Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Speaking of Kananaskis

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Speaking of Alberta’s Kananaskis Range, the site of the previous post, here’s Lower Kananaskis Lake as we saw it on September 11th. Wind gusts created ripples on the lake’s surface that must have resonated with the folds of my cerebrum, because I felt compelled to keep taking pictures of the changing ripples.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 19, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Troll Falls

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On September 11th, the person behind the counter at the visitor center south of Canmore, Alberta, told us it would be worth our while to hike to Troll Falls. We dutifully parked near Kananaskis Village and began walking the one-mile trail. Along the path to the falls we passed the dense tree trunks shown above, which intrigued me with their verticality (the WordPress editor doesn’t think verticality exists, but it does).

Troll Falls turned out to be okay. You might say we were jaded from having already visited Natural Bridge, Takakkaw Falls, and some others. In contrast to my treatment of those waterfalls, which I mostly photographed at high enough shutter speeds to stop the dramatic action, I photographed the smaller and gentler Troll Falls at 1/13 of a second to smooth out the flow of the water.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 18, 2017 at 4:49 AM

Horseshoe Canyon

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We flew into Calgary early in the evening on August 24th. The next morning we drove two hours to the Badlands.

The first piece of it we encountered was a little west of Drumheller at Horseshoe Canyon, parts of which appear in these three photographs.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 17, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Bishop’s Cap Mountain and more

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When you scanned the previous picture from Glacier National Park on August 31st, did your glance get caught on the rocky protrusion way off to the left in the same way it probably did on the much more prominent Pollock Mountain? This time you get a closer of view of Bishop’s Cap Mountain, which is the name of that other peak. Despite the appearance of blue sky, there were clouds, and they moved rather quickly. You see the shadows of two of them, one to the right of the picture’s center and the other in the lower left corner. Intruding itself at the lower right, immobile, is a flank of Pollock Mountain.

So much depended on where I looked. The picture of Bishop’s Cap shows a clearer view than I had for much of the rest of the day. Compare that to the photograph I took two-and-a-half minutes later, also from the Logan Pass visitor center, facing in a different direction.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 16, 2017 at 5:01 AM

The sometimes hard life of a subalpine fir

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Glacier National Park in winter, especially at high altitudes, is a hard place. On August 30th I saw the enduring consequences of that harshness on some of these subalpine fir trees, Abies lasiocarpa, at Logan Pass (altitude 6,647 ft.). Beyond them is Pollock Mountain, which sits on the Continental Divide.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2017 at 4:54 AM

Maximilian sunflowers in far north Austin

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On October 12th, four weeks after returning from Alberta, I finally went out onto the prairie side of Austin in search of fall wildflowers. I found them. Maximilian sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani) seemed to be at their peak. If you could use a blast of yellow today, you’ve got it.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 14, 2017 at 4:51 AM

From Columbia to Columbian

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Okay, so I graduated from college at Columbia University in 1967. That didn’t prepare me for my first encounter, fifty years later, with a Columbian ground squirrel (Urocitellus or Spermophilus columbianus) outside the Logan Pass visitor center in Glacier National Park, Montana, on August 31st. I’d kept hearing a clucking noise that I couldn’t identify. A nearby person said “it” was on the other side of some trees from where we were standing. When I walked around I found out what the “it” was: this squirrel chattering away and coincidentally lording it over a little colony of flowering fireweed (Chamaenerion or Chamerion or Epilobium angustifolium). This is the second appearance recently of fireweed in a supporting role with an animal; the prolific plant will eventually appear in its own right. In the meantime, if you want a much closer look at the ground squirrel, click below on the excerpt from a different frame. You’ll be glad you did.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 13, 2017 at 4:37 AM

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