Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

New Zealand: a closer look at the Franz Josef Glacier

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Above is a February 20th view taken from the end of the trail near the base of the Franz Josef Glacier on the west side of New Zealand’s South Island. Below is an even better look at the details of the ice and rocks at the place where the glacier passes from existence to non-existence.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 20, 2017 at 5:00 AM

New Zealand: a bluish white

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February 20 is still the height of summer in New Zealand. Nevertheless, on that date we hiked the hour or so from the carpark to the front of the Franz Josef Glacier, which is located in the Southern Alps half-way down the western side of the South Island. Before we’d gone too far along the trail I stopped to photograph the still-distant glacier. Europe and North America have their glaciers, but none that I know of are within sight of tree ferns. They were an excellent accompaniment to the first glacier I’d ever seen in person.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 19, 2017 at 5:01 AM

A brighter white

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Brighter white than the old plainsman buds you saw last time are the flowers of southern dewberry, Rubus trivialis. I photographed this member of the rose family on March 15th between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 in my northwestern part of Austin.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 18, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Old plainsman buds opening

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Again from the strip of land between Arboretum Blvd. and Loop 360 on March 14th, here are some opening buds of old plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus). Don’t you find them sculptural?

As with the previous image, I had to lie down to take this photograph, given that the small buds were little more than a foot (0.3m) above the ground. Unlike the Indian paintbrush and bluebonnet shown in the last post, old plainsman is a native plant that few people pay attention to, much less appreciate. On the contrary, I suspect many consider it a weed. Not I.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2017 at 4:50 AM

New Zealand: Tāne Mahuta

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On a cloudy February 12th we visited Tāne Mahuta, about which Wikipedia says: “Tāne Mahuta is a giant kauri tree (Agathis australis) in the Waipoua Forest of Northland Region, New Zealand. Its age is unknown but is estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years. It is the largest kauri known to stand today. Its Māori name means ‘Lord of the Forest’ (see Tāne), from the name of a god in the Māori pantheon.” If you’d like, you can read the rest of the article, which includes measurements.

The kauri trees in New Zealand suffered a fate similar to that of the sequoias and giant redwoods in California: in the 1800s and 1900s most got cut down for their wood.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 14, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Not rain

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weeping-rock-view-of-mountain-4761

A well-known feature at Utah’s Zion National Park is Weeping Rock, where water seeps out of the upper part of a rocky overhang. When we visited the place last year on October 22nd I got behind the plane of the dripping water and looked outward through it. A slow shutter speed of 1/40 second let the falling drops leave bright trails that contrasted with the wispy clouds visible above the adjacent mountain.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 11, 2017 at 5:08 AM

Dark clouds over mesa

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dark-clouds-over-reddish-mesa-in-utah-5720

On October 23rd of 2016, after I photographed red leaves among black trunks and leafless aspen trees and some other things, we drove back down Kolob Terrace Road to the town of Virgin and headed west on Utah Highway 9. Before long I stopped to photograph this mesa with dark clouds.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2017 at 5:00 AM

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