Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Leo Glenn, who said he was a bit intimidated by the quality of other photos on this site, decided that he would nevertheless proffer his own plants photos, which aren’t that common here:

This will be my first photo submission.  Some years ago, I volunteered to be a land steward for a tract of preserved land owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. I thought it would be a fun project to try to catalog and photograph all of the wildflower species on the property. Below are a few of those photos, along with a couple others I thought you and your readers might enjoy.

Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides):


Showy Tick Trefoil (Desmodium canadense) This looks like it could be some form of mimicry. Would love for a botanist to weigh in:


Common Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), with what appears to be a species of syrphid fly:


Kalm’s St. John’s Wort (Hypericum kalmianum) This is not the species sold as a mood elevator in the natural supplement section.


. . . That would be this species: Common or Perforate St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). The small, dark spots at the edges of the petals contain an oil which is the active ingredient in the supplements.


Not a wildflower, but one of the most unusual things I’ve found in the western Pa. Woods. These are Wool Sower Galls, made by a parasitic wasp (Callirhytis seminator), on a White Oak branch. Most of the galls I’ve seen are very nondescript. If anyone has some insight as to what evolutionary advantage might be conferred by the odd coloration, I would love to hear it.


And finally, a picture of our cat, Baxter, a former WEIT World Cat Day honoree (he was the cat found with the glass jar stuck on his head), exhibiting his prodigious camouflage skills on my daughter’s bed. Spot the cat!



  1. Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Beautiful Flowers ❤

  2. Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Beautiful flower photos Leo. Nice short DOF. Good work! 🙂

  3. Richard Bond
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I sympathise with Leo Glenn’s feelings of intimidation; despite my several successful submissions, I feel the same way. I fully understand a desire to have plenty of technically accomplished and beautiful photographs, but I am not sure what weight is carried by interesting content.

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Renowned (and late) outdoor photographer Galen Rowell explained it this way:

      If you have a common subject (he called it a “mature subject”) then you need something special about the photo to make the photo compelling.

      However, if the subject is new (“immature”) to the viewer, then a completely straight representation is just fine — because they’ve never seen it before, just seeing the subject is enough.

      This seems to be the case in my experience.

      However, in the case of the photos that Jerry posts from readers, in my opinion, the fact that they are viewed and captured by someone we “know”, and often in their normal environs (often their own yard) or in other cases on special trips to exotic places, provides that “something special” that makes the photos compelling to the viewers here.

      My $0.02. 🙂

      • Richard Bond
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Thank you: that makes plenty of sense. Incidentally, I did not mean to disparage Leo’s photographs. I think that they are very beautiful.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          My Dad has been boring me to tears with plant photos for decades ; these are good ones.
          They still suffer from the problem of not yet having been buried in mud for several million years and fossilised. But that aside, they’re good plant photos.
          (Dad’s getting his slide collection digitised commercially. Batches of a thousand, so he can keep up with the metadata and databasing. He’s about 5 batches down and around 30 to go. Then there are the other photos.)

  4. Karen Bartelt
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I love those galls. I’ve never seen anything like them.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      They’re good ones. Even I haven’t had quite too much of plant galls. There’s some seriously peculiar biology going in there.
      Didn’t I see a Tw**t from Matthew about a new association of parasite bods?

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Very good! and thank you for the plants. These are as good as most any macro photos that I have seen around here.
    I have come to realize that galls are an especially interesting subject b/c they are weird, mysterious, and probably come from interesting biologies. Not only do insects cause galls, but they form as well from viruses and other things. Why? I don’t know. Mysterious.

  6. David Fuqua
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Excellent photographs, Leo! Don’t be intimidated, these are well exposed and well composed. And lovely.

  7. Marilee Lovit
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I like these plant photos very much. I do a lot of plant ID and photography, and it is interesting to see your nice photos and the species names.

  8. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous Leo! I’d love to see more like this. 🙂

  9. Leo Glenn
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much to everyone for the kind comments. It’s a big boost to my confidence. After many years, I finally have a decent camera again, so I will hopefully be submitting more photos soon.

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