Tag Archives: plants

capeweed

While out at Discovery Bay last weekend, I got a bit obsessed with photographing Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula), an environmental weed on mainland Australia. Capeweed is found in areas of habitation (gardens and lawns), among agricultural crops and pastures and in conservation areas, displacing ephemeral native species, harbouring pests that threaten indigenous species and posing a threat to the integrity of plant communities and the survival of threatened species in these sites.

So why photograph it? As soon as I got up close to this garish flower, I caught a glimpse of a much more subtle beauty. I often think that, if we can see beyond the context of our understanding of this and other species as weeds, we are able to simply observe them for what they are.

And also to learn how and why it is able to spread so successfully. It’s hard not to be amazed by the strategies of nature.

From budding to withering…

1: Bud

1: Bud contained within juicy, feathered bracts

 

2: Petals tucked in

2: Bracts retract to reveal the “petals” neatly tucked in. Daisy flowers are actually inflorescences or groups of  florets; the outer ring of petals are ligular florets with a ligule or strap that looks like a petal.

 

3: Petals unfurl

3: The ligules unfurl

 

4: Opening

4: Opening to reveal the inner tubular florets

 

5: Open

5: Open for pollination

 

6: Outer ray flowers gone and

6: The falling of the tubular florets reveals a tangle of wool that surrounds each cypsela or fruit

 

7:

7: Fluff

 

8: Star-like

8: The star-like floral attachment points resemble Venetian glass beads

 

9: The pappus becomes more and more fluffy in order to catch the wind for dispersal

9: The woolly cypselas become increasingly fluffy in order to catch the wind for dispersal

 

10: Fuzz

10: Ready for dispersal

 

12: Achene (or fruit) starting to be dispersed

12: Cypselas dispersing

 

15:

15: Subtle colours… this woolly covering attracts moisture, creating a little germination bed and increasing the chance of survival of the seeds inside, once on the ground and ripe.

 

14: Matrix

14: Dispersal reveals a beautiful receptacle

 

14:

15: Remains of the tubular florets that ring the receptacle

 

16:

16: All parts weather and brown

 

17: Beauty

17: Beauty in senescence

 

 

macro

I recently tried out my macro lens for the first time.

DSC_2251Denim

lichenLichen

Lichen speciesLichen

dsc_2272
Pea

dsc_2255Horehound

dsc_2275Grassflower

dsc_2280Grasshopper

dsc_2288Leaf Margin

dsc_2308Feather

dsc_2302Gold-tinged Feather

dsc_2309Seedhead

dsc_2319Skink

So much fun getting lost in the tiny details of life but so much to learn and I definitely need a tripod. I’m thinking of doing a course covering the basics of photography as I know nothing about manual settings and basic photographic language but there are so many out there- I’d really appreciate any advice from anyone with experience and opinions about good teachers and courses…