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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: fern with sporangia

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Look at the prominent sporangia (spore-bearing bumps) that I saw on this fern frond in Queenstown on February 21st.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2017 at 4:50 AM

New Zealand: Turutu amid ferns

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Turutu with Fruit 7087

Not everything at Wai-O-Tapu is geothermal. There are also some pleasant areas of native bush, in one of which I found a turutu plant among lush ferns when I walked about on February 24th. You can’t see much of the plant per se, but its colorful little fruits are hard to miss, and they’ve prompted the vernacular names blueberry and inkberry. For more information about what botanists know as Dianella nigra, you can check out the relevant T.E.R.R:A.I.N article.

(I’ve added an update to yesterday’s post about the possible pronunciations of the word elephantine, of which there are at least four.)

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 13, 2015 at 5:13 AM

New Zealand: Little hard fern koru

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Little Hard Fern Koru 4658

Click for greater clarity, especially in the little hairs.

Now that I’ve shown you a little (and only a little) of what’s been going on in springtime Austin, here comes a second round of pictures from my February trip to scenic New Zealand.

At the Christchurch Botanic Gardens on February 14th I photographed this koru (the Māori word for the curled shoot of a fern) on what’s called a little hard fern, Antarctic hard fern, alpine hard fern, or alpine water fern, whose scientific name is Blechnum penna-marina. The species part of the name is Latin for ‘sea feather,’ but that refers to the plant as a whole rather than to this koru, which I think people are more likely to liken to the scroll on a violin, even if no violin scroll has smaller scrolls within it the way this fern does.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 8, 2015 at 5:28 AM

New Zealand: Otari-Wilton’s Bush

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Five years ago today we spent time at Otari-Wilton’s Bush in Wellington.
That calls for five pictures, the first being a typical bush scene there.

The next one shows you a Marlborough rock daisy, Pachystegia insignis.

I’m a sucker for lichens, as you see in the following two pictures.

The lichen in the first of these was on the trunk of a tawa tree (Beilschmiedia tawa).

And how could I not show you another tree fern, especially from above?

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2020 at 4:49 AM

New Zealand: colors at Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley

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A year ago today we spent a few hours at the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in Rotorua. One thing that caught my attention was the small geyser shown above. The second photograph shows the colors adjacent to the geyser. (You can connect the two pictures using the log common to both.)

And here are other nearby colors:

But nothing there beat the color of Inferno Crater Lake:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 5, 2018 at 4:40 AM

New Zealand: green is the color of Riccarton Bush

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A year ago today we visited Riccarton Bush in Christchurch.

As you can see, the place is heavily shaded. The green of and on the dense vegetation predominates.

If you’d like to read more about the history of this area, click the image of the plaque and it will enlarge; then click again and you should be able to make out the words.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2018 at 4:40 AM

New Zealand: more from Lake Wakatipu

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For me as a photographer, Lake Wakatipu was one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand.

What I’d seen on February 21, 2017, hardly seemed like enough, so two days later we again drove north from Queenstown along the eastern shore of the lake for more looking and more picture-taking. Today’s six photographs were among them. The landscape views show you that the clouds and rain from two days earlier had completely gone away.

The close-ups reveal details in the interesting rocks that lie along the shore in abundance.

And oh, those New Zealand ferns.

And did I mention the rocks?

© Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2018 at 4:28 AM

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

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

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