Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘white

Takeoff

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As I approached the pond adjacent to Naruna Way on the prairie in northeast Austin on May 9th I noticed a white egret (Casmoderius albus) on the near bank. Hoping for a picture, I switched from a wide-angle lens to a 100–400mm telephoto and slowly advanced. As soon as I raised the camera to try for a photo, the egret apparently didn’t like my sudden motion and took off. The one picture I managed to get is at least dynamic. Notice the drops of water clinging to and falling from the bird’s toes.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 16, 2019 at 4:46 AM

An aura and a wraith

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Here are two takes from April 12th of Heller’s plantain (Plantago helleri), with the rain-lily (Cooperia pedunculata) behind it seen first as an aura and then as a wraith. I haven’t a ghost of a chance of guessing which version you prefer. (Actually, photographers at a recent gathering did favor one, but at least for now I won’t say which it was.)

UPDATE: The majority of commenters here, like the photographers at the meeting I mentioned, prefer the first photograph.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 28, 2019 at 4:42 AM

Cañada Verde

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On our three trips south of San Antonio from March 18–27 we stopped at five cemeteries covered with wildflowers. You’ve already seen pictures of the one at Christ Lutheran Church near New Berlin and the Sand Branch Cemetery near Poteet. The third, on March 27th, was the Cañada Verde Cemetery* on the western side of Floresville. There the wildflower that predominated was the white prickly poppy, Argemone albiflora.

In a several places winecups (Callirhoe spp.) punctuated the white:

And here’s a closer look at some of the crinkle-petaled prickly poppies** in their own right:

* In case you’re wondering, Cañada has nothing to do with Canada. The Spanish word caña means ‘cane,’ and a cañada is ‘a gully, a ravine, a low-lying piece of wet land,’ in other words ‘a place that fosters the growth of a canebrake.’

** Try saying “crinkle-petaled prickly poppies” quickly several times in a row.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 2, 2019 at 4:39 AM

Southern dewberry flower and bud

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While at Mills Pond on February 24th I found my first southern dewberry flowers, Rubus trivialis, for 2019 (and I’ve continued seeing others since then). In case you’re wondering about the scale, each flower in this species is about an inch (2.5cm) across. Can you tell that this little wildflower is in the rose family?

When I got closer for a few portraits of the flowers I noticed a bud that had begun to open.

As my skin keeps confirming, southern dewberry canes (stems) are very prickly, another resemblance to rose bushes. In the lower left corner of the bud picture you get a side view of one prickle, softened not in reality but by appearing out of focus. In contrast, what look like dark red “claws” on the bud aren’t prickly. Notice also that the prominent pink in the bud has faded to a faint trace in the open flower.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 10, 2019 at 4:22 AM

Mexican plum blossoms

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On February 6th along the northern stretch of Spicewood Springs Rd. I photographed a few early blossoms on a Mexican plum tree (Prunus mexicana), which is also native in central Texas. This was the first flowering tree I saw in 2019; in fact it’s still the only one because overcast skies, cold, and drizzle have combined to keep me from going out much in nature this past week.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 12, 2019 at 4:30 AM

First native spring wildflower

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Click to enlarge.

On January 28th I discovered a colony of flowering anemones, Anemone decapetala, along Talleyran Dr. This is truly a wildflower of the coming season, in contrast to the several holdovers you’ve seen on and off here for the last couple of months. Some anemones are white, others purple, and some a mixture of the two colors, as shown here.

Anemone flowers usually stay close to the ground, so in making my portrait I couldn’t avoid the patchy light beyond this one. At least I managed to keep that patchwork pretty much out of focus.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 30, 2019 at 4:42 AM

Not snow

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A first glance may make you think you’re seeing a dusting of snow, but no: it was fluff from cattails (Typha spp.) and goldenrod (Solidago altissima) that had settled indiscriminately over all the nearby plants at the Arbor Walk Pond on December 3rd. This is another good example of point 15 in About My Techniques.

Below is a closer and darker take on a clump of cattail seed fluff that had fallen onto a dry goldenrod plant.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 7, 2019 at 4:44 AM

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