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New Zealand: Two steam-capped geothermal sites

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Today marks the beginning of the fifth and last set of photographs from the great February visit to New Zealand.

The first picture is from Te Puia on February 23rd. I expected to see areas of yellow attributable to sulfur, but the pale reddish rocks farther out came as a surprise.

Geothermal Formations at Te Puia 6787

And speaking of colors, how about the green and orange that I found together along one margin of the Champagne Pool at Wai-O-Tapu on February 24th?

Champagne Pool Margin 7332

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 7, 2015 at 5:21 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: Lady Knox Geyser

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Lady Knox Geyser 7032

Here’s a view of the Lady Knox Geyser after it was induced to go off on the morning of February 24th at Wai-O-Tapu in the geothermal region near Rotorua.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 6 and 7 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 13, 2015 at 5:04 AM

New Zealand: Geothermal mineral deposit

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Geothermal Mineral Deposits 7206

Last week you saw some boiling mud at Wai-O-Tapu in the geothermal zone near Rotorua. From the same place on February 24th, here’s a mineral deposit whose textures and colors wouldn’t let me pass by without photographing them. The forms at the left are a miniature version of the Pancake Rocks that appeared here a month ago.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 12, 2015 at 5:27 AM

New Zealand: Boiling mud eruption

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Mud Eruption 7466

Speaking of strange shapes reminiscent of objects in Surrealist paintings, how about this eruption in a pool of boiling mud? I took the picture on February 24th at Wai-O-Tapu*, which is in an active geothermal area in the vicinity of Rotorua on the North Island. The sputtering of the boiling mud was unpredictable, so I set my camera to 1/500 sec. and tried to press the shutter release at the first hint of a splatter. Many of my attempts didn’t succeed, but this photo did a pretty good job of capturing the phenomenon.

Today’s image of a geothermal feature is the first one from my New Zealand trip to appear here, but it won’t be the last.

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* After I prepared this post I saw that the Wai-O-Tapu website says TripAdvisor calls the location “One of the 20 Most SURREAL Places in the World.”

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 5, 2015 at 5:07 AM

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