Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Monday mountains 2

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On this month’s five Mondays you’re getting a look at mountains. Today it’s Cascade Mountain in Banff, Alberta, as I saw it on September 2, 2017. You can tell how quickly the clouds were moving by comparing their positions and the positions of their shadows on the mountain in a photograph taken 13 seconds later:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 8, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Sunday sunset 1

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As it would be hard to find anything more appropriate for a Sunday than a sunset, on the four Sundays in January you’ll be seeing sunset pictures. Today’s are from June 10, 2017, at Camel Rock, 11 miles north of downtown Santa Fe. Speaking of 11, that’s how many minutes elapsed between the first photograph and the second.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 7, 2018 at 4:31 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

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Colonizing

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As we begin colonizing 2018, I’m reminded of the appealing little plants that had colonized flat, open areas in several places along Alberta’s Icefields Parkway when we drove north along it on September 4th of what we now get to call last year.

Not knowing what these feathery plants were, I appealed to the Alberta Native Plant Council, and the answer came back that they are a species of Dryas, probably D. drummondii or D. octopetala. I learned that Dryas is in the rose family, and its seed heads are similar to those of its family mate Fallugia paradoxa, known as Apache plume.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 5, 2018 at 4:55 AM

Frostweed ice: toward abstraction

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The extrusion of ice by frostweed (Verbesina virginica) is a great natural phenomenon. Austin’s temperature stayed mostly below freezing from the morning of January 1st, when I went down to Great Hills Park to take my first photographs of the new year, through this morning, when I returned for a second round of frostweed pictures, even more than two days earlier. Frostweed ice offers an opportunity for photographic abstractions, and that’s what you’re seeing here. Unlike the picture you saw last time, which involved flash, today’s images were made by natural light, which necessitated wider apertures that produced a softer feel.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 3, 2018 at 6:00 PM

The frostweed, yes.

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I don’t know if Carl Sandburg knew about frostweed’s magic ice trick, but those of you who’ve been coming here for a while sure do. When the Austin temperature dropped to 26°F (–3°C) on New Year’s Eve, I knew there was a strong likelihood for frostweed ice on January 1st. When morning came, I dressed warmly and headed for a stand of Verbesina virginica I know in Great Hills Park, there to spend two hours in the cold taking scads of pictures.

If you’re not familiar with the frostweed ice phenomenon, you can read more about it in an early post.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 2, 2018 at 4:33 AM

Monday mountains 1

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Making much of aleatory alliteration, let’s launch into 2018 with photographs of momentous mountains on the five Mondays in January this year.

Today’s first of the five, from September 4, 2017, is Mount Victoria in Banff National Park, Alberta. Thanks to the good folks at Travel Alberta for identifying this.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2018 at 4:49 AM

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