Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘seascape

New Zealand: Doubtless you’ve heard of Doubtless Bay

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Doubtless you’ve heard of Doubtless Bay if you’re from or have visited New Zealand’s Northland region. Otherwise you well may not have heard of that body of water, which reputedly got its name when Captain Cook sailed past it and wrote in his diary that it was “doubtless a bay.” We drove along the shore of Doubtless Bay on February 13th and stopped in several places. The one shown above is Coopers Beach, where I was intrigued by the way a stream etched itself into the sand as it flowed into the bay. The flowing water occasionally caused bits of the stream’s sandy banks to crumble, creating the jagged margins you see here.

Looking in the opposite direction, I saw one of my old friends from the first visit to New Zealand, a pōhutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 26, 2017 at 4:42 AM

California and Texas

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With about 39 million people, California is the most populous state in the United States. Texas comes in second with around 28 million people. Both are still strongly growing.

When it comes to physical size, the order is reversed. Texas is the nation’s second largest state, covering almost 268,600 square miles, while California ranks third at close to 163,700 square miles. Alaska is larger than those two combined, with an area of some 663,000 square miles, but that enormous—and enormously cold—state claims only 740,000 inhabitants, or roughly 230,000 less than the city of Austin.

I’ve never set foot in Alaska, and most of the pictures on this blog have been from Texas, so here come another two photographs from California. The first shows Pacific Ocean waves breaking at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve on November 4th last year.


Click for larger size.

A nearby look in a different direction revealed waves of sand.


Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 1, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Duncan’s Cove

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After visiting a wet Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve on October 27th last year, we drove over to get a look at the Pacific Ocean. The hazy view shown here greeted us in the Duncan’s Cove section of Sonoma Coast State Park. Looking lower and much less far away, I noticed some grass that had dried out but now had raindrops on it. Getting down at its level, I made this impressionistic picture of the wet grass:


“Impressionistic” doubles as a self-serving way of saying there was so little light I couldn’t get much in focus at such a close distance.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 26, 2017 at 4:16 AM

My camera on Point Lobos

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I’ve borrowed the title from Edward Weston but the November 3rd view from Point Lobos is my own. This trip was the first time since New Zealand, 21 months earlier, that I got to see the Pacific Ocean.

You can’t tell at this scale, but the rocks in the upper left played host to a colony of seals. We could hear them barking even if we didn’t see them at first.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 26, 2016 at 5:17 AM

New Zealand: Rough and roughly pyramidal

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Coastal Rockscape 6157

While exploring the shore along Moa Point Rd. near Wellington’s airport on February 20th, I stopped to photograph this rough and roughly pyramidal rock on Fitzroy Bay. Getting to a good vantage point was a little rough as well.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 10, 2015 at 5:29 AM

Australasian gannets

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Gannet Colony on Seaside Boulder 3744

Probably the main reason people go to Muriwai on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, aside from the beach itself, is the Australasian gannets (known in Māori as tākapu and in biospeak as Morus serrator) nesting on the rocks there, and that was indeed my little group’s purpose for visiting on February 7th. I took this photograph with a telephoto lens from a path on one of the surrounding bluffs where people are allowed to walk, but the nesting areas themselves are out of bounds. (Just as well, I might add, because even before you can see where the gannets are nesting, the smell downwind is strong and unpleasant.)

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 18, 2015 at 5:11 AM

Aotearoa – New Zealand!

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As some of you are aware, Eve and I spent almost all of February in New Zealand, which is known natively by the euphonious and vowel-rich name Aotearoa, and which was the last major land mass colonized by human beings. In the weeks ahead I’ll show you some of my impressions of nature in that country—and impressions they necessarily are, subjective and opportunistic, based on the places I happened to visit and the times I happened to visit them. All these things are recent and relatively unstudied (by me, that is), so if I make mistakes in anything I say or identify, I ask knowledgeable readers to step in and set me straight.

Let me begin with something that impressed me and kept impressing me: the aquamarine color of New Zealand’s coastal water, which is as vivid as I’ve seen in any country. The photograph below, which typifies the color I saw so often and in so many places, is from February 19th. I took the picture from the upper deck of one of the three ferries (currently) that make up the Interislander, which crosses the Cook Strait between Picton in the northeast corner of the South Island and Wellington at the southwestern corner of the North Island. (We made the three-hour crossing from Picton to Wellington, taking our rental car on the ferry with us, accompanied by a slew of other cars, campers, vans, buses, and even some full-size tractor-trailer rigs).

Rocks Seen in Sea from Interislander 5454

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 10, 2015 at 5:23 AM

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