Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


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The smoky haze that accompanied us westward across Glacier National Park on August 30th stayed with us when we drove back the other way the next day. In some places the haze hovered above the remains of trees from a previous forest fire, reddening the sun and turning the world eerie.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 4, 2017 at 4:57 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Eerie indeed, but also wonderful!

    lostfunzone (dothob)

    October 4, 2017 at 5:28 AM

  2. Eerie but a beautiful photo!

    Mind Margins

    October 4, 2017 at 5:37 AM

  3. The arrangement of branches on only one side of the trunk reminds me of what it looked like east of Houston after Hurricane Rita. There were long stretches of road where the pines had been stripped in that way. The placement of the sun is nicely done, although I did wonder, briefly, who had the laser pointer.

    Those northerners may have Lake Erie, but you found Lake Eerie.


    October 4, 2017 at 8:02 AM

    • I thought of saying something about Lake Erie; you beat me to it. A movie from last year beat both of us to it:


      The branches all on one side of the prominent tree attracted me to it. In seeing the photograph now, I wish the sun had been a smidgen more to the left but I couldn’t compose any more accurately because I didn’t want to look too long at the sun through the viewfinder.

      I also made compositions from other nearby places, both with and without the prominent tree. I took 76 pictures in all. Many of the other please me too, but I had to pick just one for this post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 4, 2017 at 8:49 AM

  4. We took the Amtrak Empire Builder to Seattle September 15. It passed Glacier NP the evening of the 16th. The skies were clear and bright as we went by. Next morning in eastern Washington, the skies were red with smoke haze. It seemed cleared on our return the 27th. Perhaps it was due to wind shifts and some rains.

    Jim R

    October 4, 2017 at 8:09 AM

    • September 15 was the day after we returned from our three-week trip. I checked the Glacier National Park website last night and found that most of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which goes all the way across the park, is now closed (the last time I’d looked, only about half the length of the road was closed). I’m assuming that’s because of continuing fire danger. Perhaps both times you passed near GNP the wind was blowing away from you. I wonder if what you saw in eastern Washington was a different forest fire; I know there were several.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 4, 2017 at 8:57 AM

      • Fire danger and some winter weather conditions.

        Jim R

        October 4, 2017 at 10:29 AM

        • Right: winter is already begin to settle in in that region. The roads to Takakkaw Falls and Moraine Lake are likely to close for the season within the next couple of weeks.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 4, 2017 at 10:42 AM

  5. Eerie indeed…


    October 4, 2017 at 8:27 AM

  6. To me it even has a frightening atmosphere.
    I personally find it hard to believe, when I see pictures of raging forest fires, that they – at least some of them – are in fact good for nature.


    October 4, 2017 at 9:05 AM

  7. I love this majestic image! I would definitely display this in my home or use it on a coffee mug or greeting cards. Absolutely taken with this one!


    October 4, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    • Both Eve and I felt the strangeness of the sun there that afternoon, so I tried to convey that feeling through the pictures I took. Thanks, Lori, for letting me know it came across to you in this image.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 4, 2017 at 10:34 AM

  8. Our sky here was pretty murky from smoke, too. The photo looks like it could have been a scene from Mordor in The Lord of the Rings.

    Lavinia Ross

    October 9, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    • I’ve never read those books, so I’ll take your word for it. The name Mordor sounds like it’s a variant of the word murder. I wonder if Tolkien intended that resemblance. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon, and the original Anglo-Saxon form of the word was morthor.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 9, 2017 at 2:24 PM

  9. Wow! You don’t get better framing than that! What a shot Steve 😃


    October 10, 2017 at 3:03 AM

    • I worked at it, Julie. It wasn’t easy, because I didn’t dare do more than take brief glances through the viewfinder for fear of hurting my eye.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 6:26 AM

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