Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘fern

New Zealand: more from Lake Wakatipu

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For me as a photographer, Lake Wakatipu was one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand.

What I’d seen on February 21, 2017, hardly seemed like enough, so two days later we again drove north from Queenstown along the eastern shore of the lake for more looking and more picture-taking. Today’s six photographs were among them. The landscape views show you that the clouds and rain from two days earlier had completely gone away.

The close-ups reveal details in the interesting rocks that lie along the shore in abundance.

And oh, those New Zealand ferns.

And did I mention the rocks?

© Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2018 at 4:28 AM

New Zealand: tree fern like a parasol

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Over the two years since our first visit to New Zealand, something I wished I could do again was look up and see the parasol of a tree fern. In the Manginangina Scenic Reserve on February 15, 2017, I was able to do that once more. Note the slender vine insinuating itself down the right side of the picture.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 16, 2018 at 4:51 AM

New Zealand: Rainbow Falls

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A year ago today we visited Rainbow Falls outside the town of Kerikeri in New Zealand’s Northland. The falls were welcome, coming as they did so early in the trip. That said, we saw more impressive ones later, especially on the South Island.

I’d been away from New Zealand’s giant ferns for 23 months, so the leaf of a large fern adjacent to Rainbow Falls, shown below, appealed to me at least as much as the waterfall and provided a chance for a geometric abstraction.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 8, 2018 at 4:52 AM

From Monday to Wednesday

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On Monday evening, October 23rd, I bought a copy of John Abbott’s Damselflies of Texas. On Wednesday at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center I photographed these two reddish damselflies in the penultimate stage of their mating sequence on a fern. Thanks to the field guide I’d so recently come home with, I identified them as desert firetails, Telebasis salva. They’re small, with a body length of from 24–29mm, or roughly one inch.

I see that the Spanish name for this damselfly is caballito del diablo. That means ‘little horse of the devil,’ presumably because of the red color. If you’d like to see more details of these little devil’s horses, click the excerpt below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 1, 2017 at 7:40 AM

New Zealand: koru

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What kind of nature photographer would I be if I returned from New Zealand without showing you at least one koru? Koru is the Māori word for what English sometimes calls a fiddlehead, the spirally curled tip of a new fern leaf. I photographed this one on February 19th along the path leading from Dorothy Falls to Lake Kaniere.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 16, 2017 at 4:58 AM

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Six years

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Six years ago today I uploaded the first post of now almost 2300 in Portraits of Wildflowers. You might say that tentative entry was like the little fern shown above getting a foothold in the vertical strata along the trail we trekked to New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier on February 20th this year.

Those strata, which hadn’t always gotten turned 90°, proved so visually appealing that I took many photographs of them. Below is another one. The pink in both cases is from small lichens. Call these formations waterfalls in stone and you’ll have come up with an apt metaphor.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 4, 2017 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: fern with sporangia

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Look at the prominent sporangia (spore-bearing bumps) that I saw on this fern frond in Queenstown on February 21st.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2017 at 4:50 AM

Not from Neil Young

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Cinnamon Fern 7441

In 1969 Neil Young may have wanted to live with a Cinnamon Girl, but in the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th of this year I was content to spend a few minutes with a cinnamon fern, Osmundastrum cinnamomeum.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 8, 2016 at 5:06 AM

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New Zealand: Turutu amid ferns

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Turutu with Fruit 7087

Not everything at Wai-O-Tapu is geothermal. There are also some pleasant areas of native bush, in one of which I found a turutu plant among lush ferns when I walked about on February 24th. You can’t see much of the plant per se, but its colorful little fruits are hard to miss, and they’ve prompted the vernacular names blueberry and inkberry. For more information about what botanists know as Dianella nigra, you can check out the relevant T.E.R.R:A.I.N article.

(I’ve added an update to yesterday’s post about the possible pronunciations of the word elephantine, of which there are at least four.)

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 13, 2015 at 5:13 AM

New Zealand: Ponga

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Silver Fern 4367

The ponga, or silver fern (Cyathea dealbata), has become an emblem of Aotearoa and even, in stylized form, a candidate for a new flag for the country. The upper surface of each ponga frond is a green that you’d expect from a fern, but the lower surface is a very pale green that some see as a silvery off-white. You can decide for yourself how to describe the color based on this abstract view of a ponga from my visit to Kawau Island on February 12th.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 1, 2, 4, 9 and 14 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

NOTE: Yesterday’s post has just gotten an update that gives a likely identification of the vividly red-orange plants you saw there.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 15, 2015 at 5:56 AM

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