Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘yellow

At what cost Cost?

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All that Cost cost us on April 2nd when we visited the tiny town in Gonzales County some 90 miles south of home was time and gasoline. Behind the First Shot Monument we found a great mix of Indian paintbrushes (Castilleja indivisa), Texas dandelions (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus), and Texas stork’s bills (Erodium texanum), as shown in the first photo.

While walking around I noticed two contiguous Texas dandelions, one the usual color and the other a yellow-white combination. I hope you find this touching pair touching.

Also at no extra cost I got the chance to see a few pincushion daisies, Gaillardia suavis, a species that for whatever reason rarely puts in an appearance in Austin even though it ranges from Mexico to Kansas. Each solitary flower head grows at the tip of a bare stalk as much as two-and-a-half feet long. Add this wildflower to the svelte greenthread and gaura you saw here recently.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 10, 2019 at 4:46 AM

Huisache daisy colony

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Along Priest Rd. off S. Loop 1604 southwest of Elmendorf on March 27th we found this extraordinary colony of huisache daisies, Amblyolepis setigera. According to Garden Style San Antonio, “Huisache daisy is so called because it often grows in thick stands under huisache and other chaparral bushes, forming a solid blanket of gold.” Often isn’t always, and in this case I don’t recall a huisache tree anywhere in sight. In the United States these daisies grow only in Texas; they’re also found in Mexico. Mixed in with the huisache daisies in this stand you’ll notice some verbenas, and in the background the ubiquitous Indian paintbrushes, Castilleja indivisa.

The huisache daisy has appeared only once before in these pages, in a closeup with a tumbling flower beetle.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 6, 2019 at 4:47 AM

Also tall and slender

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Echoing the gaura that grew tall and slender
at the southwest corner of US 183 and N. Lamar Blvd. on
March 30 was the greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium)
shown here. I’d been seeing this species flowering
in various places around Austin since January but hadn’t
photographed any. The unusually long stalk gave me
a good reason to break my greenthread photo fast.
Below is a view of the flower head from the other side.
Notice that greenthread shades a little toward orange.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 5, 2019 at 4:45 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

A long yellow flower mound

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From March 21st along FM 1470 northeast of Poteet here’s a long mound of evening primrose flowers. I used a telephoto lens because the land was fenced, which also meant I couldn’t get close enough to even try to identify what species of Oenothera this was. The red flowers were Indian paintbrushes, Castilleja indivisa, and the others were sandyland bluebonnets, Lupinus subcarnosus.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 29, 2019 at 6:07 AM

Blowing in the wind

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One of the highlights in the cemetery at Christ Lutheran Church in New Berlin on March 18th was the Nueces coreopsis (Coreopsis nuecensis), whose range doesn’t reach Austin and that I get to see only when I travel south. The wind made closeups difficult but I did my usual thing of getting on the ground, setting a high shutter speed, and taking enough pictures that a few of them would likely be okay.

The orange in the background came from Indian paintbrushes (Castilleja indivisa) and the blue from bluebonnets (Lupinus spp).

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2019 at 4:41 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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