Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

Monday mountains 4

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The many Mondays this month let you marvel at mountains. This time it’s the grand sweep of Cirrus Mountain in the northern part of Banff National Park, Alberta, recorded on September 4, 2017. Thanks to the good folks at Travel Alberta for the identification.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 22, 2018 at 4:49 AM

Sunday sunset 3

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On each of the four Sundays in January you’re seeing sunset pictures from the state whose license plates praise it as the Land of Enchantment. This photograph of a silhouetted dead tree is from June 10, 2017, at Camel Rock, 11 miles north of Santa Fe.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 21, 2018 at 4:57 AM

The ice storm of 2007 — the second day

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As you heard and saw last time, on January 17, 2007, Austin had an ice storm. The next morning, 11 years ago today, the land remained frozen. The roads were a little better, so I ventured beyond my neighborhood and ended up at a property on the northeast corner of Burnet Rd. and Wells Branch Parkway.* There I spent some three hours suffering in the cold for the rare chance in such a warm climate as ours to record plants transformed by ice. The photograph above shows a southern dewberry, Rubus trivialis. Below is a colony of bushy bluestem, Andropogon glomeratus.

Look at the patterns on the ice in this close view of a bushy bluestem seed head bent sideways:

And there were branching jeweled abstractions of ice and light and lens:

 


 

* That property, where I went photographing in the years before and after the ice storm, finally got built on, I think in 2015. I’ll always see it wild, as it was when I roamed there.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 18, 2018 at 5:00 AM

The ice storm of 2007

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On January 17, 2007, Austin had a rare ice storm. As a photographer who lives in the warm climate of central Texas and who much prefers heat to cold, I was nevertheless happy for a chance to try my hand at getting pictures of the sort I’ve envied northern nature photographers for. To that end, I dressed in a sweater, gloves, thigh-high waterproof boots, and a well-padded winter jacket with a hood, and carefully walked the half-mile downhill to Great Hills Park. There I found, among other crystalline wonders, the branches of a poverty weed tree, Baccharis neglecta, bowed down by the weight of the ice encrusting them:

Look more closely at this abstract view of ice encasing lichens on a branch:

Ice did nothing to dim, and may even have enhanced the saturation of, the red fruits on a possumhaw tree, Ilex decidua. (You recently saw a non-iced view of possumhaw fruits from much farther away.)

And oh the retributive delight of all those who suffer in January from allergies set off by the pollen of Ashe junipers, Juniperus ashei, to find the twigs of that tree smothered in ice:

More nice ice next time.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 17, 2018 at 4:55 AM

Sunday sunset 2

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8:10 PM

On each of the four Sundays in January you’re seeing sunset pictures from the state whose license plates proclaim it the Land of Enchantment.

8:18 PM

These three photographs date back to June 10, 2017, at Camel Rock, 11 miles north of downtown Santa Fe. I don’t notice any overlap between the first two pictures. The third, however, zooms in on an area recognizable near the bottom of the second photograph, so you can see how cloud shapes and colors had changed in five minutes.

8:23 PM

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 14, 2018 at 4:54 AM

Sunday sunset 1

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As it would be hard to find anything more appropriate for a Sunday than a sunset, on the four Sundays in January you’ll be seeing sunset pictures. Today’s are from June 10, 2017, at Camel Rock, 11 miles north of downtown Santa Fe. Speaking of 11, that’s how many minutes elapsed between the first photograph and the second.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 7, 2018 at 4:31 AM

Colonizing

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As we begin colonizing 2018, I’m reminded of the appealing little plants that had colonized flat, open areas in several places along Alberta’s Icefields Parkway when we drove north along it on September 4th of what we now get to call last year.

Not knowing what these feathery plants were, I appealed to the Alberta Native Plant Council, and the answer came back that they are a species of Dryas, probably D. drummondii or D. octopetala. I learned that Dryas is in the rose family, and its seed heads are similar to those of its family mate Fallugia paradoxa, known as Apache plume.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 5, 2018 at 4:55 AM

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