Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘mountains

New Zealand: Crossing the Cook Strait again

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The Cook Strait, named after the adventurous Captain James Cook, separates New Zealand’s two main islands. Three years ago today we rode the Interislander ferry from Picton on the South Island to Wellington on the North Island. The first photograph shows the last rocks the ferry passes as it leaves the South Island and enters the Cook Strait. I took the second photograph out in the strait 12.5 minutes later.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2020 at 4:31 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

Life and death in Saguaro National Park

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Behold a fishhook barrel cactus (Ferocactus wislizenii) in the eastern sector of Tucson’s Saguaro National Park as we saw it two years ago today:

Hardy as desert plants are, they all eventually meet their demise. Here’s what a barrel cactus look like then:

Oh, all right, it was Saguaro National Park, so I guess I’ll have to show you a saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). This one had two particularly enfolding “arms”:

And here are the stately remains of a saguaro with upraised “arms”:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 8, 2018 at 4:49 AM

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

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

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Two years ago today we spent a couple of morning hours at Red Rock Canyon
National Conservation Area on the west side of Las Vegas.

You’re seeing a few pictures from there.
You’re not seeing the busloads of tourists that also swarmed there.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2018 at 4:50 AM

Zion National Park

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Two years ago today we reached Zion National Park in Utah.

Even late into the afternoon, with shadows already creeping up on the formations and the light fading, I kept taking pictures for as long as I could.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2018 at 8:12 AM

Minimalist mountains and clouds

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Here’s a different take on the Kananaskis Range of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada: a silhouetted view with graphic clouds beyond and above. The date was September 11, 2017.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 13, 2018 at 4:52 AM

The Kananaskis Range

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A year ago today we drove through parts of the Kananaskis Range in Alberta. Though apparently not as well known as some other sections of the Canadian Rockies, the mountains in this range are massive, and it’s hard to convey their scale in photographs. With that caveat, here are four of the peaks I photographed that the staff at Alberta Parks could give me names for.

Cat’s Ears

Mount Lorette

Mount Blane

Mount Brock

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2018 at 4:56 AM

Athabasca Glacier

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A year ago today we stopped along the Icefields Parkway to see the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Plenty of ice and snow remained on the adjacent mountains as well, even at this warmest time of the year.

Below is a mostly downward look at how the moving Athabasca Glacier once scratched its way across a level expanse of upturned rock strata.

Near the scratched rocks I saw some low, fluffy mounds of what I take to be a species of Dryas, likely D. drummondii or D. octopetala. I learned that Dryas is in the rose family, and its seed heads are akin to those of its family mate Fallugia paradoxa, known as Apache plume.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 6, 2018 at 4:46 AM

September 4, 2017

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September 4, 2017, proved a long and adventuresome day in the Canadian Rockies. A couple of hours after heading north from Calgary we entered Banff National Park, where among intriguingly many other things I photographed the cloud-bannered fortress of rock shown in the first image. Call it Mount Rundle and you could be right.

Along the noisy edge of the Trans-Canada Highway I photographed some late-stage fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) divorced from its mountainy context.

By early afternoon we reached the famous Bow Lake.

At the far end of the day, as we headed east from Jasper to Hinton, I photographed burned trees with no water in sight.

Then, further along and with little daylight left, I found other trees not obviously charred but still seemingly dead that stood next to as much water as they could have wanted when alive. The way the water reflected the trees appealed to me.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 4, 2018 at 4:40 AM

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