Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘wildflowers

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

Two greenthread flower heads

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Two Greenthread Flower Heads 9800

After recently showing you greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium) at a distance, as a nutant bud, and then as another bud with riders, I figured I finally owe you a good view of an open flower head. In fact I’ll make up for the delay by showing you two of them. Note another nutant bud in the upper left. And let me add that flower heads in this species most often have eight ray florets, though the number can vary slightly.

For any new readers who wonder why I keep saying say flower head when most people would say flower, you can find the explanation in a 2014 post with the quizzical title “When is a ‘petal’ not a petal? When is a ‘flower’ not a flower?

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 4, 2020 at 4:35 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

Four-nerve daisy portraits 3 and 4

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Here are the final two portraits in this series of four four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia, that I made at the West Pickle Campus of the University of Texas in north Austin on March 18. For the picture above I aimed horizontally toward a deeply shaded area. For the one below I aimed with a wide aperture toward plants far enough away to leave no details, with the result that the daisy’s green stalk is even less noticeable than the stalk in the darker portrait, and the second flower head almost seems to float disembodiedly in green space.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 1, 2020 at 4:33 AM

Four-nerve daisy portrait 2

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Here’s a portrait of a four-nerve daisy, Tetraneuris linearifolia, that I made by getting on the ground at the West Pickle Campus in north Austin on March 18 and aiming up into a gray-white sky, which I normally hate to do. The low light would allow only a shallow depth of field; I chose to focus on the fuzzy green center of the flower head, knowing that little else would come out in focus.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2020 at 4:30 PM

Four-nerve daisy portrait 1

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At the West Pickle Campus on March 18th I made portraits of several four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia. Because those wildflowers are among the most common in the Austin area and I’ve portrayed them many times over the past two decades, I’m always looking for different ways to photograph them. In today’s post and two more you’ll see what I came up with. All the images have limited focus because I was working beneath trees on an overcast morning. Not wanting to include junk on the ground, I least often aim straight down at my subjects; in this case the lighter patches corresponding to other things below were far enough out of focus and amorphous enough to make a pleasant background.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 29, 2020 at 4:42 AM

In a Pickle, literally but not figuratively

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On March 18th I took what I think were my first pictures ever on the grounds of the West Pickle Campus of the University of Texas in north Austin. The fact that the place had shut down, like almost everything else, made my work easier, and at one point I even sat in what would normally have been the busy entrance road to take closeups of bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) right by the curb. I was standing, though, for this post’s two colonial views, the first atypically vertical. This floral density is common in a bluebonnet colony.

Oh well, might as well include one of the closeups I sat in the road for.
It has nothing in common esthetically with the first two views.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 27, 2020 at 4:40 PM

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