Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘clouds

New Zealand: Milford Sound

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On February 22nd we made like tourists and took a two-hour boat cruise of Milford Sound on the southwestern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. As you can see, Milford Sound is a fiord. Given the heavy annual rainfall in this area, more than a dozen waterfalls cascade into the fiord. Notice one near the left edge of the first photograph and the right edge of the second. Notice also how the clouds descend below the peaks of the mountains that line the fiord. The distant white in the second photograph is residual snow or ice from the previous winter.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 9, 2017 at 5:01 AM

New Zealand: Te Paki

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On February 12th we saw but couldn’t get to some large sand dunes on the opposite side of an estuary from the highway we were on. Two days later on our way to the northern end of the North Island we made a point of visiting the Te Paki Dunes, which with some effort we climbed. Shown here is the most interestingly wind-sculpted section of sand I saw.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 1, 2017 at 5:02 AM

New Zealand: views from the Interislander

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The first time on the recent trip that we took the Interislander ferry, from the North Island to the South Island on February 18th, the weather was grey. We had better luck going back across the Cook Strait to the North Island on March 3rd, as you can verify in the picture above.

And here’s a look down at the churning water alongside the ferry:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 25, 2017 at 4:54 AM

New Zealand: Glenorchy

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A few days before we were going to be in Queenstown I looked online for a hotel but the town was so crowded in February that I couldn’t find a single place to stay. None. Zero. I did, however, find an opening at a hotel in Glenorchy, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu about an hour north of Queenstown. That turned out to be a good thing because I don’t know if we’d otherwise have taken the scenic drive along the eastern side of the lake. The picture above shows the mountains outside Glenorchy late in the afternoon on February 21st. Notice once more that fields of ice had lasted into the warmest part of the year.

After settling in, we went out again during the last hour of daylight and drove a few miles further north, where we found this rainbow:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 21, 2017 at 4:52 AM

New Zealand: toetoe and clouds

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Look at the graceful toetoe seed heads (Austroderia spp.) we saw at the south end of Lake Taupo on February 17th.

(If you’re interested in the craft of photography, point 24 in About My Techniques applies to this photograph.)

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 7, 2017 at 5:03 AM

Pale orange sand dunes in El Paso

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orange-sand-dune-with-clouds-2525

Speaking of dunes, as I have the last couple of times, I hadn’t known there are pale orange sand dunes on the east side of El Paso (Texas). There are. They made for a pleasant surprise along US 62 on the morning of November 9th last year, when dramatic clouds added to my appreciation.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 1, 2017 at 5:00 AM

New Zealand: flax

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Along with ferns, the other practically ubiquitous type of native plant one sees in New Zealand is flax. At least that’s what the British called it after they arrived and found the Māori using the fibers of the plant to make cloth, just as the Europeans used flax to make linen. The Māori call these members of the lily family harakeke, the most common species of which is Phormium tenax.

On February 12, after driving a few minutes west from the site where I took the picture of sand dunes that you saw last time (and you can still see them in the background this time), I came to the Arai-Te-Uru Recreation Reserve, where I was able to portray these New Zealand flax plants in the stage after they’ve produced and shed seeds.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 31, 2017 at 4:48 AM

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