The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Monday, September 24, 2007

More Roadside Flowers, Spiders, and Fritillaries

On our Monday trek to Hampton today I noticed a vibrant pink flower blooming on a tall, leggy-looking plant.  After consulting the field guide, I have identified this one as a Meadow Beauty – and it looks to be Rhexia mariana, Maryland Meadowbeauty.  Also spotted new this week (it was probably there last week and I did not notice it) is Camphor Weed, Heterotheca subaxillaris.  The Camphor Weed is along the roadside mixed in among the Goldenrod and other plants.  The Meadow Beauty was in a few places.  One large patch I spied on t he right of Highway 92 (as I headed south) just before the turn onto Hampton Road.  Once into Clayton County I spotted it on Lower Woolsey Road in a few places.  One place that it was easy to see was the right side of Lower Woolsey Road near the left turn that takes you just behind the Atlanta Speedway.  Those patches were not large – but it was not hard to see those bright, bubble-gum pink blooms along the roadway.  The beautiful field of Sneezeweed (across the road from the speedway ) that I photographed last week is gone.  The large mower-tractor-thing is still sitting in the field – but all the flowers are gone.  Oh well.  There is still another "field of blooms" near there (to the right on Lower Woolsey Road just past the turn for the speedway) – maybe I will get there tomorrow.  Those fair weather cumulus clouds were there today – with an aqua sky – hopefully if I take along the camera the same will be there tomorrow.


This afternoon the backyard was a good place to spend a few minutes.  The giant zinnias I planted back in May are huge and blooming in a variety of colors.  There are blooms in light and bright pink, creamy white, orange and red.  A couple of the blooms are larger than my fist.  One older orange bloom was resting on the rocks that line the bed areas inside the fence.  The faded orange of the bloom against the steely bluish rock was pretty.  I snapped a photo of that.  There was a new bloom – bright pink.  When I adjusted the depth of field to blur the background of green leaves – the pink j umped out.  The blurred green with the bright pink/fuchsia flower with lemon yellow disc flowers – this made a marvelously colorful photo.  When writing this I had to look up what those little yellow parts of the zinnia are called.  A zinnia is a composite flower (others in this family are sunflowers, chrysanthemum, and good ol' sneezeweed to name a few).   Think of how the head of a zinnia looks – the petals around the edge are called the "ray flowers" the yellow tiny flowers that compose the center or edge the center of the zinnia are called the "disc flowers."  For a good photo and written description of composite flowers – and especially a zinnia go to http://www.backyardnatu and scroll about halfway down the page.


Aside from the zinnias – there were a couple Black and Yellow Argiope spiders on one of my purple butterfly bushes.  This bush is also home to the egg sac.  While I was busy getting a good shot of one of these and her web I noticed a butterfly getting dangerously close.  The Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae, is seen often in the yard on the zinnias and the butterfly bushes.  Before it flew away to another yard I got a couple shots of it on a pink zinnia.  Here is a link showing two Gulf Fritillaries on a Mexican Sunflower – and you can spot the disc and the ray flowers on the bloom.


Update on the link to the skink info on the blog dated September 8.  Someone emailed me that the link for the skink I provided was no longer working.  I hope this one is! (I just tried this one and it works – you need to scroll down when you get the page up.  It looks like a blank page until you do.)

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