Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rocks like wood

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Go ahead, tell me that the rocks in the upper center don’t look like wood. Tell me, and I won’t believe you.

We noticed these wood-like rocks by the side of the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, after I pulled over on September 7th to photograph the overlapping mountains in smoke that you saw in the previous post.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2017 at 4:31 AM

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

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Following the adage in the title, sometimes I was able to make artistic use of the smoky haze from forest fires that was with us for much of our stay in the Canadian Rockies. In today’s picture, from the morning of September 7th along the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, the haze abstracted the mountains into overlapping margins whose darkness decreased as the distance increased. The resulting minimalist photograph keeps reminding me of a classical Chinese landscape painting.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2017 at 4:30 AM

New Zealand gets a run for its money

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As fabulous as New Zealand is for a nature photographer, the Canadian Rockies and nearby areas give it a run for its money. When I posted my first New Zealand picture in March of 2015, I emphasized the aquamarine color of the water I saw in its seas. The Canadian Rockies lack a seacoast, of course, but some of the lakes there provide colors to rival those of the ocean surrounding New Zealand. Shown above is Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, on September 8th. Even the heavy haze of smoke from wildfires could only partially subdue the lake’s color; this corner was its most vivid.

In the posts ahead you’ll be seeing other photographs from this latest trip, along with some things from earlier outings, and of course updates from central Texas.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 21, 2017 at 4:42 AM

Monahans after the rain

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When we drove into the town of Monahans in west Texas on June 14th it was too late in the afternoon for us to continue the short distance to the attraction that had brought us there: Monahans Sandhills State Park. We could see that it had rained in the area that afternoon, and what effect that had had on the dunes became clear only the next morning. How differently textured the sand was then from the way we’d seen it in 2014 when we’d visited on the afternoon of April 12th and the morning of April 13th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2017 at 4:40 AM

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New Zealand: panache

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How could I not record the panache of toetoe (pronounced in Māori tó-eh-tó-eh, placed in botany in the genus Austroderia) at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary northeast of Dunedin on February 27th?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 17, 2017 at 4:46 AM

Like a green snake in the water

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The sinuous algae you see here looked to me on July 25th, and still today, like a green snake in the water of Bull Creek. Notice the tiny aquatic insects. The leaf may be from a cedar elm tree (Ulmus crassifolia).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 15, 2017 at 4:37 AM

New Zealand: the mountain steams, the water steams

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Frying Pan Lake in the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley on New Zealand’s North Island is “deadly scalding and one of the largest hot springs in the world.” We visited it on March 5th. Below is a closer view of the shallows along one edge of the lake.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 13, 2017 at 5:02 AM

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