Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘clouds

Spearfish Formation

with 6 comments

On June 1st I was taken with this colorful bluff of the Belle Fourche [Beautiful Fork] River in Hulett, Wyoming. As far as I can tell, these rock layers are part of what geologists call the Spearfish Formation.

Half an hour later we saw more of it at Devil’s Tower.

Finally, on the way back to the Black Hills, we saw even more along Interstate 90:

I can’t remember if this last place was still in Wyoming or if we’d already crossed back into South Dakota.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 17, 2017 at 4:40 AM

Close encounters of the northeastern Wyoming kind

with 22 comments

On June 1st I finally made it to a place I’d been wanting to see even before another Steven S. turned it into the setting for the finale of a popular 1977 science fiction movie. The place I’m referring to, of course, is Devil’s Tower.* This geological landmark stands alone of its kind, towering more than 800 ft. above the land for tens of miles around it in northeastern Wyoming.

You can find a zillion pictures on the Internet showing this looming structure. I took close to 200 myself. I’ve chosen to give you an unconventional view that plays up the orange-brown rocks and earth in parts of the park, while ponderosa pine trees and wispy clouds add their share.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

* As you recently read in these pages, some government agencies have decided to throw away apostrophes in geographic names. Not I.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 11, 2017 at 4:49 AM

After the rain

with 8 comments

After the rain started on the afternoon of June 6th at Garden of the Gods, we went and looked at the exhibits inside the visitor center, then drove northeast to the other side of Colorado Springs so we could check into our hotel. A couple of hours later, when the sky seemed to have cleared up somewhat in the west, I called the visitor center and was told that the sun had indeed broken through over there. We drove the 8 miles back to Garden of the Gods and took advantage of the remaining late-afternoon light. You won’t be surprised to hear that for me that usually means taking more pictures. Other visitors had the same idea, as you can see in the photograph above. (I may cast a long shadow as a nature photographer—oh, the conceit—but my shadow isn’t among the ones included here.)

The remaining daylight gradually dwindled, so I staked out a place and waited to see if we got a good sunset. Slowly some colors crept into the early evening sky. The photograph below gives you an idea of the peak colors we saw.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 9, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Racing the rain

with 13 comments

A little after 2:00 in the afternoon on June 6th we arrived at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The sky looked ominous, so we wasted no time in making the rounds of as many formations as we could. Gradually the sky grew more threatening, until eventually a few drops began to come down. We took those drops as a signal and headed back to our car before the real rain hit.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 8, 2017 at 4:56 AM

The Black Hills of South Dakota

with 12 comments

On June 2nd I took this picture from well up on the slope of a mountain (was it Mount Coolidge?) in Custer State Park, which lies in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In addition to looking outward and far away, I looked downward and close, where I found pastel-colored rocks and lichens, brown pine needles and cones, and an entrance to an ant nest.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 5, 2017 at 4:44 AM

Great Sand Dunes

with 40 comments

Great Sand Dunes was the third of the four national parks we visited on our recent trip. At 720 feet, these are the tallest sand dunes in North America. In addition to that, they sit at an altitude of about a mile and a half, so when we were there on June 8th we took pity on our poor lungs and decided not to trudge up these mountains of sand (unlike the Te Paki Dunes that are just above sea level and that we’d climbed in February).

The dunes are so high that when you’re close you can’t see the mountains beyond them. The picture below gives you a broader view, made more dramatic through the use of a polarizer to add extra definition to the clouds and greater contrast in the sky.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 26, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Yucca flowering in the Texas Panhandle

with 22 comments

Probably the most numerous and certainly the most prominent flowers we saw in the Texas Panhandle on May 27th were those of Yucca glauca, known as soapweed yucca, plains yucca, and narrowleaf yucca. This species grows natively from Texas through Alberta, so it followed us on our trip through the Oklahoma Panhandle, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado again, New Mexico, and back into west Texas.

Today’s photograph is yet another one from the Alibates Flint Quarries. The orange earth in the background was within sight of the place shown in yesterday’s second picture.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 23, 2017 at 4:56 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: