Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘trees

Troll Falls

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On September 11th, the person behind the counter at the visitor center south of Canmore, Alberta, told us it would be worth our while to hike to Troll Falls. We dutifully parked near Kananaskis Village and began walking the one-mile trail. Along the path to the falls we passed the dense tree trunks shown above, which intrigued me with their verticality (the WordPress editor doesn’t think verticality exists, but it does).

Troll Falls turned out to be okay. You might say we were jaded from having already visited Natural Bridge, Takakkaw Falls, and some others. In contrast to my treatment of those waterfalls, which I mostly photographed at high enough shutter speeds to stop the dramatic action, I photographed the smaller and gentler Troll Falls at 1/13 of a second to smooth out the flow of the water.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 18, 2017 at 4:49 AM

Bishop’s Cap Mountain and more

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When you scanned the previous picture from Glacier National Park on August 31st, did your glance get caught on the rocky protrusion way off to the left in the same way it probably did on the much more prominent Pollock Mountain? This time you get a closer of view of Bishop’s Cap Mountain, which is the name of that other peak. Despite the appearance of blue sky, there were clouds, and they moved rather quickly. You see the shadows of two of them, one to the right of the picture’s center and the other in the lower left corner. Intruding itself at the lower right, immobile, is a flank of Pollock Mountain.

So much depended on where I looked. The picture of Bishop’s Cap shows a clearer view than I had for much of the rest of the day. Compare that to the photograph I took two-and-a-half minutes later, also from the Logan Pass visitor center, facing in a different direction.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 16, 2017 at 5:01 AM

The sometimes hard life of a subalpine fir

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Glacier National Park in winter, especially at high altitudes, is a hard place. On August 30th I saw the enduring consequences of that harshness on some of these subalpine fir trees, Abies lasiocarpa, at Logan Pass (altitude 6,647 ft.). Beyond them is Pollock Mountain, which sits on the Continental Divide.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2017 at 4:54 AM

Regeneration

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When I stopped in Glacier National Park on August 30th to photograph the remains of a forest fire from a few years before, I was taken with these seed heads of a grass that had filled in parts of the forest floor since that fire. The dry grass stalks stood immobile that afternoon, yet their leaning and their arcs might prompt your imagination to see movement. The gray skies in the distance need no imagination to be seen for what they were: smoky from the wildfires that became the backdrop for much of our trip.

Sonja Hartmann at the park’s plant nursery identified the photogenic seed heads as Calamagrostis rubescens, known as pinegrass. Above the center of the picture’s lower border are the similarly colored but differently structured seed head remains of yarrow, Achillea millefolium.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 12, 2017 at 4:54 AM

Monetizing Bow Lake

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A common meaning of monetize is ‘to make into a source of income.’ That’s not the sense I intended with the title of today’s post, which is clearer if I insert a hyphen into the verb: Monet-ize. Monet’s water-lilies came to mind when I looked at some of the abstract photographs I’d been inspired to take of Bow Lake in Alberta’s Banff National Park on September 4th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 10, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Eerie

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The smoky haze that accompanied us westward across Glacier National Park on August 30th stayed with us when we drove back the other way the next day. In some places the haze hovered above the remains of trees from a previous forest fire, reddening the sun and turning the world eerie.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 4, 2017 at 4:57 AM

But it wasn’t all smoky haze

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Over the three weeks of our trip to the Canadian Rockies and vicinity, we did enjoy a few days free from the otherwise predominant haze. One of those clear days was September 2nd, when we drove north and covered the length of the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park, Alberta. One of my favorite mountains from along that route was this whitish one, which I believe is part of the Sawback Range. Based on what I read on a nearby sign, I think the burned trees and lack of dense ground cover in the foreground resulted from a prescribed burn.

UPDATE. I’ve now heard back from travel specialist Arden A. at Travel Alberta after I’d written to try to find out the name of this peak. Arden replied: “While the peak in your photo does not have an official name, it is known informally as ‘The Finger’. Well-known Canadian mountaineer Lawrence Grassi created the epithet after a climbing incident in 1935. If Grassi was the inventor of the name, poet Earle Birney brought the peak to prominence with his poem ‘David’ – a literary staple in Canadian school curricula.” Along with that explanation came a link with much more information about “The Finger.” If only every organization were as knowledgeable and forthcoming with information as Travel Alberta was in this case.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 25, 2017 at 4:40 AM

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