Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 2017

Red Deer River

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Above is a pastel and some would say painterly view of the Red Deer River passing through Rosedale, Alberta, on August 26th. Below you see a cliff that’s on the same side of the river and that doesn’t hold on tightly to its future as a cliff. These two views tell you you’re looking at a part, more colorful than many others, of the Canadian Badlands.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 29, 2017 at 4:37 AM

Skipper on Gregg’s mistflower

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While at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on October 25th I couldn’t help noticing that the Gregg’s mistflowers (Conoclinium greggii) in particular acted as scent magnets for many butterflies, including several types of skippers. Thanks to Dan Hardy for identifying this one as a female sachem (Atalopedes campestris).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 28, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Peyto Lake

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Everybody photographs Banff National Park’s Peyto Lake, so why shouldn’t I? On September 4th we hiked up to the popular overlook from which I took this picture. Fortunately it gives no hint of the dozens of people around me.

UPDATE: I should’ve explained that the lake’s wonderful color is due to what’s called glacial rock flour.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 26, 2017 at 4:46 AM

Do you see it?

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Here from my neighborhood on October 21st are some buds and flowers of Ageratina havanensis, known as shrubby boneset, white mistflower, and Havana snakeroot.

Did you notice the little visitor?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 25, 2017 at 4:43 AM

Vermilion River

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A visitor to Marble Canyon in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park encounters the Vermilion River a short distance before its confluence with Tokumm Creek as that creek flows out of the canyon. Here from September 8th are two views showing that part of the Vermilion River and some of the picturesque rocks in it.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 24, 2017 at 4:37 AM

The past

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Mayan ruins, Copán, Honduras, 1978

“What’s past is prologue.” — Shakespeare, The Tempest, 1611.

“The best prophet of the future is the past.” — Byron, in a letter, 1821.

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 23, 2017 at 5:03 AM

Blue Hole

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Yesterday we spent a pleasant seven hours visiting with our friends the Smiths in Wimberley, a town in the Texas Hill Country about 45 miles southwest of our home in Austin. The picture shows a part of Cypress Creek called Blue Hole. The large trees are bald cypresses, Taxodium distichum.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 22, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Spittlebug on resin bush

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My first visit in a good while to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center came on October 25th. During that photo foray I noticed a resin bush (Viguiera stenoloba) with plenty of spittlebug spittle on it. For a closer look, click the excerpt below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 21, 2017 at 4:54 AM

New Zealand: Red-billed gull

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In the last year and a half we’ve taken five trips averaging a little over three weeks each. It became common for me not to have finished showing pictures from the most recent trip before we launched into the next one, whose photographs then clamored in their turn to be shown as soon as possible. The result is that some worthy pictures never appeared in these pages. From time to time I’ll spring one or several on you.

Today’s first photograph, taken on February 13th, shows a somewhat put-out juvenile red-billed gull (Larus novaehollandiae) in the village of Mangonui, on New Zealand’s North Island. Below is a sub-adult of the same species. Colin Miskelly of the Te Papa Museum, who identified these birds for me, pointed out that “It is common for gulls and other shorebirds to stand on one leg, mainly to conserve body temperature.”

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 20, 2017 at 4:34 AM

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More about the Paint Pots

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Last month you had an introduction to the Paint Pots in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park. Now here’s a little more from our September 8th visit. The first photograph shows the ochre-saturated mound we encountered as we approached the end of the main trail. What a contrast between the dark green of the trees and the saturated orange earth, don’t you think?

The second picture lets you walk up over the rise and have a look at a portion of the picturesque “paint pot,” i.e. pond, beyond. Notice in this closer view how the ochre had stained the bases of the sedges at the pond’s margin and made rings around the leaning dead trees at the waterline. And what’s not to like about the ghostly reflections of those dead trees?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 19, 2017 at 4:58 AM

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