Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand

New Zealand: variable oystercatchers

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Driving north from Thames on March 6th along the eastern shore of the Firth of Thames, I stopped to photograph a colony of birds whose bills were conspicuously long and orange. I later learned that the birds were variable oystercatchers, Haematopus unicolor, and that the species is endemic to New Zealand. If many of the oystercatchers look as if they were turning away from me, they were, because even with a long lens I’d approached the limit of their comfort. Nevertheless, I did manage to get closer to a few more-tolerant birds, like this one:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 20, 2017 at 3:55 AM

New Zealand: Koromiko flowering

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Another plant we saw at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary northeast of Dunedin on February 27th was this flowering koromiko bush (Veronica salicifolia, formerly Hebe salicifolia). A raised walkway let me look straight down onto the top of this attractive shrub. Thanks to Sue Hensley, head guide at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary, for identifying the species.

If you’d like a closer look at a flower spike from another Hebe species, you can check out a photograph from our first visit to New Zealand.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 16, 2017 at 4:47 AM

New Zealand: Hooker’s mountain daisy

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At the Orokonui Ecosanctuary northeast of Dunedin on February 27th we saw some Hooker’s mountain daisies (Celmisia hookeri), a species classified as being at risk. Notice the white-margined leaves.

As with many other plants in the sunflower family, this one’s flower heads give way to puffball-type seed heads.

After the seeds fall away, the remains are rather sculptural:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 15, 2017 at 4:28 AM

New Zealand: closer looks at a Milford Sound waterfall

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Tour boats on Milford Sound get close enough to some of the waterfalls cascading into it for tourists on board to see one or more rainbows in the spray, as we found on February 22nd. In the photo above you can make out a faint second rainbow half-way across the intersection of the land and the sound. When our boat got closer to the waterfall, the main rainbow got brighter and better defined, as shown in the second photo.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 12, 2017 at 4:52 AM

New Zealand: Milford Sound

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On February 22nd we made like tourists and took a two-hour boat cruise of Milford Sound on the southwestern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. As you can see, Milford Sound is a fiord. Given the heavy annual rainfall in this area, more than a dozen waterfalls cascade into the fiord. Notice one near the left edge of the first photograph and the right edge of the second. Notice also how the clouds descend below the peaks of the mountains that line the fiord. The distant white in the second photograph is residual snow or ice from the previous winter.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 9, 2017 at 5:01 AM

New Zealand: Water colors at Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley

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On our 2015 New Zealand trip we’d visited two geothermal attractions in the Rotorua area but had run out of time for more. On March 5th of this year we spent a few hours at a third one, the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley. How about the vivid color of the water at Inferno Crater Lake? And look at the very different color of another lake there:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 7, 2017 at 5:01 AM

New Zealand: Riccarton Bush

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Right in Christchurch is a little piece of New Zealand that largely preserves the way things were before the Europeans arrived. You can read about it in an article on the website of the Christchurch City Libraries.

When we visited on March 1st, a bit of bright orange on the forest floor contrasted with the general dimness inside the dense native bush and couldn’t help but get my attention.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 5, 2017 at 4:57 AM

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