Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘texture

Ice is nice, part 4

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Here’s what you learned in part 1: In a shaded part of Great Hills Park on January 12th I discovered that thin sheets of ice had formed close to the ground. Most importantly for my purposes, I found that I could slowly lift up a small section of ice and it would come away in shapes that were irregular yet didn’t break apart. Over and over I did my light lifting, each time facing toward the sun and holding the little panel erect against a background of shaded trees so that backlighting would reveal details in the ice.

In addition to that, I held some of the pieces up higher, against the sky, to make portraits of a different sort, one of which you’re seeing here. Admittedly this is a combination you probably wouldn’t ever find in nature, but the urge to experiment came over me and I yielded.

And here’s a humorous quotation for today: “When a man gits perfektly kontented, he and a clam are fust couzins.” [When a man gets perfectly contented, he and a clam are first cousins.”] — Josh Billings, the pen name for Henry Wheeler Shaw. Wikipedia notes that “Shaw attended Hamilton College, but was expelled in his second year for removing the clapper of the campus bell.”

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2021 at 4:28 AM

Ice is nice, part 3

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Here’s what you learned in part 1: In a shaded part of Great Hills Park on January 12th I discovered that thin sheets of ice had formed close to the ground. Most importantly for my purposes, I found that I could slowly lift up a small section of ice and it would come away in a piece that was irregularly shaped yet didn’t break apart. Over and over I did my light lifting, each time facing toward the sun and holding the little panel erect against a grove of shaded trees so that backlighting would reveal details in the ice.

In contrast to the monochrome portraits in part 1 and part 2, today’s post offers you a couple of abstractions in which the ice picked up colors from the surroundings. The bottom picture bears impressions of the vegetation the ice ended up lying upon as the water froze. Because it’s hard to see the details at this small scale, I’ve included an excerpt from the second picture that you can click to zoom in on the ice bubbles:

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2021 at 5:07 AM

Ice is nice, part 2

with 32 comments

Here’s what you heard in part 1: In a shaded part of Great Hills Park on January 12th I discovered that thin sheets of ice had formed close to the ground. Most importantly for my purposes, I found that I could slowly lift up a small section of ice and it would come away in a piece that was irregularly shaped yet didn’t break apart. Over and over I did my light lifting, each time facing toward the sun and holding the little panel erect against a group of shaded trees so that backlighting would reveal details in the ice.

Today’s post offers you a few more monochrome ice abstractions.

Pictures like these seem to lend themselves to pareidolia,
so if you imagine things in them, you’re welcome to say what they suggest.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 31, 2021 at 4:34 AM

Textures

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On August 12th I spent some time on the Blackland Prairie in far northeast Austin. Of the many textures I observed there then, this post singles out two. Compare and contrast, as schoolteachers are wont to say.

In the first you’re looking at a Texas spiny lizard, Sceloporus olivaceus, on one of those low construction fences that have become so common in central Texas (and presumably also everywhere else).

The second picture is a closeup of the brain-like chartreuse fruit of a Maclura pomifera tree—known as osage orange, hedge apple, and bois d’arc—that I found fallen on the ground.

Did you know that the words text and texture are both ancient metaphors? They come from textus, the past participle of the Latin verb texere, which meant literally ‘to weave,’ and then more generally ‘to fabricate.’ As a noun, textus took on the sense “the style of a work,” which is metaphorically how it is woven, which is to say its texture. The subjects of these portraits gave me a pretext for providing a bit of etymology that I hope has let you put things in context (two more derivatives of textus).

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2020 at 2:38 AM

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

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Two years ago today we stopped at Arizona’s Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, which we’d never heard of it till we were in the area.

The oozing, highly textured trunk of an aspen tree (Populus tremuloides) caught my attention there.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Rocks and texture

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Oh give me rocks along with texture
And then I won’t incline to vexture.*

I took both pictures in Glacier National Park, Montana, the first on August 30th and the other the next day.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman


* When I searched for vexture in the dictionaries front-ended at OneLook.com, I got asked: “Did you mean: venture, texture, vesture, vecture, vetture, feature, gesture, overture, fixture, lecture, vulture, mixture, verdure, denture, venturi, ventura, aventure, velure, voiture, ventre, esture, vettura, textury, ventuse, textura, vestire, vetere, vettore, vertue?”

No, I really meant vexture. In a separate Internet search I found an instance of someone else using the word: “And curse the mud with vain veritable vexture.”

In any case, each of the links in the OneLook.com response is active, so you can click to pursue as many of the obscure words there as you’d like. I invite you to use some of them in your own communications to see how much esture you can create.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 13, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Enlichenment

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If the 18th century had its Enlightenment, in the 21st century I had my enlichenment. More specifically, it came on February 23rd in Great Hills Park as I surveyed some densely covered dead branches on an elbowbush. Here for your delectation are three views of those lichens. The two pictures with dark backgrounds were taken with flash. So was the other one.

Lichen on Dead Branch 6051

Lichen on Dead Elbowbush Branch 6018

Lichen on Dead Elbowbush Branch 6045

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 9, 2016 at 5:01 AM

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