Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

New Zealand gets a run for its money

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As fabulous as New Zealand is for a nature photographer, the Canadian Rockies and nearby areas give it a run for its money. When I posted my first New Zealand picture in March of 2015, I emphasized the aquamarine color of the water I saw in its seas. The Canadian Rockies lack a seacoast, of course, but some of the lakes there provide colors to rival those of the ocean surrounding New Zealand. Shown above is Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, on September 8th. Even the heavy haze of smoke from wildfires could only partially subdue the lake’s color; this corner was its most vivid.

In the posts ahead you’ll be seeing other photographs from this latest trip, along with some things from earlier outings, and of course updates from central Texas.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 21, 2017 at 4:42 AM

Like a green snake in the water

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The sinuous algae you see here looked to me on July 25th, and still today, like a green snake in the water of Bull Creek. Notice the tiny aquatic insects. The leaf may be from a cedar elm tree (Ulmus crassifolia).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 15, 2017 at 4:37 AM

Crazy Horse

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When we visited the far-from-ever-being-completed memorial to Crazy Horse in South Dakota’s Black Hills on June 2nd, the dramatic clouds caught my attention as much as anything else, and probably even more. The “opening quotation mark” above the blue hole in the clouds is curious, isn’t it?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 9, 2017 at 5:07 AM

Another white

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At the top of Scott’s Bluff in western Nebraska on May 29th I noticed some plants that formed low mounds of white flowers, like the one above that has some other plants growing up inside it. How rude.

I later learned that the white-flowered plants are desert sandwort (Eremogone hookeri). Below is closeup of some of the flowers densely packed into one of those mounds.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 5, 2017 at 4:48 AM

Strange white stuff

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Finding sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis) along creeks in Austin is commonplace. When I looked at this sycamore leaf along Bull Creek on July 25th I saw something I’d noticed once before, years earlier, but had never tracked down. Val Bugh came to the rescue this time: “the white stuff is a secretion that a female dobsonfly uses to cover her egg masses. Makes them look like bird droppings. The leaf should be over water so the hatchling hellgrammites will drop in.”

Me, I can’t help thinking the Hellgrammites were once a religious sect of the fire-and-brimstone type. In fact the American Heritage Dictionary says that the first part of the word probably is indeed hell, based on the insect’s painful bite. And we remember the old adage that hell hath no fury like a female dobsonfly scorned.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 3, 2017 at 4:40 AM

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Cardinal flowers

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I hadn’t seen any cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) for several years when I discovered one plant flowering right at the edge of Bull Creek on August 14th. (I found one more when I went to Great Hills Park on August 21 to photograph my colanderized eclipse.)

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 1, 2017 at 5:04 AM

Standing milk-vetch flowers

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At the top of Scott’s Bluff in western Nebraska on May 29th I saw flowers of standing milk-vetch, Astragalus laxmannii.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 30, 2017 at 4:55 AM

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