Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘lava

Native plants at Valley of Fires Recreation Area

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While traveling a roundabout way from Las Cruces to Albuquerque on October 12th we visited the Valley of Fires Recreation Area in south-central New Mexico. You might think the extensive lava there would inhibit plant growth, but that’s not the case, as the native plants in this post attest. One goes by a pithy vernacular name, winterfat, but its scientific name is a mouthful: Krascheninnikovia lanata. The species epithet is Latin for ‘woolly’ (Spanish and Italian still have lana for ‘wool’), and these two pictures of the plant show you why that’s an apt description.



Another native plant has the catchy vernacular name four-wing saltbush, Atriplex canescens.
I’m afraid I don’t know what kind of grass had gone to seed to the left of it.
You can get a closer look at saltbush in pictures from our 2014 visit to New Mexico.



And of course various cacti grow in the area, including the cholla (Cylindropuntia sp.) below.
Its upper portions may (or may not) have been dead.
The green branches closer to the ground unambiguously attest to life.



© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 6, 2022 at 4:27 AM

Valley of Fires Recreation Area

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Obsession, foolishness, pertinacity, stubbornness, dedication: take your pick. WordPress tells me that as of today I’ve put out 4000 posts. That’s enough posts to build a gigantic wooden fortress.


Instead of doing that I’ll show you where we stopped on October 13th after we continued north from the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site. As enchanted as I’d been by the Valley of Fire State Park during our 2016 visit to Nevada, how could I not stop at New Mexico’s Valley of Fires Recreation Area? The “Fires” in New Mexico are a reference to vulcanism, as you see in the top picture, which is an overview, and the next photograph, which offers a closer look at a congealed lava flow.



And here’s an upward look at a lava formation several meters high:



© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 5, 2022 at 4:30 AM

New Zealand: Rangitoto Island seen from Little Manly Beach early on the morning of February 27th

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Rangitoto Island from Little Manly Beach at Dawn 8321

If you’d like to learn more about the extinct volcano that is Rangitoto Island, you can read the website of the Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust or a Wikipedia article. And if you’d like a closer and more-abstract view of the rocks on Little Manly Beach by the dawn’s early light, just look down.

The sea now gets to lave the shore
That lava got to lave before.

Sunrise Beach Details 8338

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 20, 2015 at 5:32 AM

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