Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘trees

Another look at the Grand Canyon

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Here’s a look back from October 19th of last year at trees on the rim of the Grand Canyon. In harsh climates, dead limbs often adjoin living ones.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 16, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Wright’s buckwheat

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While great clouds made the day on November 9, 2016, above Hueco Tanks State Park in far west Texas, this subtly colorful stand of Wright‘s buckwheat (Eriogonum wrightii) caught my fancy there as well.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 19, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Beginning of winter in Austin

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Thanks to two bridges, on the first official day of winter (December 21) we walked a two-mile circuit around a portion of downtown Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. At Vic Mathias Shores on the south side of the lake I pulled out my iPhone and recorded this view of bald cypress trees, Taxodium distichum, turning their end-of-year colors. The tall, bare plants in the foreground are giant ragweed, Ambrosia trifida. How could I pass up a sky like this as a contrasting background?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 16, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Sumac in the Guadalupe Mountains

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At the Guadalupe Mountains National Park visitor center late on the afternoon of November 9th I realized I had to give up on the idea of seeing the excellent fall foliage I’d hoped for. A ranger said that some bright color still existed in the park’s interior, but the sky was overcast, as you saw in the previous post, and not much daylight remained. As we continued driving east along US 62 headed for Carlsbad, New Mexico, a little color caught my eye, and when I pulled over and walked closer I saw that several sumacs (Rhus spp.) were the source. Adjacent to the sumacs were some composite plants that had turned fluffy; I never found out what they were. Near by were some scraggly dead branches that appealed to my scraggly nature.

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© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 13, 2017 at 4:53 AM

Le rouge et le noir in Utah *

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On October 23rd of last year we followed Kolob Terrace Rd. northward in and out of the western side of Zion National Park. Eventually we got to the Kolob Reservoir and the grove of bare aspen trees you’ve already seen, but before then we stopped for the fall color shown here. While I didn’t pay attention to the dark trunks then, now they make me think a fire had passed through that area.

How different this is from the scenes of autumn in central Texas that you saw last time.

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* Le rouge et le noir, or The Red and the Black, is the title of a novel by Stendhal.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 10, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Trentepohlia

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Do you remember the Monterey cypress with the unusually long branch I saw at Point Lobos, California, on November 3rd? A few minutes later I came to a grove of those Cupressus macrocarpa trees with branches heavily covered by a green alga designated Trentepohlia aurea v. polycarpa (according to one online source). Don’t be fooled by the orange color: in Trentepohlia “large quantities of carotenoid pigments… mask the green of the chlorophyll.”

This intricate view strikes me as a good way to inaugurate 2017, which is a prime number. The last prime year was 2011, when this blog began, and the next one won’t come along until 2027.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 15 (not prime) and 19 (prime) in About My Techniques are relevant to today’s photograph.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2017 at 12:01 AM

Desert mistletoe

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The custom of kissing under mistletoe on Christmas, which some of you may have enjoyed yesterday, became popular in England in the 1700s and has spread to other English-speaking countries. While most Christmas traditions come from countries with cold winters, genera of mistletoe grow in warm climates, too. On our recent trip through the American Southwest, I was surprised at how common desert mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) is there and how conspicuous its hanging clusters of red fruits are in those dry surroundings. I saw this desert mistletoe in a paloverde tree (Parkinsonia spp.) at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on November 7th.

And from earlier that morning in Tucson Mountain Park, here’s a closer look at some dense desert mistletoe branches and fruit.

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 26, 2016 at 5:00 AM

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