Tag Archives: black-eyed Susan

Beauty and Beastly

A monarch searches for the perfect horsemint to land on.

Remember how gorgeous these horsemint appeared back in April?

Blllch!

Now those purple beauties look downright beastly.

The color is gone.

As do a bunch of other wildflowers in the Houston area. The summer’s heat definitely is taking its toll on our flora.

Gotta love the sun if you’re named after it!

Fortunately, some plants thrive this time of year. Like sunflowers.

The petals are reaching towards the sky.

And black-eyed Susans (no relation).

No summertime blues in this group

Is it any coinky-dink that the wildflowers now flourishing are yellow . . . like the sun that beats down on us and heats the temperatures into the 90s every day?

I think not!

Still Pretty as a Picture Despite the Heat

Love the colorful accents!

Here’s the bad news: It’s already too hot in Houston.

A yellow lily reaches out.

Followed up by worse news: Summer hasn’t officially begun.

Wonder what the seed balls contain.

Of course, anyone who has lived in Houston for awhile knows that scorching days await us. It’s the hell that we pay for our mild, heavenly winters.

Horsemint blend with black-eyed Susans.

Temperatures in the high 80s have wreaked havoc with so many of the wildflowers I love. Bluebonnets, we hardly knew ye! But some plants still are going strong, keeping the landscape lush and pretty.

A trio of Indian blankets hang on.

I’m not sure how much longer these beautiful blooms will last. So I plan to enjoy them as much as I can!

An Episode of NSI

Bluebonnets are easy to identify.

When I’m out snapping pix of wildflowers, something besides the bees always bothers me:

Pretty in pink, whatever it really is

Identifying what in the world I’m shooting.

Pretty in dark pink, too!

Take the above two photos of the pinkish flowers. I think they’re penstemon . . . or are they foxglove? Or does it really matter what they are . . . as long as they’re in focus with nice bokeh?

Budding sunflowerishes

Where I really get confused is with the sunflower family. I can spot a “true” sunflower (they’re usually pretty big).

Love this view of the sunflowerish

But what about the ones that look like sunflowers but really aren’t? Are they black-eyed/brown-eyed Susans (no relation to me, of course)?

Looks the same but is it?

Why do some have a few petals while others have many? Some petals are wide, some are narrow . . . but all are yellow.

The same but different

Some even feature red markings on the petals.

When I identify them in my photos, I call them “sunflowerish.” I guess it’s as good a term as any. I’ve tried Googling, but I don’t find concrete answers.

What I truly need is an NSI squad: Nature Scene Investigation. Forget all that CSI stuff . . . help me ID these wildflowers! STAT!

Rabbit!

Wish all nature IDs could be this easy.

Withering Wildflowers

This doesn’t look pretty at all.

With the Houston area in a severe drought, all the pretty wildflowers have just about disappeared. In fact, in the master-planned community next to mine, they’ve started mowing them away.

A gaggle of black-eyed Susans

Only a few wildflowers have been thriving. One is the black-eyed Susan (no relation except when my younger son accidentally hit me below the eye with the edge of a cabinet door when he was a toddler; I looked like I had been in a fight).

Soaking up the sun

These wildflowers seem to enjoy the adverse conditions. I like them, despite their name, because of their cheerful yellow color.

Morning glories trumpet their purple beauty.

The only other wildflower competing with the black-eyed Susans are lovely purple morning glories. Those purple and yellow colors will have to do until we get more rain.

Anyone want to join me in a rain dance?

Disc Golfing With Glive

Glive is wide-eyed for the camera.

Remember Glen V, the baby of our disc golf friends Kelly and Glen? Both times I’ve seen him, he’s been sound asleep the entire visit. That’s no way to treat a photographer who wants to focus on a pair of beautiful eyes!

So when my younger son and the Mister said they were going to join the Glens for a round of disc golf about a week ago, I was ready with my camera. As you can see, I finally was able to snap a pic of Glive (our family’s shorthand nickname for Glen Five) with those pretty peepers staring right back at me.

My baby putts.

Then it was time to head to a small, local park to clang some chains.

Glive roots for his dad to make a putt.

Glive traveled in style through the grass and trees in an off-roading stroller.

The Mister throws his upshot.

Somehow the park department had shoehorned nine baskets on very little acreage.

Glen lasers in a putt.

But it was a nice spot for practice on a warm, sunny day.

Glen’s friend Guy tries to get close to a basket.

After a round of nine holes, the Mister drove off in search of drinks, the other three guys continued playing, and I got to spend time pushing and singing to Glive to keep him from fussing.

My #2 son escapes from the brush.

It reminded me of what life was like almost 16 years ago with my own baby boy. Before we know it, Glive will be throwing discs just like his dad. Guess I’d better savor these baby moments while I can!

Marion, Ohio, Flora—Not Much to See

An orange flower teems with bees.

This is how you know that your partner of 22 years really understands you:

When the Mister (and our #2 son) picked up our #1 son and myself from the Columbus, Ohio, airport recently, he wanted to do one thing first: Drive to Delaware State Park (yes, it’s actually in Ohio) and show me some wildflowers to photograph. Good thing I had my Nikon D300 and Nikon 105mm macro lens at the ready!

A lily blooms in front of the Warren G. Harding Memorial.

As regular readers know, shooting photos at a disc golf tournament, like the Amateur Disc Golf World Championships, involves so much more than just capturing action for me. I sometimes enjoy snapping the flowers and insects more, especially the ones that don’t move!

The top view of a bee

Speaking of bugs, there weren’t many willing to sit and pose for me. Particularly not butterflies, unfortunately.

A bug rests on a black-eyed Susan (no relation).

And there really weren’t a lot of wildflowers to photograph. Kind of disappointing considering some of the disc golf play was in state parks, which I thought would be overflowing with flora.

An ant checks out a purply wildflower.

Texas definitely has more wildflowers everywhere you go. Perhaps it has to do with the climate.

Purply flowers starting to de-purple.

This wildflower was my favorite among the few I saw. It starts out purple . . .

Fluff city!

. . . and ends up all fluffy! Ready to dance in the wind and settle in new locations around Ohio. Maybe they’ll even swoop down south, pick up some wildflower seeds from Texas during their travels, and give the locals more variety to look at!