Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Valentine’s Day

with 12 comments

Valentine’s Day in 2017 found us taking a long round trip from Paihia to two places even farther north in New Zealand. The first was the Te Paki dunes, where among the many pictures I took was one of cloud shadows moving across the sand.

Then we continued to the northernmost easily accessible point in the country, Cape Reinga. Below is a coastal view looking back south from there. The long leaves of the flax plants, Phormium tenax, point out (literally) which way the wind was blowing.

New Zealanders will have finished Valentine’s Day by now, so retroactive good wishes to you.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 14, 2019 at 11:31 AM

12 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Thank you Steve, yes indeed we’re over and done with Valentine’s Day now! Te Paki dunes are incredible and when I’ve got time I’ll come back and see the related posts as well! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!

    Ms. Liz

    February 14, 2019 at 2:39 PM

    • Oh, those time zones. We’re still going out to a dinner theater tonight for Valentine’s Day.

      The version of each post that appears in the WordPress Reader includes links to what it considers related posts. I don’t know if the same suggestions appear for every reader who comes to a given post. The two suggestions I saw when I went to the Reader just now are indeed posts about Te Paki that I published in 2017 and 2018. It’s a place well worth highlighting again this year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 14, 2019 at 3:21 PM

  2. The post suggests to me, that I should visit NZ. But the Te Paki and Mts of Sand articles were the suggested add’l reading.

    Robert Parker

    February 14, 2019 at 3:25 PM

    • Anything that prompts you to visit New Zealand gets my approval. Go (south)west, young man, go (south)west.

      So you saw the same two suggested posts in the Reader that I did. Both were correctly about Te Paki. I noticed that one of the suggested links at the end of the Mountains of Sand was for a post about Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado: still dunes, even if not in New Zealand. Looking back at 2017, I’ll have to admit it was a good year for dunes for me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 14, 2019 at 3:35 PM

      • Hey, that gives me an idea for a sci-fi novel, I’ll call it “Dune” and maybe have a giant sentient sandworm in it…

        Robert Parker

        February 14, 2019 at 3:39 PM

        • That sounds like a good idea. You should probably use a pseudonym, maybe something like Frank Herbert.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 14, 2019 at 3:43 PM

  3. The stalk of the flax plant looks so much like that of a century plant — in miniature, of course — that I had to check the families of each, just to see if they might be related. They’re not, though it seems as if they might enjoy similar environments. The addition of shadow to the dunes adds a certain sense of mystery, especially with those glowering skies in the background. The colors of the second photo are more inviting, but I’d have to say that all of NZ seems especially inviting.


    February 15, 2019 at 4:40 PM

    • The century plant and New Zealand flax are both monocots, and the two go a step further down together into the botanical order Asparagales before parting company. That explains at least some of the similarity you see.

      In visiting various dunes over the past few years I at first photographed the sand uniformly (or mostly) lit up. Eventually I noticed that certain shadows added a dramatic element and I made sure to record them.

      I certainly agree with you that all of NZ seems especially inviting. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’ve been there twice.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 15, 2019 at 5:40 PM

  4. Cool, New Zealand flax in the wild.


    February 17, 2019 at 10:46 PM

    • New Zealand flax is among the most common and widespread plants we saw around the country.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2019 at 6:17 AM

  5. Wow just love that last shot Steve … so typically NZ 🙂


    February 23, 2019 at 5:30 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: