Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘wildflower

Two takes on Texas thistles

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Cirsium texanum; Waters Park Rd. on May 5th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 20, 2019 at 4:50 PM

A Mexican hat mitten

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How about a Mexican hat that looked more like a mitten? I saw this strangely forming Ratibida columnifera in Austin six years ago today. Note the spider silk in various places. The colors in the background were from an Indian blanket, Gaillardia pulchella.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 6, 2019 at 4:56 AM

Scarlet leatherflower

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While at Bull Creek on April 8th I mostly photographed waterfalls but was also happy to see a Clematis texensis vine with a trio of flowers on it. Anyone watching me at work that morning could have said: “He stoppeth one of three.” It could also be said that Austin is home to three native Clematis species, with texensis being endemic to the state’s Edwards Plateau.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 19, 2019 at 4:39 AM

Large buttercup flower and bud

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Above is the flower of a large buttercup (Ranunculus macranthus) along TX 123 south of Seguin on March 18th. Below is a bud of the same fuzzy species.

Both compositions share a sweep toward the top right, but while the first view is bright and looks upward, the second is darker and looks downward.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2019 at 4:47 AM

Like flames

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Behold the opening bud of a prairie fleabane daisy, Erigeron modestus, in my neighborhood on March 10th. Call it modest if you like; my mind sees flames.

(I didn’t intend to do a burst of daily posts but it’s spring in Texas and so much is happening.)

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 24, 2019 at 4:42 AM

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A new oddity

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On March 10th I went back to the lot along Balcones Woods Dr. where I’d photographed the stemless evening primrose flowers you saw here not long ago. The highlight of my latest stop was a strange ten-petal anemone flower (Anemone berlandieri) that had two central fruiting columns instead of the one that’s normal.

Sometimes flower parts get doubled as part of the phenomenon called fasciation, which I’ve documented in a bunch of posts over the years, but this time I didn’t see any of the noticeable flattening or distortion or elongation that fasciation typically brings with it. To continue investigating, I returned to the site on March 16th. By then the richly colored sepals had fallen off and dried out or blown away, so I had to search for several minutes to find the plant again. While the new evidence shown below argues against fasciation, what caused the rare splitting of one seed column into two remains a mystery. (I call this conjoining rare because even a local expert like botanist Bill Carr says he’s never seen an anemone do this.)

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 19, 2019 at 4:34 AM

Pi Day

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Some math-minded folks refer to today, 3/14, as Pi Day because 3.14 is the approximate value of π, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. In other words, if you could lift a diameter out of a circle, bend it to match the curvature of that circle, then lay it back down onto the circle, it would take about 3.14 such curved segments to go completely around. π is what mathematicians call a transcendental number; one consequence is that we can’t express its exact value with a terminating decimal or even a repeating decimal (as, for example, 1/8 = exactly 0.125 and 1/11 = 0.09090909…).

What’s all that got to do with this opening four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa) that I photographed in my neighborhood four days ago? Well, 4 is a number, right? And you’ve gotta admit that the sunny yellow flower head does a good job of suggesting a circle.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 14, 2019 at 4:46 AM

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