Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘shells

Surrealistic barnacles, continued

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In a comment on the previous post, Shannon Westveer referenced the photograph showing barnacle shells on a larger shell against a background of cumulus clouds, and she mentioned the Belgian painter Magritte, whom I’d referred to in my post. That dose of Surrealism apparently primed me to misread* her next sentence, “I’m greatly looking forward to your artistic view of the barnacle covered log,” as “I’m greatly looking forward to your artistic view of the barnacle covered dog.” A barnacle-covered dog would indeed be surreal, as dogs don’t live in the ocean. Neither do large trees, yet the hefty stump shown above had spent enough time underwater in the Gulf of Mexico to acquire a crusting of barnacles before ending up on dry land again.

The second picture provides a closer look from a lower vantage, and the third one gets even more detailed. All are from our time at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on October 6th.

* In Nadja, published in 1928, André Breton (the leader of the Surrealist movement) gives value to the misreading of words. In particular, he tells how the poet Louis Aragon pointed out to him that from a certain angle the word ROUGE (red) on a hotel sign can be read as POLICE. I did my reading of Nadja in college in 1966–67 and still have my yellowing Livre de Poche paperback copy from way back then. It let me retrieve the details of what got misread as what, which I didn’t remember on my own after all these years.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2019 at 4:15 PM

More from the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail

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The previous post showed you six of the things we saw on October 6th at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on the south shore of the peninsula that’s across the bridge from the west end of Galveston Island. Now here are another half-dozen finds.

Trailing fuzzybean, Strophostyles helvola

Drying pod of a trailing fuzzybean, Strophostyles helvola

American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus

Purple beach morning glory bud, Ipomoea pes-caprae

Purple beach morning glory flower, Ipomoea pes-caprae

Barnacle shells on a larger shell

While that last picture may not be entirely “natural,” holding the shell up against the clouds seemed like a natural enough thing to do for the sake of a good portrait. Magritte or another Surrealist painter could’ve shown the entire shell floating in the clouds.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2019 at 4:42 AM

New Zealand: Cable Bay

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In the Cable Bay section of Doubtless Bay on February 13th I focused on the rocks and shells along the beach. In particular, I was intrigued by clusters of small black mussels that looked to me as if they could be pieces of obsidian.

I take the genus to be Xenostrobus, but if anyone knows for sure, please chime in. Here’s a closer look at a group of these mussels.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 27, 2017 at 5:10 AM

Snails again

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Two Snails on Dry Stalk 1187

It’s been a while since I showed you the way snails climb plants in this part of the world, so here’s an example from McKinney Falls State Park on August 19th. The dingy cobwebs imply that these two snails, which were larger than the more-numerous little white ones I so often see, had been in this position for some time.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 10, 2015 at 5:20 AM

New Zealand: Barnacles

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Here are three consecutively closer views showing the barnacles I found so plentiful on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula’s Little Manly Beach on the morning of February 27th. The way they’d colonized the seaside rocks in that part of New Zealand reminds me now of the way stonecrop colonizes little areas of flat limestone in central Texas.

UPDATE: Thanks to Linda Leinen for pointing out that what I thought were mollusks are barnacles, which in spite of their shells turn out to be crustaceans. Who’d have expected that? Steve Gingold had mentioned barnacles in his comment but I’d mistakenly thought he was referring to the dark objects.

Little Mollusks and Colorful Rocks 8514

Mollusks on Rocks 8456

Little Mollusks 8447

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 22, 2015 at 5:24 AM

New Zealand: Small shells aplenty

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Shell Debris on Beach 8505

You’ve already seen several pictures from February 26th showing natural features along Little Manly Beach on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. On that late afternoon I’d worked until the declining light forced me stop, even though there was more to do. On February 27th, my last morning in New Zealand before having to head to the airport around noon, I walked back down to the beach at dawn and picked up where I’d left off. Here you see the chaos of little shells and rocks I found in one spot.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2015 at 5:12 AM

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