Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 10th, 2013

A warm nod to arithmetic

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I’m sure you noticed something curious in the last post: the equivalent (rounded to the nearest whole degree) of Thursday’s warm high temperature of 82°F was 28°C, a number consisting of the same two digits but in reverse order. Some of you must have rushed to Twitter and Facebook to tell all your friends, who must have been thrilled to hear it.

Ever alert math teachers would interrupt their classes with a question now: “Students, are there any other two-digit pairs of equivalent Fahrenheit ~ Celsius temperatures with reversed digits like that one?” What do you think, readers?

A seemingly cynical answer would be “What’s the difference?”, but I know that’s just your way of leading into something related: there’s an interesting way to find the difference between the two numbers in a reversed-digit pair.

a) Find the difference between the two individual digits: in the case of 82, 8 – 2 = 6.

b) Take what you just got and multiply it by 9: in this example, 6 x 9 = 54.

c) The result is the difference between the two two-digit numbers you started with: in this case, 82 – 28 = 54.

What does all this have to do with native plant photography? About as much as the difference between a pair of reversed-digit numbers like 88 and 88, but you know the refrain by now: variety is the species of life.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 10, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Posted in nature photography

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Spring’s here

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Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

In contrast to yesterday’s yesteryear pictures of snow, today’s photograph wants to tell you that spring is making its way into Austin. The temperature here got up to around 82°F (28°C) on February 7, which is when I photographed these buds on an agarita bush, Berberis trifoliolata. For several years I’ve been aware of this shrub’s location on some undeveloped land in my neighborhood, so I went to check it out and wasn’t disappointed.

Agarita is one of those species that botanists like to describe as “well defended.” Imagine a world where people’s knees, elbows, fingers, toes, chins, and noses were as sharp as an agarita’s leaflet tips. Or maybe don’t.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM

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