Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Glacier National Park

Rocks and texture

with 10 comments

Oh give me rocks along with texture
And then I won’t incline to vexture.*

I took both pictures in Glacier National Park, Montana, the first on August 30th and the other the next day.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman


* When I searched for vexture in the dictionaries front-ended at OneLook.com, I got asked: “Did you mean: venture, texture, vesture, vecture, vetture, feature, gesture, overture, fixture, lecture, vulture, mixture, verdure, denture, venturi, ventura, aventure, velure, voiture, ventre, esture, vettura, textury, ventuse, textura, vestire, vetere, vettore, vertue?”

No, I really meant vexture. In a separate Internet search I found an instance of someone else using the word: “And curse the mud with vain veritable vexture.”

In any case, each of the links in the OneLook.com response is active, so you can click to pursue as many of the obscure words there as you’d like. I invite you to use some of them in your own communications to see how much esture you can create.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 13, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Intricate roots of a fallen tree

with 36 comments

Glacier National Park, Montana; August 31.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 15, 2017 at 4:53 AM

Bumblebee on fireweed flowers

with 27 comments

From August 30th in Glacier National Park, here’s a bumblebee on some fireweed flowers. The way the bumblebee flitted about on the fireweed reminds me now of the way botanists have been flitting about in some of their classifications. They’ve dubbed fireweed Epilobium angustifolium, Chamerion angustifolium, and most recently Chamaenerion angustifolium. Oh well, that which we call fireweed, by any other name would have flowers that look as good—assuming you’re close enough. After one view of wilted flowers and another of fresh ones from a bit of a distance, you’re finally getting a proper look at some fireweed flowers.

If you’d like to see the many places that fireweed grows in North America, check out the zoomable USDA map. I’d thought of this as a species from the Northwest and Canada and Alaska, and so was glad to finally encounter it on this trip. Now I’m surprised to learn that fireweed grows in 38 out of the 50 states in the United States. That range doesn’t include Texas but it does include Long Island, where I grew up.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 20, 2017 at 4:34 AM

Bishop’s Cap Mountain and more

with 13 comments

When you scanned the previous picture from Glacier National Park on August 31st, did your glance get caught on the rocky protrusion way off to the left in the same way it probably did on the much more prominent Pollock Mountain? This time you get a closer of view of Bishop’s Cap Mountain, which is the name of that other peak. Despite the appearance of blue sky, there were clouds, and they moved rather quickly. You see the shadows of two of them, one to the right of the picture’s center and the other in the lower left corner. Intruding itself at the lower right, immobile, is a flank of Pollock Mountain.

So much depended on where I looked. The picture of Bishop’s Cap shows a clearer view than I had for much of the rest of the day. Compare that to the photograph I took two-and-a-half minutes later, also from the Logan Pass visitor center, facing in a different direction.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 16, 2017 at 5:01 AM

The sometimes hard life of a subalpine fir

with 9 comments

Glacier National Park in winter, especially at high altitudes, is a hard place. On August 30th I saw the enduring consequences of that harshness on some of these subalpine fir trees, Abies lasiocarpa, at Logan Pass (altitude 6,647 ft.). Beyond them is Pollock Mountain, which sits on the Continental Divide.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2017 at 4:54 AM

From Columbia to Columbian

with 31 comments

Okay, so I graduated from college at Columbia University in 1967. That didn’t prepare me for my first encounter, fifty years later, with a Columbian ground squirrel (Urocitellus or Spermophilus columbianus) outside the Logan Pass visitor center in Glacier National Park, Montana, on August 31st. I’d kept hearing a clucking noise that I couldn’t identify. A nearby person said “it” was on the other side of some trees from where we were standing. When I walked around I found out what the “it” was: this squirrel chattering away and coincidentally lording it over a little colony of flowering fireweed (Chamaenerion or Chamerion or Epilobium angustifolium). This is the second appearance recently of fireweed in a supporting role with an animal; the prolific plant will eventually appear in its own right. In the meantime, if you want a much closer look at the ground squirrel, click below on the excerpt from a different frame. You’ll be glad you did.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 13, 2017 at 4:37 AM

Regeneration

with 20 comments

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

Western mountain ash

with 6 comments

At various places in Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park we noticed plants with conspicuous clusters of orange fruits, like this one in Glacier National Park on August 30th. Teagan Tomlin of the National Park Service identified it for me as western mountain ash, Sorbus scopulina. Notice how the orange discolorations on some of the leaflets match the color of the fruit.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 8, 2017 at 4:56 AM

Eerie

with 24 comments

The smoky haze that accompanied us westward across Glacier National Park on August 30th stayed with us when we drove back the other way the next day. In some places the haze hovered above the remains of trees from a previous forest fire, reddening the sun and turning the world eerie.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 4, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Wild Goose Island

with 21 comments

Here’s a non-traditional photograph of Wild Goose Island in St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park on August 30th. I say it’s non traditional because the island is such a small element compared to the dead tree in the foreground that dominates the image. You could add that the photograph is unconventional because instead of clarity and blue water and snow-covered mountains, you get a smoky wildfire haze that has muted the details. Those same observations apply to the picture of Wild Goose Island below, which I made ten minutes later from another pullover on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 3, 2017 at 4:48 AM

%d bloggers like this: