Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Oh, those rocks

with 14 comments

Anyone who had grown up in the southwestern quadrant of New Zealand’s South Island and had never traveled elsewhere could be forgiven for assuming that every other region in the world has patterned rocks lying around in abundance. If only it were so, say we from most other places. Above is another view from February 21st of Lake Wakatipu, this time emphasizing the rocks strewn along its shore. Below is a downward-looking closeup of a few.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 17, 2017 at 4:46 AM

14 Responses

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  1. My pants pockets would bear a few if it weren’t a state park. I enjoy photographing rocks as I stomp across such a beach. Maybe it’s because I grew up on the Southern coastal plains where we seldom saw a rock. That is really a rugged coast. Granite?


    April 17, 2017 at 7:42 AM

    • This place, like many others in the region, wasn’t part of any park, so we did indeed bring a few rocks home with us. There are literally millions of them lying around. The hotel where we’d stayed near Franz Josef Glacier a few days earlier had hundreds of rocks like these arranged as decorations on their property. I’m afraid I know next to nothing about geology, so I can’t say whether any of these rocks are granite. I can say, based on what you wrote, that you’d have a great time visiting this part of New Zealand.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2017 at 7:54 AM

  2. It’s this way in Ireland as well–just beautiful. Nature does a much better job of arranging beauty than humans ever could imagine.

    Jeri Porter

    April 17, 2017 at 8:43 AM

    • Now you’ve given me one more reason to visit Ireland. If you’d care to mention any particularly good places there, I’m all ears.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2017 at 10:19 AM

      • I could throw a dart at an Irish map and probably find a place I would love. Some of my favorite places are the Ring of Kerry; Inisheer, The Burren (which translates to A Rocky Place), the Giant’s Causeway, a wonderful basalt exposure ( a UNESCO site). The Irish Sea is very turbulent, causing the west coast to have all sorts of mysterious geology. Castle ruins and neolithic sites everywhere. Did not find a lot of plant life though, I must say. And the people–my goodness are they friendly and fun loving! Buy a guidebook and find your interest!

        Jeri Porter

        April 18, 2017 at 8:02 AM

        • Okay, thanks for your suggestions. A good guidebook sounds like the way to go. After the recent month in New Zealand, I’m all set for driving on the left side of the road in Ireland.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 18, 2017 at 8:05 AM

  3. I fell in love with the sculpted and striated stones and rocks that I found during my very first trip to New Zealand many years ago, an affair that has been frequently reinforced and renewed. I am especially drawn to the smoother ones that inhabit the South Island rivers, particular the Fox (which is born in the Fox Glacier). I have adopted some myself and I treasure the memories they invoke!


    April 17, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    • With you I’m preaching to the choir. In fact you comprise a trans-temporal choir, given all the times you’ve been to New Zealand. Treasured memories indeed.

      We’d thought of going to Fox Glacier but after spending hours at Franz Josef, we lacked the energy and time to do two in one day. The best round stones we found were during the 2015 visit, on the coast somewhere around Punakaiki.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2017 at 10:28 AM

  4. The layers in that top image are as interesting as the layers in the rocks themselves. Every element — clouds, mountains, sea, shore — has a different texture, yet they fit together beautifully. As for the jumble in the second photo, my favorite elements are the blue and blue-green stones or striations scattered about. They brought to mind the blue in the rock face at Tunnel Beach, as well as the wonderful blue-green water.


    April 17, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    • That’s a great comparison you’ve made between the layers in the rocks and the layers in the background. The layer consisting of Lake Wakatipu even contains a sub-layer of waves—and surprisingly large ones for a lake that narrow.

      If you ever visited this place, I’m afraid you’d end up paying the airline a surcharge for all the rocks you’d want to take back with you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2017 at 10:36 AM

  5. This reminds me of a place we happened on in Maine (though of course what you show here is “writ large” in comparison). We were absolutely floored by the variety of rocks in the little cove and wondered why, as the area was so publicly accessible, it hadn’t been picked over. We don’t have an answer, but later on, I discovered that Maine has a very restrictive definition of public shoreline, left over from colonial times. So, I suspect we were on private property!

    Susan Scheid

    April 19, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    • My friend the trespasser!

      I hope the restrictiveness of Maine gives you an incentive to visit New Zealand, which has lots of public shoreline.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 19, 2017 at 9:26 PM

  6. Nature does it so well .. 😃


    April 21, 2017 at 1:58 AM

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