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Sibonga sunsets

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As you heard a few posts back, on December 23rd last year I wanted to see what the sunset along Sibonga’s waterfront might look like. What put the idea in my head was that on December 15th we’d been at the town square not far from the shore and I’d taken a few sunset pictures on my iPhone, including this one:

Late in the afternoon on the 23rd we walked out to the tip of the pier that juts into the Cebu Strait. Here’s one of the first pictures I took of the developing sunset:

Twelve minutes later, the view east toward Bohol had turned a pleasant rosy blue:

And six minutes after that we saw a more orange view looking west, back toward the town:

Notice how shades of gray distinguish “layers” of hills.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Lake Pflugerville

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This morning we walked part of the path around Lake Pflugerville on the Blackland Prairie.
One thing that caught my attention was the reflection of a bare tree.

Another thing was a shaft of light in the clouds.

At the edge of the lake near the main parking lot I noticed seed head remains of bushy bluestem
(Andropogon glomeratus) and cockleburs (Xanthium strumarium) among the cattails (Typha latifolia).

I took these photographs with my iPhone.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Etwas anderes

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This post’s title, which is something different because it’s in German, means “something different.” That applies to the post’s photograph, which is also something different in these pages because it doesn’t show nature (at least not unless you consider geometry a part of nature). Oh well, I hope you won’t mind if once in a while I jump out of my box. The subject, which I photographed with an iPhone at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan on May 29th, is the Oculus, designed by Spanish-born architect Santiago Calatrava.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 9, 2018 at 4:40 AM

Unusual clouds

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The last unusual clouds you saw here were from Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta on September 3 of last year. Two days ago when we headed out to run a few errands, the atypical combination of clouds overhead caught our attention. Rather than go back home for a real camera, lazy me pulled over and used an iPhone.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

UPDATE: Unbeknownst to me at the time, the last of the several pictures I took included a jet plane. It appeared to be flying parallel to the prominent cloud, yet the airplane produced no contrails at all. The long white cloud remains a mystery.

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 6, 2018 at 4:36 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Beginning of winter in Austin

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Thanks to two bridges, on the first official day of winter (December 21) we walked a two-mile circuit around a portion of downtown Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. At Vic Mathias Shores on the south side of the lake I pulled out my iPhone and recorded this view of bald cypress trees, Taxodium distichum, turning their end-of-year colors. The tall, bare plants in the foreground are giant ragweed, Ambrosia trifida. How could I pass up a sky like this as a contrasting background?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 16, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Like a pink storm

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Gulf Muhly Seed Heads 0584

While waiting at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center a little before 5 o’clock on October 15th for the opening reception of the Native Plant Society of Texas symposium, I pulled out my iPhone, knelt, and took this picture. When gulf muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) matures and produces seeds, I see it as a local pink storm, such is the sense of movement that I get from it, even though the grass doesn’t move unless the wind is blowing. Do you feel that implied movement in this stillness?

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 20, 2015 at 5:06 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Periscope up!

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My friend Joe Smith recently told me about a new communications app for cell phones called Periscope. Using the Periscope app, people broadcast videos that other people can watch live and that then stay available for viewing for just 24 hours. (Can you spell ephemeral?) I’ve gone ahead and joined, which is free, and while I was out doing my usual thing this morning I also created a few brief test videos about the native plants I was seeing. These are very much on-the-fly productions without the controlled quality of the still images that appear on this blog, but if you’re curious you’re welcome to have a look. Videos have a couple of advantages over still images: [1] things move (plants in the breeze, for example, and me)  [2] there’s sound, so you get to hear my mellifluous narration (along with the noise of passing cars, etc.).

You can download the free Periscope app for iPhone at

https://itunes.apple.com/app/id972909677

and the free app for Android at

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=tv.periscope.android

Once you have the app running on your phone, you can search for people by touching the icon at the bottom right of the screen, the one made up of three stylized people’s heads. I’m listed as Steve Schwartzman; you can also search for Portraits and the app will find my name. Once you find a person whose videos you want to see, you can press the circular icon with the plus sign to the right of the person’s name. From then on you’ll be notified of any new videos the person posts. And of course you may want to start posting videos of your own.

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 18, 2015 at 2:35 PM

Posted in nature photography

The day with two dawns

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As Phileas Fogg found to his great relief (in the form of a gain rather than a loss of £20,000), and I merely as a curiosity, travelers crossing the International Date Line from west to east gain a calendar day. For me the most recent eastward crossing of the Line took place on February 27th, which I remember as the day with two dawns. You’ve already seen pictures taken during the first one, which I lived through at Little Manly Beach on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula north of Auckland. The second dawn, shown through the safety of an airplane window and the convenience of an iPhone camera, came to me over the Pacific Ocean as we approached the California coast.

Here then, after five installments, you’ve finally reached the last of the photographs you’ll see from the great and fondly remembered New Zealand venture of 2015. Any of you who’d like to take a stroll (or more properly scroll) back through all 70 (!) of the posts about New Zealand may click here.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 24, 2015 at 4:56 AM

Possumhaw’s time to shine again

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Possumhaw with Dense Fruit 0351

While walking along the trail that parallels the south shore of Lady Bird Lake yesterday afternoon I spied some possumhaws, Ilex decidua, with lots of little fruits on them. This iPhone picture lets you see the colorful view but you’ll have to imagine feeling the 72° (22° C) that the temperature got up to.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 19, 2015 at 5:25 AM

A lush and colorful revelation

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In the last post you saw poison ivy in its vine form turning colors, as the plant usually does here in late November or early December. Earlier on that same morning of November 25th I’d turned north off 45th St. onto Perry Lane when suddenly the blaze of colors shown here greeted me in the front yard of a house. All that wonderful color was coming once again from poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). The plant was so lush I couldn’t initially tell what form it had taken, but eventually I peered through openings between the leaves and found that the poison ivy appeared to be in its bush form. What’s more, it had taken root beneath an often-planted invasive type of non-native tree (alas!) and had almost completely eclipsed the lower part of it (yay!). Notice that not only can poison ivy’s leaflets turn yellow or yellow-orange, as you saw last time, but they can go all the way to red.

Three days later I passed back by and knocked on the door of the house. I asked the woman who answered whether she knew that all those pretty-colored leaves were poison ivy, and in fact she didn’t. She added—I think separately from the fact that the plant had turned out to be poison ivy—that she didn’t find the leaves attractive. Oh well, one person’s gorgeous fall foliage is another person’s blah.

Another six days later, on the morning of December 4th, I happened to drive past the house again just when a fire engine and an EMS vehicle were out front with their lights flashing. I saw that the woman I’d spoken with a week earlier was being wheeled out to the ambulance on a gurney. She was conscious and didn’t seem to be in distress, but obviously something must have happened to her.

This is the second recent photograph I’ve posted from an iPhone 5s. When I took pictures at this site the first time I didn’t have my regular photo equipment with me, but I was happy enough with the phone’s version that I didn’t feel any need to redo it—aside from which the leaves and the weather were both duller three days later when I stopped by the second time.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 6, 2014 at 5:27 AM

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