Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘beach

Atlantic ghost crab

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Another find on the beach at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail along the Gulf of Mexico in Brazoria County on October 6th was a juvenile Atlantic ghost crab, Ocypode quadrata, which wasn’t much more than an inch across. As it scuttled about sideways on the sand, I eventually got close enough with my 100mm macro lens to make a few decent portraits. According to the Wikipedia article about ghost crabs, “the name… derives from their nocturnality and their generally pale coloration.” This crab was obviously trying out some diurnality, which is what made it possible for me to take pictures.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 24, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Surrealistic barnacles, continued

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In a comment on the previous post, Shannon Westveer referenced the photograph showing barnacle shells on a larger shell against a background of cumulus clouds, and she mentioned the Belgian painter Magritte, whom I’d referred to in my post. That dose of Surrealism apparently primed me to misread* her next sentence, “I’m greatly looking forward to your artistic view of the barnacle covered log,” as “I’m greatly looking forward to your artistic view of the barnacle covered dog.” A barnacle-covered dog would indeed be surreal, as dogs don’t live in the ocean. Neither do large trees, yet the hefty stump shown above had spent enough time underwater in the Gulf of Mexico to acquire a crusting of barnacles before ending up on dry land again.

The second picture provides a closer look from a lower vantage, and the third one gets even more detailed. All are from our time at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on October 6th.

* In Nadja, published in 1928, André Breton (the leader of the Surrealist movement) gives value to the misreading of words. In particular, he tells how the poet Louis Aragon pointed out to him that from a certain angle the word ROUGE (red) on a hotel sign can be read as POLICE. I did my reading of Nadja in college in 1966–67 and still have my yellowing Livre de Poche paperback copy from way back then. It let me retrieve the details of what got misread as what, which I didn’t remember on my own after all these years.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2019 at 4:15 PM

More from the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail

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The previous post showed you six of the things we saw on October 6th at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on the south shore of the peninsula that’s across the bridge from the west end of Galveston Island. Now here are another half-dozen finds.

Trailing fuzzybean, Strophostyles helvola

Drying pod of a trailing fuzzybean, Strophostyles helvola

American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus

Purple beach morning glory bud, Ipomoea pes-caprae

Purple beach morning glory flower, Ipomoea pes-caprae

Barnacle shells on a larger shell

While that last picture may not be entirely “natural,” holding the shell up against the clouds seemed like a natural enough thing to do for the sake of a good portrait. Magritte or another Surrealist painter could’ve shown the entire shell floating in the clouds.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2019 at 4:42 AM

Kelly Hamby Nature Trail

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On October 6th, Linda Leinen drove Eve and me from League City to a rendezvous with Shannon Westveer and her husband Scott at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on the south shore of the peninsula that’s just across the bridge from the west end of Galveston Island. It was the first meeting for the three of us with the two of them, and we all sang Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Getting to Know You” (okay, so we didn’t actually do that). In this post you’ll see three times two of the things we found on the beach.

Beach evening-primrose flower, Oenothera drummondii

Gulf croton, Croton punctatus

Beach morning-glory, Ipomoea imperati

Shannon has made the case for this being woolly tidestromia, Tidestromia lanuginosa

A colorfully banded shell

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 19, 2019 at 6:05 PM

Looking more familiar

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By the time we reached the Alabama Gulf Coast on our way back to Austin we were increasingly seeing wildflowers that we recognized because they also grow in Texas. One of those (which actually grows as far away as New York and Massachusetts) was Chamaecrista fasciculata, commonly called partidge pea. Here you see a bud of that species in front of a flower that I believe to be a saltmarsh morning glory, Ipomoea sagittata, based on its leaves (sagittata means ‘shaped like an arrowhead’). I took this colorful picture on August 10 outside the Estuarium on Dauphin Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you’re wondering what kind of flower will emerge from the bud, you can check out a post from 2014. And if you’re interested in the craft of photography, today’s portrait illustrates point 5 in About My Techniques.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2019 at 4:47 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Navarre Beach

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On the way from Atlanta to Mobile on August 9th we deviated from the most direct route to stop at Navarre Beach on the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle. The dark clouds beyond the sea oats (Uniola paniculata) foreshadowed the downpour that hit us west of Pensacola an hour or so later.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 10, 2019 at 4:45 AM

February 26–27, 2015

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Late in the afternoon four years ago today I walked down to Little Manly Beach, which lies on the south side of a peninsula that juts into the Hauraki Gulf north of Auckland.

You can see that the nearer sea-eroded cliffs and shore already lay in shadow. That didn’t stop me from taking some pictures of fascinating formations, a few of which I showed here after I got back to Texas. Nevertheless, I went back the next morning—my last in New Zealand on that first trip—when the light came from the opposite direction, so I could have another crack at the interesting patterns. Below are several.

Green algae

Rock swirls

Barnacles

I planned to go back at the end of our 2017 visit but unfortunately heavy rains caused mudslides that blocked both roads that would have let us leave the Coromandel Peninsula. We lost a day and made it back to Auckland only a few hours before we had to go to the airport for our return flight to Texas.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2019 at 4:22 AM

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