and one reliable source of it is the aptly named flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata. On November 9th I spent time on part of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail in Cedar Park, where I made the two flameleaf sumac pictures in today’s post.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 10, 2019 at 4:40 AM

Enchanted Rock, part 3

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You’ve already seen trees as secondary subjects in the first two parts of this series about Enchanted Rock.

Today’s post plays up some of the dead and dying trees we saw there in abundance on November 1st.

You’ll notice ball moss, Tillandsia recurvata, on many of the branches.

Not a true moss but an epiphyte in the Bromeliad plant family,
ball moss can live quite well even on inanimate objects,
and that fact proves that it isn’t parasitic.

Even in the presence of death, new life arises.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 3, 2019 at 4:45 AM

The golden hour

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Landscape photographers talk about the golden hour, the first hour after sunrise or the last before sunset, when the light is soft and warm. The late afternoon of October 31st found us about 110 miles west-southwest of Austin, in Kerrville, where I worked quickly to take advantage of the golden hour’s last rays to photograph bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) along the Guadalupe River. Minutes later the light was gone. For a closer look at the bases of the trees, click the icon below.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 25, 2019 at 4:44 AM

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