Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘cliff

Return to the cliff: orange and green

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On January 16th, two weeks after my first foray this year to the cliff on the west side of Capital of Texas Highway south of FM 2222, I returned. I did so because when driving past there the previous day I’d noticed that the recent snow/sleet had invigorated the water’s seeping on the face of the cliff. Some of my new photographs highlighted orange areas among the rocks. In the first picture, notice in the upper left how the dead roots or stems of plants were slowly become mineralized. And a little right of center near the bottom it was good of a pillbug to appear as a token representative of the animal kingdom.

In the middle photograph, some of the drying southern maidenhair fern leaves (Adiantum capillus-veneris) at the upper right were taking on a paler version of the orange in or on the rocks. What the green stuff in the final picture was, I don’t know.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 20, 2021 at 4:37 AM

A seeping cliff, a shrine, a medallion

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The cliff on the west side of the Capital of Texas Highway just south of FM 2222 seeps water, especially in the days after rain. The picture above shows how a section of the cliff looked on January 2nd after we’d had rain a few days earlier; I’d say you’re looking at a height of about 20 ft. (6m) here. In one place on the face of the cliff some southern maidenhair ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris) adorned a small natural shrine whose not deep but deep-shadowed interior a flash provided visual admission to. Notice how a few drops of water, inviters and sustainers of ferns, hung from the little grotto’s upper lip

Elsewhere the same kind of ferns made up part of a large medallion. The many darkened ferns testify to the previous period of several months when we’d had almost no rain.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 19, 2021 at 4:39 AM

Verdure on the seeping cliff

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As you heard last time, on June 12th I spent time at the cliff along Capital of Texas Highway a little north of the bridge over the Colorado River. The water that seeps out of the cliff supports vegetation, most notably southern maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris, which in one place formed a column that grew all the way up to the top of the cliff:

Here and there isolated maidenhair ferns found refuge in little alcoves.

In a couple of areas the lush maidenhair ferns turned the base of the cliff into a green wall.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 26, 2019 at 4:40 AM

Seeping cliff

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On June 12th I spent time at the cliff on the west side of Capital of Texas Highway
a little north of the bridge over the Colorado River.

You can see that as water seeps through the cliff it slowly deposits minerals.

Most of the cliff doesn’t seep. In some places the contrast between wet and dry calls attention to itself.

Might these be time- and weather-worn Mayan glyphs?

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 23, 2019 at 4:22 AM

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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

As with ferns, so with rocks

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Austin doesn’t offer rock formations anywhere near as grand as the ones I recently saw along the Atlantic coast in Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Nevertheless, on a smaller scale, some structures here are worth looking at.

From the same stretch along Capital of Texas Highway that provided the fern pictures in the previous post, you’re now looking at the cliff’s patterns and textures as I photographed them on June 24th.

I took almost all my pictures in a vertical orientation to align with the downward dripping and flowing of water as it seeped out of the rocks.

I figure the forms in the last two portraits might lead us to form, on the model of the portraitist whose models’ forms are said to be Rubenesque, the adjective seepesque.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2018 at 6:38 PM

East from Los Alamos

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A year ago today we drove east from Los Alamos on New Mexico Highway 502 across part of the Pajarito Plateau. In the distance were the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 11, 2018 at 4:35 AM

Red Deer River

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Above is a pastel and some would say painterly view of the Red Deer River passing through Rosedale, Alberta, on August 26th. Below you see a cliff that’s on the same side of the river and that doesn’t hold on tightly to its future as a cliff. These two views tell you you’re looking at a part, more colorful than many others, of the Canadian Badlands.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 29, 2017 at 4:37 AM

Bandelier National Monument

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On June 11th we spent a few hours at a place in Northern New Mexico that I’d visited only once before, way back in 1981: Bandelier National Monument. Below is a closer view of some of the Swiss-cheese-like rocks that make the site holey.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 11, 2017 at 4:52 AM

New Zealand: Tunnel Beach

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Down and down and down on February 26th went the path from the carpark toward Tunnel Beach a few miles outside of Dunedin. Eventually the trail got to the level of the upper surface of a rocky promontory. A side trail through a tunnel excavated in the 1870s allowed further descent to sea level, where I reveled in this view of the promontory’s eastern wall.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 4, 2017 at 5:04 AM

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