Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Madeira

Pride of Madeira flower close-up, Madeira
Just home from a month overseas, lecturing on photography aboard the National Geographic Explorer on a voyage from Madeira to Bergen, Norway with stops in the Azores and around the UK.  Interesting trip, but God-awful weather - some of the worst in 50 years.  (Just lucky, I guess.) I had hoped to maintain this blog from the ship, but I either didn't find time, or a decent internet connection.  Instead, I will try and post some images and stories now that I am home (albeit briefly).

I had never been to Madeira before, and although warm and sub-tropical, the island has very little native habitat left. It has produced at least one showy native flower - now transplanted all over the world - known as the "Pride of Madeira."  I spent some time photographing it here - only to find out that it is a weed along the California coast...

I also made a pilgrimage to the small scraps of native laurel forest, known as the Laurissilva - a World Heritage area. I only had a few hours in secondary forest, but enjoyed the antidote to the expanding ex-pat suburbs of Funchal, the main city.  Here, I shot a Lobaria lichen growing on the forest floor.
More to come.

Lobaria, Madeiran Laurissilva

Nikon D3,  60mm macro and 14-24mm lenses


  1. That's actually the green algal morph of Sticta canariensis, not a Lobaria. Same family though - Lobariaceae.

  2. Thanks for that, Tim. I'm no botanist and have to rely on people who know more than me! Appreciate it.