Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for July 2018

Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark

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Well into the afternoon of June 7th, most of the way from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Saint John, New Brunswick, we detoured into the little village of Saint Martins. There we stumbled upon the Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark. A couple of motorcycle riders close to where I’d walked onto the beach to take pictures told me that at high tide—this is the Bay of Fundy, after all—the caves get partly submerged. Below is a closer look at one of the cave entrances; you can see that the water had already risen enough to prevent people from staying dry if they walked to the cave.

For more information, click the following plaque to enlarge it and make the text legible:

Me being me, I photographed not just on the grander scale of the cave-bearing cliffs but also more closely:

Doesn’t that round rock near the center make you think it could almost pass for a planet?

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 31, 2018 at 4:50 AM

White false indigo

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From Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, on June 12th, here’s white false indigo, Baptisia alba, seen in a reference photo (above) and in a more aesthetically satisfying portrait (below). Thanks to horiculturist Anna Fialkoff for identifying many of the plants I photographed there on June 12th.

Turns out I’d taken pictures of this species two years earlier in Illinois. Last year I portrayed a more-colorful species of Baptisia in Kansas.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 29, 2018 at 4:38 AM

Nova Scotia’s answer to New Zealand’s pōhutukawa trees

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New Zealand’s massive pōhutukawa trees are famous for managing to cling to and hang out over cliffs where you’d think gravity wouldn’t let them do that. On June 6th in Hall’s Harbour, Nova Scotia, I found some evergreen trees precariously perched on a cliff along the Bay of Fundy. I took pictures of them from several angles, including the one above looking mostly straight up from the shore beneath the largest of the trees. Notice the curious curve of the small tree at the bottom of the photograph. Below, from a horizontal point of view, you get a closer look at the huge tuber-like base hanging off the cliff.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 27, 2018 at 6:44 PM

Small rhododendron

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At Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, on June 12th, I saw budding and flowering specimens of the shrub known scientifically as Rhododendron minus and in common English as small rhododendron.

All parts of the plant are poisonous, so if you encounter it in person, look but don’t taste.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 26, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Evangeline Beach

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On the cool (maybe 50°F) and overcast afternoon of June 6th, after visiting Nova Scotia’s Grand-Pré National Historic Site, with its exhibit about Longfellow’s “Evangeline,” Evangeline and I stopped briefly at nearby Evangeline Beach.

Notice the distant greenery in the first picture. Because our visit came at or near low tide, I was able to walk out for a closer look at those plants, which are underwater twice each day.

In addition to the lone rock in the second picture, some of the broad rock strata closer in to the shore caught my attention as well.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 24, 2018 at 4:40 AM

Mountain laurel

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Over here we’ve got Texas mountain laurel. At the Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, on June 12th I finally got to see the mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia, I’d heard about for years. Names to the contrary, neither of the mountain laurels is in the laurel family: the Texas one is a legume, while Kalmia belongs to the Ericaceae, or heather family.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 22, 2018 at 4:47 AM

Great ground cover at Ovens Natural Park

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It wasn’t only the rocks and seaweed that warranted attention at Ovens Natural Park in Nova Scotia on June 4th. Just slightly inland from the shore I discovered first one plant and then another that had enough extra shelter to form a ground cover. The colony with white wildflowers is Cornus canadensis, known as creeping dogwood or bunchberry.

The ground cover with yellow wildflowers is silverweed, either Argentina pacifica or Argentina anserina.

Even when the terrain wasn’t flat and sheltered enough for silverweed to form a colony, here and there I found an isolated plant staking claim to a precarious existence among the rocks right at the shore.

Thanks to Ana at Ovens Natural Park for identifying these wildflowers.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 21, 2018 at 4:48 AM

Ovens Natural Park

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On June 4th, after Blue Rocks had only two hours earlier finished providing my second sustained encounter with Nova Scotia’s seacoast, Ovens Natural Park gave me a chance to spend two more hours engaging with the coast.

Below is a closer view of that visually yummy rockweed (probably Fucus vesiculosus, according to staff member Ana):

Oh, those upturned rock layers:

And look at this seaweed on what I take to be granite or something akin to granite:

Imagine replacing the symbol in “I ❤ You” with a closeup of this seaweed. Okay, so maybe the only person who’d ever want to do that is a phycologist or somebody cozying up to one.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 19, 2018 at 7:50 PM

No flowers, buds, plants, grasses, trees, seeds, or bugs

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Bubbles at Base of Small Waterfall in Creek 7986

Doesn’t this flowing water at the base of a small waterfall in Great Hills Park on July 18, 2014, look like ice?

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2018 at 4:43 AM

A drooping rain-lily

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Because Austin had gotten some recent rain and I’d seen a few stray rain-lilies around town, on the morning of July 11th I went to an undeveloped lot on Balcones Woods Dr. where I’ve come to rely on finding rain-lilies and copper-lilies. While I found not a single one of the latter, I did find a scattering of the former.

In particular, I noticed one rain-lily (Cooperia pedunculata) that was bent over and configured in a way I don’t recall ever seeing before. That was good news, because after two decades of photographing rain-lilies I’m always wondering if I can find a new way to portray them.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 17, 2018 at 4:53 AM

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