Hike through Flower Valley

Flower Valley 8456 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

As we prepare for our final week in Florida before heading to Argentina and Antarctica next week, I wanted to post a few more photos of Greenland on our last day of adventuring in that country.  We were transported by zodiac from Qassiarsuk to Narsarsuaq and then by vehicle to the end of a dirt road.  From there, we found a trail that led us into the mountains.  We hiked for a couple miles on fairly easy terrain and went over a hill to see the valley shown in the image below.

Flower Valley 8373 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We were shocked by the beauty of Flower Valley and excited to be hiking into it.  Far off in the distance on the right of the image, you can see the white streak of a waterfall that was our destination (although we didn’t know it at the time).  We followed the path down into the valley and crossed over a stream, enjoying the clouds passing by the mountain tops.

Flower Valley 8394 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 50 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We then hiked into the valley itself and found the area known for its wildflowers at this time of year.  We saw our first tree of the trip as well.

Flower Valley 8437 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 62 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

With the beautiful muted light, I wanted to capture all of the colors of this field, so I knelt down and zoomed in solely on the field.  Unfortunately, I did not have time to photograph the flower species individually as I was already the last person in the group, stopping every few feet to photograph.  🙂

Flower Valley 8925 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 55 mm, f/14, 1/160 sec, ISO 640, hand-held.

We then approached the glacial river and hiked alongside it for a mile or so.  We initially climbed over rocky terrain that wasn’t too hard to negotiate with a camera.  The waterfall that I mentioned above was getting closer, as you can see on the righthand side of the image below.

Flower Valley 8460 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

With the light reflecting off the water, I stopped frequently to take photographs, changing what was in the foreground and background.  The colors in the mountains and cliffs varied greatly and I wanted to capture it all.

Flower Valley 8469 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 45 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

As soon as we climbed to the top of the rocky section, I was able to capture the whole view of the river and the rest of the valley.

Flower Valley 8492 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

At times, I zoomed in further to eliminate any foreground elements.  I wanted to focus on the glacial stream and the surrounding mountains, thereby simplifying the image.

Flower Valley 8501 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 60 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

After we climbed the rocky section, the ground changes, as we began seeing more lichen and low lying plants along with a gravel-type of substrate.  They added another layer of color so I included them in the foreground in some images.

Flower Valley 8510 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 29 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We continued across the flat land towards the waterfall.  We knew we would be taking a snack break when we got to the base of it but we didn’t know our full plan for the day.

Flower Valley 8553 August 20, 2018

Image: Hiking to a waterfall in Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 324 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We soon learned that we would be climbing to the top of that mountain just to the left of this beautiful waterfall!  In the image above, there is a red speck about 1/3 of the way up the mountain just to the left of the center of the image.  That person hiking gives perspective on how tall this mountain was!  It took us a good hour to climb to the top and we went very slowly, single file, with our guide pausing at times to ensure we made it past some slippery parts.  The reward was worth it!

Flower Valley 8601 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley from a mountain top, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 35 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We were able to get a nice view of Flower Valley from the top.  In the image above, the path we hiked over the first hill can be seen in the upper left (light brown hiking trails over a green hill).  The fields of flowers are visible in the red section just below that path, followed by the rocky climb and the fields of yellow low-lying ground cover.

For all of the images, I typically used an aperture of f/16 since I wanted the foreground and background in focus with a larger depth of field.  Since the light was bright but muted, an ISO of 400 worked well to keep my shutter speed around 1/160-1/200 for hand-held shots.

To see these images individually and more that were not included here, please visit my gallery here: Amy’s Impressions

 

 

 

 

Author: Dr. Amy Novotny

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer. She treats patients for a variety of conditions but specializes in chronic pain and calming an overactive nervous system using special diaphragmatic breathing. She has used this technique to help her qualify and run in four Boston marathons! She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in throughout Arizona. She attempts to capture the beauty of nature with her photography both locally in Arizona and also throughout the United States. She is becoming more interested in wildlife photography and attempting to capture the emotion of animal interactions. In her spare time, Amy volunteers as a photo guide for the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes nonprofit and shares her joy of nature with others. Please feel free to contact her regarding her photography, physical therapy or running.

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