Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

New Zealand: two plants to ward off scurvy

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On the grounds surrounding the museum in Russell on February 10th I found various cultivated native plants, along with little signs that identified some of them. The one shown above is Apium prostratum subsp. prostratum var. filiforme (yikes!), known in Māori as tutae koau and in English as shore celery and New Zealand celery. The one shown below is Lepidium oleraceum, called nau in Māori and Cooks [sic] scurvy grass in English. British sailors ate both of them to ward off scurvy, as the last link and another explain in more detail; in fact those plants were the first two ever gathered for food by Europeans in New Zealand.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 23, 2017 at 4:56 AM

I thought I might have missed them

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We got back from New Zealand on March 9th. In driving around my Austin neighborhood in the days after that, I didn’t see any cedar sage (Salvia roemeriana) flowering in the accustomed place along Morado Circle so I thought I might have missed this year’s flowers while I was away. Toward the end of the month I finally saw one, and on April 1st I photographed a few beneath some “cedar” (Ashe juniper) trees on Floral Park Dr., as you see above. I found even more in another place a week later, and still more in Great Hills Park on April 15th.

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Even after six weeks, the Dauntless Duo has barely recovered from all the running around we did in New Zealand. Nevertheless, as of today we’re traveling again, so there’ll be fewer posts for the “foreseeable” future. (I used quotation marks because in a recent talk about the American Revolution historian David McCullough reminded people that the future isn’t foreseeable.)

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 19, 2017 at 4:48 AM

New Zealand: fern with sporangia

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Look at the prominent sporangia (spore-bearing bumps) that I saw on this fern frond in Queenstown on February 21st.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2017 at 4:50 AM

New Zealand: Two views of Lake Wakatipu and mountains on a cloudy afternoon

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One of the things that makes Queenstown so touristy (and so hard during the summer to find accommodations in and even to park in) is beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Here are two views from the eastern shore of the lake north of Queenstown on the overcast afternoon of February 21. Notice a few residual patches of ice in the mountains even in the warmest part of the year.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 15, 2017 at 4:58 AM

What f/2.8 will get you

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A large aperture of f/2.8 will get you a soft portrait like this one of a rain-lily bud (Cooperia pedunculata) on Floral Park Dr. in my neighborhood on April 1st.

I threw away many of the pictures I took of this bud because I hadn’t managed to get enough in focus to please me. In this frame I was surprised that I got good focus not only on the nearest surface of the bud but also on the tip of the maroon sheath.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 14, 2017 at 5:00 AM

New Zealand: arenaceous* pareidolia**

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I don’t want to influence you so I won’t say what I see in this downward view of the sand on the beach at Moeraki. I didn’t see it on February 27th when I took the picture, but only weeks later on my computer screeen back in Austin. Let’s compare visions: voice yours.

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* arenaceous

** pareidolia

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 13, 2017 at 5:02 AM

New Zealand: colors and textures at Moeraki

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While the boulders themselves at Moeraki struck me as just so-so when I visited on February 27th, the textures and colors of other things there caught my attention. Reddish seaweed was common on the beach. And look at the patterns in the embankment that fronted the beach:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 12, 2017 at 4:57 AM

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