Thursday, September 27, 2012

Photo of the day: Old man of the Mountain

One of my favorite wildflowers in the subalpine meadows of Mount Rainier National Park is the western anemone, also called western pasqueflower. Of course, since it blooms for a single week and keeps its striking seedhead the rest of the summer, you more often hear people refer to it by its nicknames: mouse-on-a-stick, old man of the mountain, Lorax plant, and a dozen other fanciful monikers. Most seedheads are thicker and more luxuriant than this one, but this specimen caught my eye because it better shows the tangled structure of the multiple layered seeds. I photographed it looking into the morning light to capture the translucent effect, but shot toward a darker background for contrast. I love the bokeh formed by the out-of-focus grasses and purple wildflowers, which add a lot of additional interest to the composition.

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