Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘white

Limewater brookweed

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Along the Capital of Texas Highway on June 27th I noticed a plant with tiny white flowers of a distinctive shape. I didn’t recognize the wildflower, but thanks to Casey Williams of the Texas Flora group on Facebook I learned that it’s Samolus ebracteatus var. cuneatus, known as limewater brookweed and limestone brook-pimpernel. It was my first identified new species for 2020. While Austin has plenty of plants in the evening primrose family, this is one of the few in the actual primrose family, Primulaceae. Botanist Bill Carr says of the species that it’s “frequent in moist clayey soil around springs and on seepage slopes, often at the base of limestone cliffs.” Sure enough, I found the plant at the base of a limestone cliff that was seeping water. Below is a view looking into one of the flowers, which was only about a quarter of an inch (6mm) across.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 9, 2020 at 4:46 AM

Two experiments

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When I worked at the base of a cliff along the Capital of Texas Highway on June 27th, some of my pictures were experiments in abstraction. In the one above, I noticed that several cattail leaves (Typha domingensis) had dried out to the point that they turned white, and I played an in-focus leaf off against a few out-of-focus ones. A couple of hundred feet away I noticed that some leaflets on a flameleaf sumac tree (Rhus lanceolata) had turned prematurely red. Not only that, but the breeze was blowing the branches about, so I decided to go with the (air)flow and do some long exposures that would make the movement a key element. The picture below, taken at 1/6 of a second, flaunts its rich red; in contrast, the first photo is close to black and white.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 7, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Texas bindweed flower and basket-flower

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In Great Hills Park on June 15th I found a Texas bindweed flower (Convolvulus equitans) close enough to a basket-flower (Plectocephalus americanus) that the latter* could serve as a pretty backdrop for the former. Note the color harmony between the center of the bindweed blossom and the basket-flower beyond it.

* Because of the way we Americans pronounce latter, Britons are amused when they hear us saying what sounds to them like the former and the ladder.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 17, 2020 at 4:47 AM

Crinkliest of flowers

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A.E. Housman began a poem with the words “Loveliest of trees, the cherry….” An Austin counterpart could begin with “Crinkliest of wildflowers, the white prickly poppy….” I made these two portraits of aging Argemone albiflora flowers in Great Hills Park on April 30th.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 19, 2020 at 4:43 AM

White on the Blackland Prairie

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Click to enlarge.

Behold the splendor of a prairie bishop colony (Bifora americana)
whitening the Blackland Prairie in Pflugerville on May 4th.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 8, 2020 at 4:37 AM

Sometimes a right angle is the right angle

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How about this curiously flexed rain-lily (Cooperia drummondii) that I found at the Doeskin Ranch on April 8th? And before anyone gets all bent out of shape by the flower in the picture not quite living up to the post’s title, yes, I realize that the angle here is a little less than 90°. I claim geometricopoetic license.

I also claim—and I think you’ll agree—that this is quite a different take on a rain-lily from the March 26th one that appeared here not so long ago.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 20, 2020 at 4:40 PM

Rain-lily with white sky

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Here’s another getting-on-the-ground-and-aiming-toward-a-white-sky picture, this one from March 26th in my neighborhood. We’d gotten enough rain a few days earlier to bring up a few rain-lilies, Cooperia drummondii. Intermittent rain since then has caused modest numbers of these flowers to keep coming up.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 11, 2020 at 4:39 PM

Death camas from the side and from above

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Behold Zigadenus nuttallii, alternatively Toxicoscordion nuttallii, whose genus name signals the plant’s toxicity. It’s also bluntly indicated in the common name death camas. I didn’t indulge, and so lived to show you these portraits from March 19th beneath the large power lines west of Morado Circle in my neighborhood.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 7, 2020 at 4:10 AM

Corn salad flowers, many and few

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The blossoms of the strangely named corn salad (Valerianella sp.), while small and never rising far from the ground, have the collective power to cover a limestone-lined wildflower meadow in central Texas with what could be taken for a dusting of snow. In the second picture you get a closer look at the characteristically rectangular inflorescence; each five-petaled flower is between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch (1.5–3mm) across.

I took these pictures west of Morado Circle on March 19th.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 2, 2020 at 4:45 PM

Two Mexican plum flowers, twice

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In the last post you saw two kinds of buds on a Mexican plum tree, Prunus mexicana, along the northern stretch of Spicewood Springs Rd. on March 3rd. Now here are two portraits—quite different in approach, you’ll agree—each showing two flowers on those plum trees. Veritas in varietate (verity in variety), as the Romans might have said, if I hadn’t beat them to it two thousand years later.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 12, 2020 at 4:42 PM

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