Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘white

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

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Frostweed ice: toward abstraction

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The extrusion of ice by frostweed (Verbesina virginica) is a great natural phenomenon. Austin’s temperature stayed mostly below freezing from the morning of January 1st, when I went down to Great Hills Park to take my first photographs of the new year, through this morning, when I returned for a second round of frostweed pictures, even more than two days earlier. Frostweed ice offers an opportunity for photographic abstractions, and that’s what you’re seeing here. Unlike the picture you saw last time, which involved flash, today’s images were made by natural light, which necessitated wider apertures that produced a softer feel.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 3, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Intimations of autumn in Austin

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The last post showed you some signs of incipient autumn in the Canadian Rockies. Even before flying up there on August 24th, I was seeing evidence in Austin of what I call botanical autumn. One herald was this flowering snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) that I photographed in Great Hills Park on August 21st after I’d colanderized the eclipse.

In the days ahead I’ll interpolate some other pictures of Austin’s botanical autumn into the continuing display of photographs from the trip to Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 2, 2017 at 4:43 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

Another white

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At the top of Scott’s Bluff in western Nebraska on May 29th I noticed some plants that formed low mounds of white flowers, like the one above that has some other plants growing up inside it. How rude.

I later learned that the white-flowered plants are desert sandwort (Eremogone hookeri). Below is closeup of some of the flowers densely packed into one of those mounds.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 5, 2017 at 4:48 AM

A buttonbush flower globe

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It’s been a long time since I showed you a buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) flower globe, so here’s one from the edge of Bull Creek on 7/25. Throw in the 24 hours that made up that day, and you’ve got a 7-24-25 right triangle: 7 x 7 + 24 x 24 = 25 x 25. The arithmetic smells as fragrant as these flowers (and Google once again thinks that’s a unique statement).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 26, 2017 at 4:55 AM

A floral balance at Kasha-Katuwe

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In addition to balanced rocks at Kasha-Katuwe in northern New Mexico on June 12th, here’s a balanced jimsonweed flower (Datura wrightii). Note the tiny native bee on the left side of the flower.

I’d pulled off to the side of the entrance road to photograph the jimsonweed and had barely gotten out of my car when a tribal policeman stopped his patrol car to see what I was up to. I guess very few visitors pull over at a place that doesn’t offer a view of the rock formations.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 18, 2017 at 4:48 AM

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