Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Lichen-covered rocks at Pukerua Bay

with 38 comments

Rocks at Pukerua Bay 6485

Heading north from Wellington on the overcast morning of February 22nd, I stopped along SH 1 in the vicinity of Pukerua Bay and took pictures of the jagged coastal rocks. Contrasting in color and definition with those prominent lichen-covered rocks in the foreground is a greyed-out and grey-cloud-covered Kapiti Island in the distance. Though there’s no chalk in the scene, you can chalk up one more vertical landscape.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 17, 2015 at 5:35 AM

38 Responses

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  1. Vertically oriented horizons are the right way when the situation dictates.

    Jim in IA

    April 17, 2015 at 6:31 AM

  2. Lovely layering.


    April 17, 2015 at 6:38 AM

  3. Wow, those rocks look sharp. And old~I think it would have taken a long time for that colony of lichen to spread that far. Remarkable.


    April 17, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    • You’re right about the sharpness of the rocks, so I had to be careful as I moved around to compose my pictures. I’ve read that lichens grow very slowly, so it seems you’re right again when it comes to the age of this large colony. In addition, your “remarkable” would work for many parts of the New Zealand coast.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2015 at 11:46 AM

  4. Your trip was stacked with the most awe-inspiring landscapes. This image is breathtakingly stunning in a strange way. Those lichens spark thoughts of nature’s diverse progeny.


    April 17, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    • It was an excellent chance for seaside landscapes, Sally, something you have more access to in Delaware than I do in Texas, but in neither case do our two coasts compare to New Zealand’s.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2015 at 4:27 PM

      • I absolutely agree. Although I must say that the entire West Coast never ever disappoints.


        April 17, 2015 at 8:41 PM

        • Yes, there’s that Pacific Ocean magic. When I visited the ocean beach east of Sydney (Australia) ten years ago, I couldn’t get over how much it reminded me of California.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 17, 2015 at 9:43 PM

  5. This one could have been taken on Vancouver Island, though perhaps if you had turned around and taken a picture of what was behind you, the landscape would have been quite different. I’ve read that lichen are a measure of air quality.


    April 17, 2015 at 11:21 AM

  6. This is such an iconic view of this part of New Zealand.

    Raewyn's Photos

    April 17, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    • I saw similar rocks in the southern reaches of Wellington, so thanks for confirming that this is iconic for that part of New Zealand..

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2015 at 4:25 PM

  7. Very nice picture!

    • I was glad I pulled over to explore that part of the coast. I made horizontal landscapes too but decided to show a vertical one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2015 at 5:58 PM

  8. This would have certainly attracted my attention! I think the vertical shot works very well. Great contrasting layers, Steve. 🙂


    April 17, 2015 at 11:51 PM

  9. Really like this one, the colours and the island in the background.

    Emily Scott

    April 18, 2015 at 12:50 AM

  10. I’ve been snapping some interesting lichens on trees and walls this week. Fascinating shapes and patterns. Love your orange ones.


    April 18, 2015 at 4:03 AM

    • I originally pulled over because the sea was close to the highway and there was lots of room to park, but I don’t think I’d noticed all the lichen until I started walking around. Then I was glad that I’d decided to stop.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 18, 2015 at 6:42 AM

  11. Amazing!


    April 18, 2015 at 4:07 AM

  12. You are right! It would take much time for me to explore it all! Thank you for your interest!


    April 18, 2015 at 7:17 AM

  13. Very nice view…puts us right there. Those rocks are imposing but, of course, very hospitable to lichen.

    Steve Gingold

    April 20, 2015 at 7:06 AM

    • I wish I really could put you right there because I know you’d be thrilled with all the landscapes you’d have available to photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 20, 2015 at 7:15 AM

      • Yeah, me too. The world is just filled with wonders…someday Texas, anyway.

        Steve Gingold

        April 20, 2015 at 7:22 AM

        • New Zealand Air is about to inaugurate direct flights from Houston to Auckland, so once you’re in Texas you can continue west on one of those planes.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 20, 2015 at 10:41 AM

          • If I come to Texas it very well could be by car. I have never done much traveling so it would be good to drive.

            Steve Gingold

            April 20, 2015 at 11:09 AM

            • Right. Driving has the great advantage that you can stop to see (and photograph) whatever you want along the way. I wasn’t serious about combining Texas and New Zealand on a single trip.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 20, 2015 at 11:14 AM

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