Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘New York

Again a bird and Niagara Falls without the falls

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On July 25th we stayed on the American side of Niagara Falls late enough to get a colorful sky while walking back to our car. And so ends the series of pictures from our visit to Niagara Falls.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 16, 2019 at 4:43 AM

Not many people at Niagara Falls

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Okay, so this post’s title is misleading; in fact hordes of tourists were at Niagara Falls when we visited on July 25th. Nevertheless, not many people at Niagara Falls photograph the plants there, but you could count on me to get a few botanical pictures. The first one shows swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium). In the second photo you’re seeing fruit clusters on a staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina).

Thanks to horticulturalists at the New York State Parks Department for identifying the species of the milkweed and the sumac. I didn’t ask them to try to figure out the identity of the tree whose remains you see standing below; perhaps it was another sumac.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 12, 2019 at 4:36 AM

Two gulls at Niagara Falls on July 25th

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I took the first picture from the Canadian side in the morning and the second from the American side near sundown, each time with the lens zoomed to its maximum focal length of 400mm. Both birds spoke to me. Take that figuratively and you’re all right; believe it literally and you’re gullible.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 8, 2019 at 4:44 PM

American Falls in warm light

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Whether you call it late afternoon or early evening, the warm light near 7PM on July 25th enhanced Niagara’s American Falls. The dark area across the upper right is the embankment on the Canadian side of the Niagara River that we’d visited earlier in the day. I’ve added another view as a reminder of the way different vantage points and compositions change the feel of a scene. The black specks in the second image are distant birds.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 5, 2019 at 4:28 PM

Two birds soaring at Niagara Falls on July 25th

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© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2019 at 4:43 AM

Inanimate and animate on the brink of the abyss

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So it’s our first close approach to Niagara’s American Falls on July 25th, and I’m noticing a tree limb on the brink of the waterfall. Eppur non si muove, and yet it doesn’t move, despite the rushing water.

And these Canada geese are calmly sure of themselves so close to the abyss:

Thanks to Shannon Westveer for identifying the birds.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 29, 2019 at 4:37 AM

Falling into abstraction

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On July 25th in Niagara Falls, Ontario, I took many pictures—hardly surprising for one of the world’s natural wonders. Back in Texas a few weeks later I sorted through the photographs, seeing for the first time in detail what I’d managed to capture. In the images for which I’d used a telephoto lens zoomed to its maximum length of 400mm, clouds of spray had often masked details, pushing some of the photographs toward and into abstraction. Pictures like the one below reminded me of seascapes by the English painter J.M.W. Turner.

Notice that unlike the pictures in the introductory Niagara Falls post a few days ago, these are strictly nature photographs and show no people or human elements at all.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 27, 2019 at 3:55 AM

Goldenrod at Lucifer Falls

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As we drove around the Northeast in the second half of July and the first week of August, we were surprised to see goldenrod (Solidago sp.) already flowering abundantly in many places. One of those was at Lucifer Falls in New York’s Treman State Park on August 1st. That was seven weeks ago; I’ve yet to see any goldenrod flowering in Austin, though I’ve read reports online of people beginning to see some here.

And while we’re still talking about Treman State Park,
let me show you one more picture of the picturesque rock strata there:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 22, 2019 at 4:47 AM

Rainbow Falls

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You’ve already seen that at Watkins Glen State Park in New York State’s Finger Lakes region a visitor can walk behind Cavern Cascade. Upstream at Rainbow Falls comes another (and somewhat wetter) chance to do that:

From behind the curtain of water I experimented with a slow shutter speed, namely 1/15 of a second.

And below, sans animation or slow motion, is a more ample view showing the round pools the falling water sustained. In the previous waterfall picture from Watkins Glen I felt fortunate to have one disembodied tree trunk or limb that had ended up in the gorge; here I got three.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 17, 2019 at 4:50 AM

Going for sunset over a third Great Lake

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On July 27 we found ourselves seated for supper at a sidewalk table belonging to the Red Fern vegan restaurant in Rochester, New York. Near the end of the meal I told our waitress about the dramatic sunset we’d seen over Lake Erie the night before and asked her if she knew a place where we might catch a good sunset over Lake Ontario. She said that she did indeed, and that Google Maps shows it as Ontario Lake View in Webster, New York. Sure enough, my phone’s Google Maps pulled it up, and thither we repaired after our meal to wait out the sunset—in the company, as it turned out, of quite a few other people who also knew about the spot. The first thing that grabbed my photographic attention was the way the near-sunset light lit up the trees at the edge of Mill Creek where it becomes a long a pond as it reaches Lake Ontario.

After I finished taking pictures of those warmly illuminated trees I walked a short distance to focus on Lake Ontario. I couldn’t help noticing a small, mostly bare tree that the water had inundated, and I photographed it some three dozen times in various compositions while the sun sank lower and lower. At one point a duck that swam by added a welcome touch:

As for the sunset, well, it never got super dramatic the way it had the previous evening at Lake Erie.
That was still all right, and I came away content with the pictures I did manage to get.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 15, 2019 at 4:35 AM

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