Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘lake

Smoke in the Canadian Rockies

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When I look at my photo archive I’m impressed by how much we accomplished on this date in 2017, all of it accompanied by varying amounts of smoke from forest fires. The first picture shows a view along the Trans-Canada Highway as we drove east that morning from our hotel in Golden, British Columbia.

We continued on to two scenic and therefore much-visited lakes in Alberta’s Banff National Park. The photograph above shows Moraine Lake, with its richly colored water, later in the morning. The view below lets you see how sunshine radiated through the clouds and smoke over Lake Louise as dusk approached.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 8, 2020 at 4:12 AM

A colorful revisiting of Emerald Lake

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Hard to believe today marks three years since we stood at the edge of Emerald Lake in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park. Smoke from forest fires obscured the lake’s far shore but the turquoise color still came through to set off the slender red seed capsules of the fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) in the first photograph. On a different fireweed plant there I found the caterpillar of a bedstraw hawkmoth, Hyles gallii.

Although it was only a week into September,
so far north some foliage was already beginning to turn colors.

I was attracted to a bush with small white fruits and reddening leaves
that I take to be common snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 7, 2020 at 5:00 AM

New Zealand: February 21, 2017

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On this date in 2017, during our second visit to New Zealand, the day began in Wanaka, where we looked out from our apartment and saw this morning mountain clad with a cloud:

Later that day we reached what ended up being one of my favorite places in New Zealand: Lake Wakatipu.

The shore between Queenstown and Glenorchy had me turning this way and that, looking for pleasing compositions both vertical and horizontal. The first shoreline view looks southwest, the second northwest.

Even without the lake and the mountains, the patterns and textures of the rocks intrigued me.

I made various abstract portraits of them, including these three.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 21, 2020 at 4:46 AM

Kayangan Lake

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On December 13 we went on one of what are known as Coron’s island-hopping tours. The first stop was Kayangan Lake, which was so crowded with tourists that I could hardly take any photographs. At a moment when swimmers and floaters briefly cleared a spot on the opposite side of the lake, I managed to get the picture above. (How about the color of the water?) Other than that, I was limited to a few closeups of things in the lake, like these rippled rocks that appeared to be covered with neon lights:

A floating red leaf caught my attention, as did the needlefish near it:

Here’s a closer look at the needlefish:

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 5, 2020 at 4:31 AM

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Lake Pflugerville

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This morning we walked part of the path around Lake Pflugerville on the Blackland Prairie.
One thing that caught my attention was the reflection of a bare tree.

Another thing was a shaft of light in the clouds.

At the edge of the lake near the main parking lot I noticed seed head remains of bushy bluestem
(Andropogon glomeratus) and cockleburs (Xanthium strumarium) among the cattails (Typha domingensis).

I took these photographs with my iPhone.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2019 at 5:00 PM

November 6, 2016, in the desert of southern California

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Dunes along Interstate 8: one take at abstraction

Dunes along Interstate 8: a more minimalist take at abstraction

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 6, 2018 at 4:37 AM

Emerald Lake shore

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A year ago today we (and many other people) visited Emerald Lake in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park. The smoke from forest fires dulled views of the surrounding mountains, as you see above, so for some pictures of the lake I aimed closer in. As an example of that approach take the second photograph, which plays up the tall trees while still allowing the color of the lake to come through.

The low plants along the water in the photograph above are sedges. Below is a close view of one taken from the shore looking back the opposite way. In “La Belle Dame sans Merci” Keats mentioned this type of plant:

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

 

And to counteract the pallor of any pale loiterers among you, here are some fireweed flowers (Chamaenerion angustifolium) that also grew close to the shore.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 7, 2018 at 4:46 AM

Mount Katahdin

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I’ve been reading Laura Dassow Walls’s recent biography of Thoreau. Near halfway through comes an account of Thoreau’s 1846 visit to Mount Katahdin, which at 5267 ft. (1605m) is the highest point in the state of Maine: “From Quakish Lake they got their first glimpse of Mount Katahdin*, still twenty miles away, its summit veiled in clouds.”

On June 2nd of this year, driving north on Interstate 95, we took the pullout for a scenic view of the mountain. Unfortunately, as you can see in the photograph, we had the same experience Thoreau originally did, and the summit remained obscured by clouds. Oh well, maybe another time. No clouds obscured my view of some birch trees (Betula papyrifera, I believe) adjacent to the pullout’s parking lot. Given the briskness of the breeze, I used a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second to keep the leaves from blurring yet still let them convey a sense of the wind.

* By a curious coincidence, in the evening on the same day that I updated the draft of this post to include the information about Thoreau, we watched an unrelated documentary I’d taken out of the library. As the introductory credits appeared, we saw that the company that had made the documentary was Katahdin Productions.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 4, 2018 at 4:40 AM

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: remembering Lake Wakatipu

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[Today carries you just past the half-way point in a series of daily posts marking the one-year anniversary of last year’s trip to New Zealand.]

On February 21, 2017, we drove north from Queenstown along the eastern shore of Lake Wakatipu, which I trust you’ll agree is scenic, especially with wind-whipped waves on it.

Weather changes quickly at Lake Wakatipu. Look at the menacing clouds in the next picture, which came less than an hour after the first one.

Early that evening, just north of the end of the lake in Glenorchy, we saw this rainbow:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 23, 2018 at 4:42 AM

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