Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘forest

Intricate roots of a fallen tree

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Glacier National Park, Montana; August 31.

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 15, 2017 at 4:53 AM

I like clarity and contrast in my photographs.

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Yes, I usually do like clarity and contrast in my photographs. If what’s in front of me doesn’t lend itself to those qualities, then I go with the toned-down reality that’s available. Here from September 8th along Highway 93 in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park are two takes—one horizontal, the other vertical—on a formerly burned forest hazily visible through the smoke of the latest fires in the area. Subtlety can be special, too.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 4, 2017 at 5:01 AM

Regeneration

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When I stopped in Glacier National Park on August 30th to photograph the remains of a forest fire from a few years before, I was taken with these seed heads of a grass that had filled in parts of the forest floor since that fire. The dry grass stalks stood immobile that afternoon, yet their leaning and their arcs might prompt your imagination to see movement. The gray skies in the distance need no imagination to be seen for what they were: smoky from the wildfires that became the backdrop for much of our trip.

Sonja Hartmann at the park’s plant nursery identified the photogenic seed heads as Calamagrostis rubescens, known as pinegrass. Above the center of the picture’s lower border are the similarly colored but differently structured seed head remains of yarrow, Achillea millefolium.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 12, 2017 at 4:54 AM

That stream I mentioned

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Oh yeah, here’s the rushing stream I mentioned yesterday, the one we saw on June 5th near the aspen grove along US 40 in the Rocky Mountains. My guess is that some or even a lot of the water was due to melting ice and snow from the surrounding mountains.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 6, 2017 at 4:55 AM

New Zealand: Kahikatea

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The little reserve in central Christchurch known as Riccarton Bush is home to some trees known botanically as Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, in Māori as kahikatea, and in English as white pine. Unlike the many imported species of pine covering so much of New Zealand, this tree is native. In fact, as you can see from the plaque at the end of this post, the kahikatea is the tallest native tree in the country.

The roots of some of the venerable kahikatea trees I saw on March 1st were impressive. Judging from what I’ve found on the Internet, I haven’t been alone in photographing these very ones:

Here’s an informational plaque that stands in Riccarton Bush:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 6, 2017 at 4:59 AM

New Zealand: Dorothy Falls

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On February 19th we visited Dorothy Falls, about half an hour east of Hokitika on the South Island. You can see the lushness of the native bush that surrounds the falls.

Here’s a closer view of the waterfall:

Below is an even closer view hand-held at 1/15th of a second. I’ve made longer hand-held exposures, but they push the limits of a photographer’s stability. One thing that has helped, when it has been available, is steadying myself against a tree or boulder.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 3, 2017 at 4:54 AM

New Zealand: Tāne Mahuta

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On a cloudy February 12th we visited Tāne Mahuta, about which Wikipedia says: “Tāne Mahuta is a giant kauri tree (Agathis australis) in the Waipoua Forest of Northland Region, New Zealand. Its age is unknown but is estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years. It is the largest kauri known to stand today. Its Māori name means ‘Lord of the Forest’ (see Tāne), from the name of a god in the Māori pantheon.” If you’d like, you can read the rest of the article, which includes measurements.

The kauri trees in New Zealand suffered a fate similar to that of the sequoias and giant redwoods in California: in the 1800s and 1900s most got cut down for their wood.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 14, 2017 at 5:00 AM

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