Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘sky

Sunday sunset 2

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8:10 PM

On each of the four Sundays in January you’re seeing sunset pictures from the state whose license plates proclaim it the Land of Enchantment.

8:18 PM

These three photographs date back to June 10, 2017, at Camel Rock, 11 miles north of downtown Santa Fe. I don’t notice any overlap between the first two pictures. The third, however, zooms in on an area recognizable near the bottom of the second photograph, so you can see how cloud shapes and colors had changed in five minutes.

8:23 PM

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 14, 2018 at 4:54 AM

Sunday sunset 1

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As it would be hard to find anything more appropriate for a Sunday than a sunset, on the four Sundays in January you’ll be seeing sunset pictures. Today’s are from June 10, 2017, at Camel Rock, 11 miles north of downtown Santa Fe. Speaking of 11, that’s how many minutes elapsed between the first photograph and the second.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 7, 2018 at 4:31 AM

Unusual clouds

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The last unusual clouds you saw here were from Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta on September 3 of last year. Two days ago when we headed out to run a few errands, the atypical combination of clouds overhead caught our attention. Rather than go back home for a real camera, lazy me pulled over and used an iPhone.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

UPDATE: Unbeknownst to me at the time, the last of the several pictures I took included a jet plane. It appeared to be flying parallel to the prominent cloud, yet the airplane produced no contrails at all. The long white cloud remains a mystery.


Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 6, 2018 at 4:36 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Above and beyond the call

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Above and beyond the call of yellow put forth in the lower foreground by camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris), you’ll find leanings and standings of Maximilian sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani). Reaching in from the bottom left are some branches of paloverde (Parkinsonia aculeata).

This fall prairie display graced an undeveloped property along Joe Barbee Dr. in far north Austin on October 12th. I occasionally saw other Maximilian sunflowers around Austin through November. Just two days ago I found a few in the northern suburb of Cedar Park; while the bit of snow we’d had left their ray flowers bedraggled, the plants still stood erect.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 11, 2017 at 5:28 PM

Strange clouds

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My introduction to Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park on September 3rd was the clouds you see here, which were strange in the way they apparently cast shadows on the sky. Have you ever heard of or seen anything casting a shadow on the sky? I guess the air held enough water vapor or other particles to create a faint medium on which shadows could register, but my reaction was still that I was seeing shadows where I’m not supposed to be able to see any.

Because the area near the sun was so bright in comparison to everything else, I underexposed by three f/stops to keep from blowing out the highlights. As a result, the badlands hills across the bottom of the photograph appear in silhouette and make the overall image more abstract. That’s fine by me.

UPDATE: Les Cowley of Atmospheric Optics explained the scene this way: “The well defined clouds are casting their shadows onto a lower layer of haze or thin cloud. the lower cloud acts as a translucent screen and you view the shadows — and the upper cloud — through it.”

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 29, 2017 at 4:46 AM

Crazy Horse

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When we visited the far-from-ever-being-completed memorial to Crazy Horse in South Dakota’s Black Hills on June 2nd, the dramatic clouds caught my attention as much as anything else, and probably even more. The “opening quotation mark” above the blue hole in the clouds is curious, isn’t it?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 9, 2017 at 5:07 AM

Carlsbad canyons

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No, the title isn’t a typo or thinko: I meant Carlsbad canyons. While almost everyone goes to Carlsbad Caverns National Park to see the caverns, the road in from the highway passes through some scenic canyons whose grand scale makes them worth stopping for in their own right, as we found out on June 14th. It’s a harsh land of little rain, where many plants have a hard time making a go of it.

One plant that thrives there is Dasylirion wheeleri, known even in English by the name that the Spaniards took from the Aztecs: sotol. Below you see a sotol flower stalk (which people joke is so tall).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 22, 2017 at 5:08 AM

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