Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘water

New Zealand: the gull below and the gull above

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Here are two portraits of gulls from Cathedral Cove on March 7, 2017. The first gull was down at the level of the cove drinking from a shallow pool formed by water falling from the top of the cliff high above (the second picture in yesterday’s post gives you a sense of how high up that was). The bird was near the edge of the pool, away from the heaviest falling of water. Notice the ripples spreading from a drop’s point of impact, along with a few droplets that had splashed up.

I took the second picture after we’d made the arduous hike back up to the carpark, where I couldn’t help noticing that several gulls were walking or standing on the roofs of cars parked there (no, not ours). This gull was on top of a white car, whose roof largely blended with the clouds when I hunched down a bit and aimed slightly upward to avoid details in the background.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 9, 2018 at 4:50 AM

Posted in nature photography

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New Zealand: large and small projections

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On March 6, 2017, we followed New Zealand’s State Highway 25 north through and beyond Thames on our way to Whitianga. In one place on the west side of the Coromandel Peninsula we saw this roughly conical rock projecting out of the shallow water in the Firth of Thames. Yes, that’s another pōhutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa) at the top of the rock. Elsewhere on the beach I looked down at contrastingly small projections wind-rippled up from the sand.

And look how another pōhutukawa projected out over the craggy rocks along the shore:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 6, 2018 at 4:43 AM

New Zealand: crossing Cook Strait again

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3:23 PM

A year ago today we sailed eastbound on the Interislander from South Island to North Island. I took the first photograph when the ferry was almost out of the Marlborough Sounds, and the second one four minutes later after the ship had entered Cook Strait.

3:27 PM

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2018 at 4:48 AM

New Zealand: two views of Maruia Falls

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A year ago today we stopped for a while at Maruia Falls. A vantage point from above foreshortens the view. The brief hike down to the river reveals how wide the falls are. In fact Maruia was the widest waterfall we saw in New Zealand on either of our two trips.

Surprisingly, this impressive waterfall has existed only since 1929. We wouldn’t have seen it at all but for the fact that the coastal road north from Christchurch to Blenheim was still blocked near Kaikoura due to an earthquake-caused landslide. That forced us to drive hours out of our way to reach Blenheim in preparation for the ferry back to the North Island the next day.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 2, 2018 at 4:44 AM

New Zealand: more from Lake Wakatipu

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For me as a photographer, Lake Wakatipu was one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand.

What I’d seen on February 21, 2017, hardly seemed like enough, so two days later we again drove north from Queenstown along the eastern shore of the lake for more looking and more picture-taking. Today’s six photographs were among them. The landscape views show you that the clouds and rain from two days earlier had completely gone away.

The close-ups reveal details in the interesting rocks that lie along the shore in abundance.

And oh, those New Zealand ferns.

And did I mention the rocks?

© Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2018 at 4:28 AM

New Zealand: remembering Lake Wakatipu

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[Today carries you just past the half-way point in a series of daily posts marking the one-year anniversary of last year’s trip to New Zealand.]

On February 21, 2017, we drove north from Queenstown along the eastern shore of Lake Wakatipu, which I trust you’ll agree is scenic, especially with wind-whipped waves on it.

Weather changes quickly at Lake Wakatipu. Look at the menacing clouds in the next picture, which came less than an hour after the first one.

Early that evening, just north of the end of the lake in Glenorchy, we saw this rainbow:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 23, 2018 at 4:42 AM

New Zealand: Milford Sound and the road to it

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A year ago today we took a boat tour of the South Island’s famous Milford Sound. In the picture below, taken from the boat, note that in addition to the fur seals basking in a cluster on the top of the prominent boulder, there’s one below and three to the left, though the size of the photograph makes it hard to distinguish two of those three. (An upcoming post will give you a closer look at some seals on the east coast of the South Island.) Also notice the native bush, the layers of rock in the boulder, and the waterfall in the background.

Speaking of waterfalls, lots of them come down the high, steep slopes surrounding Milford Sound. I ended up photographing 11 in good detail, of which the following was the first:

We’d also seen ice-melt cascading down the mountains through which the road to Milford Sound passes via the Homer Tunnel. Because the tunnel has just one lane, people have to wait their turn for oncoming traffic to clear. I took advantage of the wait to get out of the car for some pictures, including this one:

Earlier in the day, our first stop on the way to Milford Sound had been Mirror Lakes, where New Zealand flax plants (Phormium tenax) and their reflections in the colorful water caught my attention. (At least I’m assuming this is flax: if anyone knows otherwise, please speak up.)

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2018 at 4:45 AM

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