Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Hopewell Rocks

with 21 comments

In the recent post entitled “The Bay of Fundy,” the first photograph looked out over the water from a place called Hopewell Rocks. That spot is a popular destination due to its bayside rock formations made all the more picturesque by the great rising and falling of the tides. Below are six of the photographs I took at Hopewell Rocks on June 7th.






© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 6, 2018 at 4:37 AM

21 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I hope it’s not possible to be caught out here at high tide. That would not bode well. The second photo is unusually voluptuous for a rock formation.


    July 6, 2018 at 5:43 AM

    • I searched and found that you’re only the second reader who’s ever used “voluptuous” in a comment here. Maybe I need to seek out some subjects that are even more voluptuous so other commenters will be inclined to follow your lead and use the word. By the way, an alternate name for the formations as a whole is Flowerpot Rocks, which tells you how some other people have seen them.

      As for your thought that high tide might not bode well for a distracted person, the authorities have had the same concern. At the western end of the area open to the public I found a metallic staircase leading up to a platform that’s apparently high enough to keep a stranded visitor from being overcome by rising water. A sign says the stairs are for emergency use only.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2018 at 7:22 AM

      • I am pleased to know there is an emergency stairway. As for voluptuous, perhaps it’s another one of those words which is no longer ‘sexy/cool’.


        July 9, 2018 at 2:52 AM

  2. Looks like a fantastic spot for a geologist. Or maybe “fantastical” would be the better choice. That emergency platform is a great idea. They could put them in schools, too – – when I was teaching in a city school, sometimes I’d be walking down the hallway, and find myself engulfed when the bell rang for lunchtime.

    Robert Parker

    July 6, 2018 at 8:04 AM

    • This is the kind of place likely to make geologists of us all, or at least to arouse our curiosity about how rocks form and change.

      What you say about getting engulfed in a school hallway when the lunch bell rings is funny. The fact that you have a platform to write about it here tells us that you didn’t drown.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2018 at 9:02 AM

  3. So I would use the term “abstract” for the second photo. 🙂
    I am guessing that water (?) carved these rocks many many years ago.


    July 6, 2018 at 9:06 AM

    • I would also call the second picture an abstraction. Abstract photographs are a big interest of mine, as you’ve seen in plenty of posts (and more to come from this most recent trip).

      Yes, the extreme rising and falling of the tides accounts for a good part of the changes that have been wrought at Hopewell Rocks. The freezing and thawing caused by the harsh Canadian winters have also brought about changes. Those forces continue, so visitors even a few decades from now are likely to see noticeable differences.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2018 at 9:13 AM

  4. So unusual and beautiful


    July 6, 2018 at 4:51 PM

  5. I found this paragraph from the location’s webpage interesting:

    “This area was once a dry rift valley, but after the Ice Age, the valley filled with water, creating the Bay of Fundy. While rain and ice continue to erode from the top, the daily tidal action wears away at the bases of the cliffs and rock formations. One can clearly see how high the tides rise by looking at the narrow curved bases of the formations.”

    There was a note further on that mentioned red sandstone near the bottom of the rocks, with a harder, conglomerate “cap” on top. That explains the resemblance of these rocks to Monument Rocks in western Kansas; they have the same protective top layer that allows erosion to shape the lower rock in fabulous ways.

    I like the feel of “flow” in the second photo. It’s not only pleasing to the eye, it shows the nature of the rock especially well. I can’t remember ever seeing rock like this. It certainly helps to explain the color of the river.


    July 8, 2018 at 10:00 AM

    • You made me realize I neglected to include a link to an article about Hopewell Rocks. The one you found at


      is a good one. The strong tidal action accounts for “the narrow curved bases of the formations,” or at least the ones that fit that description. The first picture, for example, shows no narrowing of the base.

      I made sure to include seaweed (apparently known as rockweed, according to the link) so people could see how high the water is currently rising.

      Another place where you can see formations protected from the top, and a site that’s a lot closer than Nova Scotia or even Kansas, is Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas Panhandle. On the same trip you could easily visit Palo Duro Canyon. Of course there’s no ocean up there, which is what makes Hopewell Rocks so scenic.

      Like you, I don’t recall ever seeing rounded formations like the ones in the second photograph.

      The third picture makes me think I’m looking up at the head of a giant dinosaur.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2018 at 10:22 AM

      • Apparently my mental wheels grind exceedingly slow. I was making coffee this morning when I suddenly realized that “cap” + “rock” = “caprock.” It’s one of those names I’ve heard and read so often I never thought of it as anything but a name. Good grief.


        July 23, 2018 at 7:52 AM

        • It’s comforting to assume, based on past occurrences, that we’ll never run out of belated revelations like that one. We want to ask, “How could I never have noticed that till now?” The truth is there’s just too much out there for us to tune in to it all.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 23, 2018 at 10:37 AM

  6. Hey Steve .. super images! Nature has done a fabulous job …


    July 12, 2018 at 3:13 AM

  7. […] impressive as the rock formations are at New Brunswick’s Hopewell Rocks, on the trail down from the parking lot to the shore I had to stop and photograph some trees with […]

  8. […] already seen picturesque rocks and peeling tree trunks from Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick, on June 7th. At one point I looked up […]

  9. Great pictures!!!

    Valerie Cullers

    August 4, 2018 at 7:13 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: