Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 2018

New Zealand: State Highway 6

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It’s not unusual to drive around New Zealand and find scenic things within sight of the road. Today marks a year and a day since we were heading south from the Franz Josef Glacier along State Highway 6 when I stopped to photograph the waterfall shown above. What all those dark patches on the rocks were, I don’t know, but I welcomed the extra texture into my photograph. From the other side of the road I looked down the steep embankment at a different sort of waterfall in the stream below:

The day before, I’d been taken by the “walls” of ferns growing right at the edge of the pavement along some stretches of the same highway further north. Here’s one of those fern-formed walls.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 21, 2018 at 4:34 AM

New Zealand: remembering our first glacier

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A year ago today we visited the Franz Josef Glacier on the west side of New Zealand’s South Island. A summer morning it was, and therefore touristy, but we found a space in the crowded carpark and set out on the 5.5-km round-trip hike to the glacier. We first glimpsed it from far away, when tree ferns were more prominent.

Then we kept on to the end of the trail, which left us still a bit removed from the foot of the glacier. That was the time to pull out a telephoto lens, as I did for the picture below. This was the first glacier we’d ever seen in person, so naturally we were impressed. There’s something special about glacial ice’s pastel blue hue.

As a photographer I’m at least as interested in the small things as the prominent ones. Below are five close looks at formful and colorful details that caught my fancy on the hike.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2018 at 4:39 AM

New Zealand: sunset over Franz Josef Glacier

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Late in the afternoon a year ago today we checked into the Glacier View Motel outside the village of Franz Josef Glacier on the west side of New Zealand’s South Island. The motel lived up to its name, as you can confirm in this view that I recorded at sundown.

(“Monday mountains 8” is an alternate title for this post.)

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 19, 2018 at 4:25 AM

New Zealand: from island to ice cream

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From a year ago today comes this view of Kāpiti Island. In case you’re wondering about the the post’s title, Kāpiti Island has given its name to a popular brand of dairy products.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 18, 2018 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: Lake Taupo

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A year ago today we stopped at the south end of Lake Taupo, where I photographed some graceful toetoe (pronounced in Māori tó-eh-tó-eh, placed in botany in the genus Austroderia). Here’s a closer looks that lets you see the detailed structure in one of the seed heads:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 17, 2018 at 4:42 AM

New Zealand: tree fern like a parasol

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Over the two years since our first visit to New Zealand, something I wished I could do again was look up and see the parasol of a tree fern. In the Manginangina Scenic Reserve on February 15, 2017, I was able to do that once more. Note the slender vine insinuating itself down the right side of the picture.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 16, 2018 at 4:51 AM

New Zealand: Manginangina

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A year ago today in New Zealand’s Northland we visited the Manginangina Scenic Reserve, which is a good place to see the native bush that once covered much of the country.

Behold the distinctive branches of a young rimu tree (Dacrydium cupressinum):

As a photographer fond of abstractions, I particularly enjoyed the self- and lichen-mottled bark of a kauri tree (Agathis australis).

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 15, 2018 at 4:46 AM

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