Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for June 2017

Finally

with 12 comments

My first pictures at the “vacant” lot in Cedar Park on May 6th were of the coreopsis colony that had brought me there on that sunny morning. Then I looked around to see what else was growing on the property. One find was a species I’d seen for years in Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country but had never encountered in person: cut-leaf germander, Teucrium laciniatum. In the second photograph, the yellow-orange daubs in the background came from coreopsis flowers.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 12, 2017 at 4:58 AM

Coreopsis flowering

with 32 comments

On May 5th Eve and I drove up to the town of Cedar Park, which borders the northern reaches of Austin, to check out the new Whole Foods 365 that opened there a couple of weeks earlier. Lots of construction had gone on (and is still going on) in the area recently, and on a piece of disturbed ground we noticed a good stand of coreopsis flowering. The next morning I went back with my camera equipment to photograph the colony of Coreopsis tinctoria.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2017 at 4:51 AM

New Zealand: Maruia Falls

with 20 comments

I’d never even heard of Maruia Falls till we got close on March 2nd and saw signs for it. This was the widest waterfall we encountered on the trip.

In preparing today’s post I did a little research and learned, to my surprise, that Maruia Falls goes back only to 1929, when it was just 1 meter high. To find out more, you can read the page at The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and then the one that comes up after you click the Next arrow on that page.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 8, 2017 at 4:40 AM

New Zealand: Kahikatea

with 9 comments

The little reserve in central Christchurch known as Riccarton Bush is home to some trees known botanically as Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, in Māori as kahikatea, and in English as white pine. Unlike the many imported species of pine covering so much of New Zealand, this tree is native. In fact, as you can see from the plaque at the end of this post, the kahikatea is the tallest native tree in the country.

The roots of some of the venerable kahikatea trees I saw on March 1st were impressive. Judging from what I’ve found on the Internet, I haven’t been alone in photographing these very ones:

Here’s an informational plaque that stands in Riccarton Bush:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 6, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Six years

with 49 comments

Six years ago today I uploaded the first post of now almost 2300 in Portraits of Wildflowers. You might say that tentative entry was like the little fern shown above getting a foothold in the vertical strata along the trail we trekked to New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier on February 20th this year.

Those strata, which hadn’t always gotten turned 90°, proved so visually appealing that I took many photographs of them. Below is another one. The pink in both cases is from small lichens. Call these formations waterfalls in stone and you’ll have come up with an apt metaphor.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 4, 2017 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: three faces of Te Hoho

with 5 comments

On March 7th we visited Cathedral Cove, a scenic tourist attraction on the Coromandel Peninsula. The ThousandWonders website says this: “The cliffs surrounding Cathedral Cove are made of white massive ignimbrite, a rock produced by explosive volcanic eruptions about eight million years ago. A little offshore is a pinnacle of pumice breccia rock, known as ‘Te Hoho’. Centuries of wind and water has shaped this rock to look like a ship’s prow approaching the beach.”

How you release your inner pareidolia depends on the place from which you view Te Hoho. As I kept moving to the left of the position from which I took the first photograph, I saw the rock take on a second and then a third shape.

From the second position I seemed to see a giant cowboy boot. Nothing particular suggested itself to me from the first position or the third, but you may have visions you’d like to describe.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 2, 2017 at 4:53 AM

%d bloggers like this: