Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘sand

New Zealand: mountains of sand

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To meld last month’s Monday mountain meme with the moment’s New Zealand retrospective (and Lincoln’s birthday, for that matter), here from February 14, 2017 (which adds Valentine’s Day), are two mountains of sand we saw at the Te Paki dunes way up north near the tip of New Zealand’s North Island. The first of the two photographs, while a more-conventional landscape view, might make you doubt the location and think you’re at an oasis in the Middle East or North Africa. You may also be surprised to hear that a stream runs from right to left between the vegetation and the tall dune. This is New Zealand, after all, a land of lots of rain.

The other picture is a closer and more-abstract view that emphasizes the rippled patterns in the sand elsewhere in the dunes. If you’d like, you can contrast it with the scalloped sand on the level dune that represented Te Paki here last year.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 12, 2018 at 4:46 AM

New Zealand: Elliot Bay

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A year ago today we spent some time at Elliot Bay, 30 km east of Russell in the Bay of Islands. Look at the happy abstractions I found in the beach sand there: flowing water had created patterns that may strike you as more plant-like than the actual plants that ended up on top of them.

The picture below brings you in closer to a portion of what’s above.

Similar patterns recently appeared in the header of a post about a beach in Cornwall, England.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 10, 2018 at 4:32 AM

Monahans after the rain

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When we drove into the town of Monahans in west Texas on June 14th it was too late in the afternoon for us to continue the short distance to the attraction that had brought us there: Monahans Sandhills State Park. We could see that it had rained in the area that afternoon, and what effect that had had on the dunes became clear only the next morning. How differently textured the sand was then from the way we’d seen it in 2014 when we’d visited on the afternoon of April 12th and the morning of April 13th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2017 at 4:40 AM

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Great Sand Dunes

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Great Sand Dunes was the third of the four national parks we visited on our recent trip. At 720 feet, these are the tallest sand dunes in North America. In addition to that, they sit at an altitude of about a mile and a half, so when we were there on June 8th we took pity on our poor lungs and decided not to trudge up these mountains of sand (unlike the Te Paki Dunes that are just above sea level and that we’d climbed in February).

The dunes are so high that when you’re close you can’t see the mountains beyond them. The picture below gives you a broader view, made more dramatic through the use of a polarizer to add extra definition to the clouds and greater contrast in the sky.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 26, 2017 at 5:00 AM

New Zealand: Te Paki

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On February 12th we saw but couldn’t get to some large sand dunes on the opposite side of an estuary from the highway we were on. Two days later on our way to the northern end of the North Island we made a point of visiting the Te Paki Dunes, which with some effort we climbed. Shown here is the most interestingly wind-sculpted section of sand I saw.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 1, 2017 at 5:02 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.

– – – – – – – – –

* arenaceous

** pareidolia

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 13, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Pale orange sand dunes in El Paso

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orange-sand-dune-with-clouds-2525

Speaking of dunes, as I have the last couple of times, I hadn’t known there are pale orange sand dunes on the east side of El Paso (Texas). There are. They made for a pleasant surprise along US 62 on the morning of November 9th last year, when dramatic clouds added to my appreciation.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 1, 2017 at 5:00 AM

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