Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘trees

New Zealand: Kahikatea

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The little reserve in central Christchurch known as Riccarton Bush is home to some trees known botanically as Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, in Māori as kahikatea, and in English as white pine. Unlike the many imported species of pine covering so much of New Zealand, this tree is native. In fact, as you can see from the plaque at the end of this post, the kahikatea is the tallest native tree in the country.

The roots of some of the venerable kahikatea trees I saw on March 1st were impressive. Judging from what I’ve found on the Internet, I haven’t been alone in photographing these very ones:

Here’s an informational plaque that stands in Riccarton Bush:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 6, 2017 at 4:59 AM

New Zealand: three faces of Te Hoho

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On March 7th we visited Cathedral Cove, a scenic tourist attraction on the Coromandel Peninsula. The ThousandWonders website says this: “The cliffs surrounding Cathedral Cove are made of white massive ignimbrite, a rock produced by explosive volcanic eruptions about eight million years ago. A little offshore is a pinnacle of pumice breccia rock, known as ‘Te Hoho’. Centuries of wind and water has shaped this rock to look like a ship’s prow approaching the beach.”

How you release your inner pareidolia depends on the place from which you view Te Hoho. As I kept moving to the left of the position from which I took the first photograph, I saw the rock take on a second and then a third shape.

From the second position I seemed to see a giant cowboy boot. Nothing particular suggested itself to me from the first position or the third, but you may have visions you’d like to describe.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 2, 2017 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: Views from Cape Reinga

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On February 14th we drove from our base in Paihia to the northern end of the North Island. After stopping at the Te Paki dunes, we continued up to Cape Reinga. While not technically the northernmost point on the island, it’s close, and it has the virtue of a highway that takes you right there. You won’t be surprised to hear that there’s usually a brisk breeze at Cape Reinga, which whips up sea spray and makes distant places look hazier than closer ones, as you can confirm in the landscape/seascape above.

At a relatively bright moment, even with some clouds drifting low, I recorded a view of cabbage trees and flax high above a span of sun-saturated sea.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 27, 2017 at 5:01 AM

Prairie parsley on the Blackland Prairie

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A couple of posts back you saw an Eastern black swallowtail caterpillar that I found on a prairie parsley plant (Polytaenia nuttallii) when I visited the Blackland Prairie west of Heatherwilde Blvd. in Pflugerville on April 30th. After I went back the next day and explored a different part of the parcel, I came across a great stand of prairie parsley flowering away, as shown above. How’s that for density? The mostly red flowers mixed in, by the way, are Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels and Indian blankets.

The closer and more downward-looking view below reveals that some of the prairie parsley plants had begun going to seed. The purple flower heads are Texas thistles (Cirsium texanum).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 10, 2017 at 4:22 AM

New Zealand: Dorothy Falls

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On February 19th we visited Dorothy Falls, about half an hour east of Hokitika on the South Island. You can see the lushness of the native bush that surrounds the falls.

Here’s a closer view of the waterfall:

Below is an even closer view hand-held at 1/15th of a second. I’ve made longer hand-held exposures, but they push the limits of a photographer’s stability. One thing that has helped, when it has been available, is steadying myself against a tree or boulder.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 3, 2017 at 4:54 AM

New Zealand: Shakespeare Cliff Scenic and Historic Reserve

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Look at the native bush and the naturally sculpted rocks we saw on March 7th at the Shakespeare Cliff Scenic and Historic Reserve in Cooks Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula. If you’d like a better look at the closest and most prominent rock formation, click the excerpt below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 30, 2017 at 4:55 AM

Another look at the Grand Canyon

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Here’s a look back from October 19th of last year at trees on the rim of the Grand Canyon. In harsh climates, dead limbs often adjoin living ones.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 16, 2017 at 4:59 AM

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