Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Skull rock again

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For some unknown reason the e-mail version of the Skull Rock post didn’t go out this morning, so I resent the post and succeeded the second time.

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A popular formation at Joshua Tree National Park is Skull Rock. This photograph from November 5th, 2016, shows you the pareidolic reason the boulder is called what it is.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2017 at 6:03 AM

Skull rock

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skull-rock-1279

A popular formation at Joshua Tree National Park is Skull Rock. This photograph from November 5th, 2016, shows you the pareidolic reason the boulder is called what it is.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Celestial fire over the Valley of Fire

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Here’s what we saw at the end of our visit to Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park on October 24th last year.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 3, 2017 at 4:54 AM

Chuckwalla

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Like me, you probably didn’t know that there’s a lizard called a chuckwalla (Sauromalus spp.). This picture from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on November 7th of last year shows that there is.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2017 at 4:56 AM

California and Texas

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With about 39 million people, California is the most populous state in the United States. Texas comes in second with around 28 million people. Both are still strongly growing.

When it comes to physical size, the order is reversed. Texas is the nation’s second largest state, covering almost 268,600 square miles, while California ranks third at close to 163,700 square miles. Alaska is larger than those two combined, with an area of some 663,000 square miles, but that enormous—and enormously cold—state claims only 740,000 inhabitants, or roughly 230,000 less than the city of Austin.

I’ve never set foot in Alaska, and most of the pictures on this blog have been from Texas, so here come another two photographs from California. The first shows Pacific Ocean waves breaking at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve on November 4th last year.

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Click for larger size.

A nearby look in a different direction revealed waves of sand.

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 1, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Tafoni

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From my big Southwest tour I learned the geological term tafoni, a plural noun that refers to “small, rounded, smooth-edged openings in a rock surface, most often found in arid or semi-arid deserts. They can occur in clusters looking much like a sponge and are nearly always on a vertical or inclined face protected from surface runoff.” Such formations have also been called “honeycomb weathering” and “swiss-cheese rock.” The example above is from Arizona’s Wupatki National Monument on October 21st of last year.

The formation shown below from Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park on October 24th represents a different sort of tafoni that you can imagine inspiring the practitioners of Art Nouveau.

To learn more about tafoni and see many more instances, check out Kuriositas or Wikipedia.

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© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 31, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Above and below at Morro Bay

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The wispy clouds above Morro Rock in California on the morning of November 4th, 2016, appealed to me.

At the same time, down below, I saw what I take to be a western gull, Larus occidentalis.

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© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 30, 2017 at 5:04 AM

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