Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘desert

Monahans after the rain

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When we drove into the town of Monahans in west Texas on June 14th it was too late in the afternoon for us to continue the short distance to the attraction that had brought us there: Monahans Sandhills State Park. We could see that it had rained in the area that afternoon, and what effect that had had on the dunes became clear only the next morning. How differently textured the sand was then from the way we’d seen it in 2014 when we’d visited on the afternoon of April 12th and the morning of April 13th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2017 at 4:40 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Carlsbad canyons

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No, the title isn’t a typo or thinko: I meant Carlsbad canyons. While almost everyone goes to Carlsbad Caverns National Park to see the caverns, the road in from the highway passes through some scenic canyons whose grand scale makes them worth stopping for in their own right, as we found out on June 14th. It’s a harsh land of little rain, where many plants have a hard time making a go of it.

One plant that thrives there is Dasylirion wheeleri, known even in English by the name that the Spaniards took from the Aztecs: sotol. Below you see a sotol flower stalk (which people joke is so tall).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 22, 2017 at 5:08 AM

And a lizard

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Click to enlarge.

Here’s a lizard I found at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in northern New Mexico on June 12th. Thanks to Pat Maher and Scott Bulgrin of the New Mexico Herpetological Society for identifying this as an eastern collared lizard, Crotaphytus collaris. You can read more about collared lizards at Wild Herps. You can get a much closer view of this one by clicking to enlarge the thumbnail below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2017 at 4:38 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

Petroglyph National Monument again

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On June 13th we visited Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque for the second time, our previous visit having been in the fall of 2014. This time we walked a trail we hadn’t on that first visit, the Cliff Base Trail in Boca Negra Canyon.

The third picture gives you a feel for the desert landscape around there.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Dark clouds over mesa

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dark-clouds-over-reddish-mesa-in-utah-5720

On October 23rd of 2016, after I photographed red leaves among black trunks and leafless aspen trees and some other things, we drove back down Kolob Terrace Road to the town of Virgin and headed west on Utah Highway 9. Before long I stopped to photograph this mesa with dark clouds.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2017 at 5:00 AM

From the cliffs of Montezuma

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montezuma-castle-ruins-in-cliff-2460

Let’s get two things straight about Montezuma Castle: Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, had nothing to do with it, and it’s not a castle. No, this cliff in northern Arizona shelters the 600-year-old remains of a cliff dwelling created by a people called the Sinagua. And let’s get a third thing straight: that wasn’t their name. No, Sinagua was a name created in 1939 from the Spanish words sin ‘without’ and agua ‘water,’ based on the scarcity of flowing water in the region.

The prominent plants in the foreground are four-wing saltbushes, Atriplex canescens. Here’s a closer look at some saltbushes bordering the parking lot:

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If you want an even closer look, you can check out a post about our 2014 trip to the Southwest.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 18, 2017 at 5:01 AM

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