Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘yellow

Engelmann daisy in two stages

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The Engelmann daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, could as well be called a ribbon daisy, given the strong propensity of its ray flowers to curl under like ribbons. Notice also the way the little crown of ray flowers typically looks pinched as a bud opens. The curling and pinching took place on the flower mound in Flower Mound on June 9th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 12, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Pink before yellow

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Growing out of the caliche along Capital of Texas Highway on June 18th was this square-bud primrose (Oenothera berlandieri). The complementary color beyond it came from mountain pinks (Zeltnera beyrichii). And now that I’ve mentioned those, I guess I owe you a picture of them in their own right.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 1, 2019 at 4:43 AM

Like the torch the Statue of Liberty holds aloft

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Soft goldenaster, Chrysopsis pilosa, in Bastrop State Park on June 6th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 20, 2019 at 4:43 AM

The answer, my friends

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You usually get straight photography here, but once in a while I show something different, like these 1/5th- and 1/6th-of-a-second pictures of greenthread flower heads (Thelesperma filifolium) as the wind blew them about. Experimental photographs of this type depend heavily on chance, so I can’t know how they’ll turn out. With that in mind, I take a bunch and see if I like any of the results. These two drew my attention. The first portrait is from the front and the other from the back; the darker one looks sideways and the brighter one looks upward. Whether you’ll look askance at these diversions remains to be seen.

In contrast, I’ve more often used a high shutter speed to stop the motion of something blowing about.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 9, 2019 at 4:41 AM

A closer look at four-nerve daisies

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After showing you three good colonies of four-nerve daises in the last post, I thought I should remind you what an individual flower head of this species (Tetraneuris linearifolia) looks like. When I searched through my pictures from April 12th along the right-of-way under the power lines west of Morado Circle, I found this one, which has the advantage of including two stages of a four-nerve daisy. The stage on the right, which follows the one on the left, typifies the way the central disk tends to bulge upward at the same time as the ray flowers fold back, lose some of their yellow, and take on a papery appearance.

In case you’re wondering about the curious configuration behind the two daisies, it was the flower globe of an antelope-horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula) that lay far enough in the background for me to render it out of focus yet still retain its pattern of light and dark. Now that I’ve identified the milkweed I guess I’ll have to show you a picture of some in its own right. You see the globe below when several flowers had opened and a greater number of buds were still to open. The accompanying white flowers are corn salad (Valerianella spp.).

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 2, 2019 at 4:38 AM

The best year for four-nerve daisies

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The four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris linearifolia and scaposa) is among the most common wildflowers in Austin, with a few occasionally blooming even in the winter. As with so many other wildflowers, they appear in their greatest numbers in the spring. That said, in the two decades I’ve been paying attention to nature in central Texas, I don’t recall seeing four-nerve daisy colonies as large and dense as some of the ones that have sprung up here this year.

I photographed the first and second groups on the east side of Yaupon Dr. on April 26th. The rocky ground is typical of my Great Hills neighborhood, thanks to the limestone substrate in the Edwards Plateau.

I’d come across the colony shown below on the west side of Spicewood Springs Rd. on April 20th. I think it’s the hugest I’ve ever seen.

UPDATE: In the previous post, the majority preferred the first photograph of Heller’s plantain.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 30, 2019 at 4:41 AM

Add some fasciated flower heads

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On April 12th, when I came back along the same path west of Morado Circle that I would end up spending almost three hours on, something caught my attention that I’d walked right past on the outbound stretch: a four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris spp.) that didn’t look right. When I bent down to check it out, I saw that it was fasciated. The stem was flattened and partly concave, and two flower heads were glommed together.

After taking a bunch of pictures from various angles, I noticed another fasciated four-nerve daisy close by (see below). The unusual features in these photos are typical of fasciation. To see other such plants that have appeared here, you can click the “fasciation” tag at the end and scroll through a dozen relevant posts.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 20, 2019 at 4:46 AM

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