Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘yellow

A good sunflower colony

with 35 comments

Click to enlarge.

A recent post focused on two sunflowers in a large colony. Now here’s a panorama showing how wild sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) can take over a field. I found this bright yellow colony on the Blackland Prairie along Gregg-Manor Rd. east of TX 130 on June 10th. Texas knows how to do wildflowers, yes indeed.

I’m tempted to say the way I cropped this photograph shows the influence of my Indian friend Pano Rama, but I would never say such a thing.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 15, 2020 at 7:45 AM

Beetle on a buffalo gourd flower

with 44 comments

Somehow I haven’t shown a picture of a buffalo gourd flower here since 2011, so it’s high time to make up for the oversight. That making up is made easy by the fact that on May 15th off Lost Horizon Dr. I found a group of flowering Cucurbita foetidissima vines. The species name indicates that this plant has quite an unpleasant smell—at least to people. The odor seems to have had the opposite effect on the little pollen-bedecked beetle shown here that had come from the flower’s interior out onto its rim.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 14, 2020 at 4:37 AM

All yellow

with 40 comments

Normally the flower heads of Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheel and Indian blanket, have red rays with yellow tips. Every once in a while you get a flower head whose rays are completely yellow. In the full-size version of the first picture I counted four of them (and could distinguish them from the yellow greenthread flower heads mixed in). The second photograph gives you a much closer look at an all-yellow firewheel. Both views are from a “vacant” lot in northwest Austin on May 19.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2020 at 4:31 AM

Two-leaf senna flowers

with 22 comments

From along Yaupon Dr. on the far side of my neighborhood on May 25th comes a wildflower I’ve shown here only once before even though it’s common enough in my part of town. It’s Senna roemeriana, known as two-leaf senna because its leaflets grow in pairs. Notice how prominent the veins become on a wilted flower.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 2, 2020 at 4:33 AM

Engelmann daisy flower head and bud

with 25 comments

From April 26th along Old Lampasas Trail comes this gialloscuro* portrait
of Engelmann daisies (Engelmannia peristenia).

* The Italian term chiaroscuro means literally bright-dark. I replaced the first part with giallo,
the Italian word for yellow, to get gialloscuro. In Englitalian that’s yellowscuro.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 30, 2020 at 4:38 AM

Chiaroscuro times two

with 30 comments

I found myself doing many more chiaroscuro takes than usual this spring, including these two from the Doeskin Ranch on April 8th. Above is a gall, and below an aging four-nerve daisy, Tetraneuris linearifolia.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 30, 2020 at 4:37 AM

P.S.A. or S.S.A., that is the question*

with 50 comments

I’d been scheduled to do a presentation for the Williamson County chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas on April 9th. I decided to illustrate some techniques of nature photography that conduce to good pictures and therefore might lead to more submissions and better competition in this coming fall’s statewide NPSoT photo contest. As the date drew near, though, it became obvious that the presentation couldn’t be a present-ation, as everyone was already keeping to their homes. Fortunately technology let folks attend live online, and the show also got recorded. If you’re interested in techniques of nature photography, you’re welcome to watch some or all. My part begins at 9:37 and lasts for about an hour; it includes 90 photographs.

Not wanting today’s post to be only an announcement, I’ve added a jolt of sunshiny yellow in the form of a Texas dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus); the little round structure in the upper right is an about-to-open bud. The picture comes from April 8th at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County. I’d hoped for solitude there, but plenty of other homebound people had the same idea, and I was surprised to see so many cars in the normally almost empty parking lot. I was also dismayed when I came back to my car a couple of hours later and found a swarm of teenagers hanging around the car that had parked right next to mine.

—  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —

* It occurred to me that this public service announcement could also be construed as a self-service announcement, especially with S.S. happening to be my initials. Oh well, as another S. wrote: “one man in his time plays many parts.”

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 14, 2020 at 4:31 PM

Spider-folded greenthread

with 33 comments

A strand of silk reveals that a spider was responsible for the folded-over ray flower on this greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium). Spiders do that to make little hideaways for themselves. The purple flowers in this March 18th view along Mopac were of course bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis).

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 10, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Two greenthread flower heads

with 22 comments

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

Four-nerve daisy portraits 3 and 4

with 29 comments

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

%d bloggers like this: