Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico

More of the world below

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More visual notes from the underground in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park on June 14th.

It took aeons for an inorganic process, dripping water, to deposit the minerals that built up these intricate formations. Nevertheless, don’t their tops remind you of the branching growth patterns seen in a living organism like broccoli?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 24, 2017 at 4:40 AM

The world below

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750 feet underground in Carlsbad Caverns National Park lie the caverns. When we visited a couple of decades ago we didn’t think that much of them. On June 14th of this year we took the 1.25-mile self-guided walk through what’s called the Big Room and found its formations quite impressive. The caverns haven’t changed in 20 years. It seems we have.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 23, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Carlsbad canyons

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No, the title isn’t a typo or thinko: I meant Carlsbad canyons. While almost everyone goes to Carlsbad Caverns National Park to see the caverns, the road in from the highway passes through some scenic canyons whose grand scale makes them worth stopping for in their own right, as we found out on June 14th. It’s a harsh land of little rain, where many plants have a hard time making a go of it.

One plant that thrives there is Dasylirion wheeleri, known even in English by the name that the Spaniards took from the Aztecs: sotol. Below you see a sotol flower stalk (which people joke is so tall).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 22, 2017 at 5:08 AM

Rocky Mountain beeweed

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As if to corroborate the common name Rocky mountain beeweed, I found a native bee on these flowers of Cleome serrulata at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in northern New Mexico on June 12th. An online article about this species notes that other vernacular names for the plant are stinking-clover, bee spider-flower, skunk weed, Navajo spinach, and guaco. This wildflower is a relative of the clammyweed that grows in Austin.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 20, 2017 at 4:50 AM

And a lizard

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Click to enlarge.

Here’s a lizard I found at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in northern New Mexico on June 12th. Thanks to Pat Maher and Scott Bulgrin of the New Mexico Herpetological Society for identifying this as an eastern collared lizard, Crotaphytus collaris. You can read more about collared lizards at Wild Herps. You can get a much closer view of this one by clicking to enlarge the thumbnail below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2017 at 4:38 AM

A floral balance at Kasha-Katuwe

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In addition to balanced rocks at Kasha-Katuwe in northern New Mexico on June 12th, here’s a balanced jimsonweed flower (Datura wrightii). Note the tiny native bee on the left side of the flower.

I’d pulled off to the side of the entrance road to photograph the jimsonweed and had barely gotten out of my car when a tribal policeman stopped his patrol car to see what I was up to. I guess very few visitors pull over at a place that doesn’t offer a view of the rock formations.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 18, 2017 at 4:48 AM

A balanced look at Kasha-Katuwe

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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks in northern New Mexico is such an intriguing place that I feel I owe you another look at it from our June 12th visit. In particular, the place is known for its many balanced rocks, as shown above and then a little more closely below at a different location. The undulating strata of the rocks have a charm of their own as well.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 17, 2017 at 5:00 AM

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