Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

More about the Paint Pots

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Last month you had an introduction to the Paint Pots in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park. Now here’s a little more from our September 8th visit. The first photograph shows the ochre-saturated mound we encountered as we approached the end of the main trail. What a contrast between the dark green of the trees and the saturated orange earth, don’t you think?

The second picture lets you walk up over the rise and have a look at a portion of the picturesque “paint pot,” i.e. pond, beyond. Notice in this closer view how the ochre had stained the bases of the sedges at the pond’s margin and made rings around the leaning dead trees at the waterline. And what’s not to like about the ghostly reflections of those dead trees?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 19, 2017 at 4:58 AM

Two closer looks

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Here you have two closer looks than last time at Baccharis neglecta, a shrub or slender tree known as poverty weed, which in the fall produces no poverty of fluff.

The yellow in the background of the second picture came from Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani, and goldenrod, Solidago spp. Notice the characteristic herringbone pattern of the small branches.

I took these photographs in a “vacant” lot on the west side of Grand Avenue Parkway north of Royston Ln. on October 12. If this is a vacancy, no one need apply to fill it.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 18, 2017 at 4:52 AM

Appontiament with a butterfly

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No, the title of today’s post isn’t a typo. It’s my way of saying that the butterfly in this August 26th photograph belongs to the genus Pontia. Chris Kotzer of bugguide.net thought it might be Pontia occidentalis, known as the western white. No doubt this butterfly and others were drawn to the asters that managed to thrive even in the dry ground of the badlands in Alberta’s Midland Provincial Park.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 16, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Intricate roots of a fallen tree

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Glacier National Park, Montana; August 31.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 15, 2017 at 4:53 AM

Relentless, relenting

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All that gorgeously relentless yellow you saw last time in a field of Maximilian sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani) in far north Austin on October 12th has led me to relent and give you this much closer view of a monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) that I photographed there that day.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 11, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Johnston Canyon

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Here from September 9th are three views of Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Notice that not only lakes in the Canadian Rockies but also creeks there can look turquoise or aquamarine, thanks to minerals dissolved in the water. The color is even more noticeable in the pool at the Lower Falls.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2017 at 4:49 AM

Bumblebee on fireweed flowers

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From August 30th in Glacier National Park, here’s a bumblebee on some fireweed flowers. The way the bumblebee flitted about on the fireweed reminds me now of the way botanists have been flitting about in some of their classifications. They’ve dubbed fireweed Epilobium angustifolium, Chamerion angustifolium, and most recently Chamaenerion angustifolium. Oh well, that which we call fireweed, by any other name would have flowers that look as good—assuming you’re close enough. After one view of wilted flowers and another of fresh ones from a bit of a distance, you’re finally getting a proper look at some fireweed flowers.

If you’d like to see the many places that fireweed grows in North America, check out the zoomable USDA map. I’d thought of this as a species from the Northwest and Canada and Alaska, and so was glad to finally encounter it on this trip. Now I’m surprised to learn that fireweed grows in 38 out of the 50 states in the United States. That range doesn’t include Texas but it does include Long Island, where I grew up.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 20, 2017 at 4:34 AM

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