Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Longer strands of life

with 23 comments

Yellow-Green Algae Strand Patterns 2090

It wasn’t just the pastel-green-colored rock in Bull Creek that fascinated me on January 17th, but also the many long strands of algae that the flowing water pulled out into varied patterns. The algae above seemed almost like a textile. The central subject below (is it algae?) looked feathery as it and all the growing things around it undulated in the current.

Feathery Algae in Bull Creek 2122

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 29, 2016 at 5:10 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Really enjoyed starting my day with these photographs.

    Susan Scheid

    January 29, 2016 at 7:01 AM

  2. The top one reminds me of amber waves of grain.

    Jim Ruebush

    January 29, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    • It’s easy to see how Iowa could suggest that. In Austin I’m hard put to provide any purple mountain majesties but a few parts of the Blackland Prairie might double as fruited plains.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2016 at 7:55 AM

      • Maybe you could photoshop some mountains.

        Jim Ruebush

        January 29, 2016 at 8:18 AM

        • Interesting historical note: Anglo settlers in central Texas in the 1800s called the hills to the west of Austin mountains.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 29, 2016 at 12:44 PM

          • I suppose it is relative. We have a Pike’s Peak in NE IA overlooking the MS River. It has 500 ft bluffs but an elevation of only 1130 ft. It seems big when you are there.

            Jim Ruebush

            January 29, 2016 at 1:12 PM

  3. Cool shots love the abstract feel to them

    Raewyn's Photos

    January 29, 2016 at 12:40 PM

  4. Love your artistic use of shape and texture to create such engaging images.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    January 29, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    • I just came back from photographing more textures, shapes, and patterns, this time in drying-out algae. I never seem to get enough.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2016 at 12:48 PM

  5. Amazing textures!

    Nandini

    January 29, 2016 at 11:57 PM

  6. It’s time to play Nature’s Analogies again! The first photo reminds me of a physically distant, but related, phenomenon: cloud streets. The dynamics differ, but the result is the same: long, parallel lines of a substance created by the environment around them. The feathery piece in the center of the second photo claims most of the attention, but the surrounding strands have the same arrangement. They’re intriguing photos.

    shoreacres

    January 30, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    • As you say, the dynamics are different, but there’s a similarity of results. Now, if you ever saw anything in the sky with “streets” as densely packed as the strands of algae in the first photo, I’d really be surprised. In any case, we have more free entertainment in nature than we can ever exhaust, for which photographers are ever grateful.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 30, 2016 at 9:14 AM

      • It occurred to me this afternoon that there’s also a similarity between the dense strands of algae and the fibers inside the broken Agave americana stalk I showed. And, while I didn’t see a fabric connection this morning, I did after I took a look at the corduroy pants I was wearing.

        shoreacres

        January 30, 2016 at 6:25 PM

        • Ah, corduroy: I used to wear corduroy pants but haven’t had any in decades. I wasn’t thinking of that fabric when I mentioned textiles, nor did I have a particular textile in mind. It’s interesting that you’ve found a similarity between the dense strands of the algae and those inside an agave, even though the organisms are so different.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 30, 2016 at 6:41 PM

  7. The first reminded me of the Palouse…not that I’ve been there, but I’ve seen pictures. Nice abstracts.

    Steve Gingold

    January 31, 2016 at 7:46 AM


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