Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘wildflowers

A brighter white

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Brighter white than the old plainsman buds you saw last time are the flowers of southern dewberry, Rubus trivialis. I photographed this member of the rose family on March 15th between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 in my northwestern part of Austin.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 18, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Old plainsman buds opening

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Again from the strip of land between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 on March 14th, here are some opening buds of old plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus). Don’t you find them sculptural?

As with the previous image, I had to lie down to take this photograph, given that the small buds were little more than a foot (0.3m) above the ground. Unlike the Indian paintbrush and bluebonnet shown in the last post, old plainsman is a native plant that few people pay attention to, much less appreciate. On the contrary, I suspect many consider it a weed. Not I.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Meanwhile, back in Texas, spring has flowered

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On March 14th, five days after returning from a month in New Zealand and still jet-lagged, I felt I had to go out and take a look at spring in Austin. On the strip of land between Arboretum Dr. and Loop 360 I found a bunch of my old floral friends. Of the two shown here, Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) is in the foreground and a bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) is behind it. I’ll get back to New Zealand in a few posts, after giving some deference to what’s happening at home.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2017 at 4:55 AM

First native wildflowers from Austin in 2017

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On a couple of recent walks I’d been hoping to spot some four-nerve daisies because Tetraneuris linearifolia can be found flowering here in any month of the year. Yesterday along Tom Miller Street near an edge of the Mueller Prairie Restoration I finally came across a few. This is a species I’ve photographed many times and shown here often enough, so the challenge was to take a different approach. For this portrait I lay on the ground so I could get some oblique blades of grass as a background. That also allowed the shadows of some blades to fall on the flowers and reinforce the grid-like pattern of the picture as a whole.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 29, 2017 at 5:00 AM

California sunflowers

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Outside the visitor center at the John Muir National Historic Site on November 2, 2016, I couldn’t help noticing a tall, bushy plant that I later learned is a California sunflower, Helianthus californicus, a species I hadn’t even known exists. Below is a closer look at one of its flower heads. Those of you in the depths of winter could probably use a dose of cheery yellow ‘long about now.


© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 11, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Manybristle cinchweed flowers

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Neil Frakes:

We’d barely driven inside the boundary of Joshua Tree National Park on November 5th when I stopped and got out to walk around a bit. Almost immediately I began to see little low-growing plants scattered about. Their bright yellow flowers made them stand out against the dull desert floor more than their diminutive size would otherwise have done. Some formed small clusters:

Neil Frakes:

Neil Frakes, Vegetation Branch Chief at the park, later identified (thanks) the flowers as Pectis papposa, known as manybristle cinchweed (or chinchweed). Of this species he wrote: “It doesn’t get any larger than this. One of our more common summer/fall bloomers. When we get a good monsoon, we get yellow carpets of this plant.” No monsoon for me this time, no yellow magic carpet.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 30, 2016 at 4:58 AM

More from Austin’s old airport

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When I explored parts of Austin’s old airport on October 10th I found a good colony of camphorweed in various stages, including fresh flowers and fluffy little seed globes. In case you’re not familiar with Heterotheca subaxillaris, here’s a closeup of a flower head that I made during that session.


© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 17, 2016 at 5:03 AM

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