Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two pointy things of different size

with 31 comments

A mound in the forest at John Bryan State Park near Yellow Springs, Ohio, on July 21 made me think I was looking once again at the ruins of a Mayan pyramid that the Central American jungle had reclaimed.

The green on this drying leaf I found when we were about to leave the park seemed unaccountably vivid.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 30, 2019 at 4:37 AM

31 Responses

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  1. Of different size and different greens but the photos sit well together.


    August 30, 2019 at 5:20 AM

    • You’ve reminded me of the comment on a child’s report card from school: plays well with others.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2019 at 7:15 AM

      • That would qualify as an A plus, then.


        August 30, 2019 at 8:17 AM

        • You made me wonder whether New Zealand uses an A-B-C-D-F grading system, as does the United States. I found this article about that:


          Steve Schwartzman

          August 30, 2019 at 8:50 AM

          • Our grading systems seem similar. When my son and daughter went to the University of Canterbury I was surprised to see the University was using a GPA system. My daughter was used to that from her international school experience but the GPA was not in use when I was at the University of Canterbury in the 70s.


            August 30, 2019 at 11:02 PM

            • I imagine the numerical nature of the GPA appeals to a CPA.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 30, 2019 at 11:15 PM

              • CPA ? Certified Public Accountant? If so that would be right because some years ago the success of a tertiary institution here (and the amount of Govt support it received) was based on a “bums on seats” (is this a NZ expression?) approach. It was a numbers game and not anything to do with academic excellence. I think that has changed, or is changing.


                August 30, 2019 at 11:32 PM

                • Yes, CPA = Certified Public Accountant.
                  Although I don’t know if Americans use the expression “bums on seats” I had no trouble understanding it.
                  When it comes to “education” here, I’m sorry to report that almost everything is a numbers game. If not enough students from certain groups pass an objective test, the authorities lower the minimum passing grade until the “right” outcome is achieved. Every attempt to uphold standards is met with a countervailing subterfuge to circumvent the standards. Many diplomas are handed out to students who have learned very little. People have heard me say that if the Nobel Committee gave an award for cynicism I’d be a sure winner.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  August 30, 2019 at 11:44 PM

                • Well, Nobel Prize awarded in that field then ( I am sure many of us could share it with you!) but your brilliance and dedication to wildflowers and photography outweigh any cynicism you may have.


                  August 31, 2019 at 12:24 AM

                • I appreciate your positive positive take on the situation!

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  August 31, 2019 at 5:47 AM

  2. It was good of you to point out the similarity between the images in your title. The green on the leaf looks more like spray paint than part of a natural process, although I’m sure no graffiti artist was roaming the woods.

    I read that this park’s considered the most scenic in western Ohio. Were you able to hike the limestone gorge that seems to be its highlight?


    August 30, 2019 at 5:55 AM

    • At the Cincinnati Art Museum we’d seen a painting by Robert Duncanson of Blue Hole:


      We learned that it’s in what later became John Bryan State Park, and that’s what led us there. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to Blue Hole, which apparently would have required a fair amount of additional hiking in the heat. We did see a little of the gorge but hikers are restricted to the trail and aren’t allowed to go over to the river, so I couldn’t get good pictures. I made up for that the next week in New York.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2019 at 7:40 AM

  3. Two very interesting shots, Steve! They both contain mysteries that have left me puzzled.

    Peter Klopp

    August 30, 2019 at 8:05 AM

  4. A beautifully curated post. The leaf just gobsmacked me.

    Michael Scandling

    August 30, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    • Perhaps I was a curate in a past life.

      I didn’t think the word gobsmacked when I reacted to the leaf, but the green did strike me as preternatural.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2019 at 11:48 AM

  5. I love how you connect to two different shapes and makes it into a deeper “story”. They are beautifully captured,

    Otto von Münchow

    August 30, 2019 at 7:59 PM

    • Thanks. Only a little while before posting this did I make the connection, and then I changed the original title to reflect what these two photographs share.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2019 at 11:12 PM

  6. That leaf is flat intriguing to me! That’s one I would frame and put on a wall… it’s soothing and has meditative qualities. Gosh knows I need to spend more time doing that.


    August 31, 2019 at 10:54 AM

    • It’s appropriate that you find the leaf flat intriguing, given that it was pretty flat (at least for a mostly dried-out leaf).You could close your eyes and remember/imagine it when you’re meditating.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2019 at 10:59 AM

  7. Not two things I’d think of associating, the contrast in scale between the images is really interesting. And the greens of the leaf are beautifully vivid.


    August 31, 2019 at 1:03 PM

    • I didn’t make the connection at the time I took the pictures, nor even when I put together the initial drafts of the post. Only close to posting time did it hit me. In contrast, the vivid green on the leaf jumped out at me as soon as I saw it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2019 at 5:17 PM

  8. The first one looks like the Matterhorn at Disneyland.


    September 2, 2019 at 9:54 PM

    • Good imagination. Too bad I couldn’t have looked up to see the real Matterhorn.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 3, 2019 at 5:07 AM

      • ?! If you could have, you would have been somewhere else, so could not have gotten these pictures.


        September 4, 2019 at 8:18 AM

        • True enough. I probably would have valued pictures of the Matterhorn more, as the place is so spectacular.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 4, 2019 at 8:30 AM

  9. So much of nature repeats and so much does not. These are nicely observed, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    September 3, 2019 at 4:05 AM

    • I was slow to make that observation, not at all at the time, but eventually realized what the two had in common shortly before posting.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 3, 2019 at 5:09 AM

      • I sometimes see things at the last moment too…or not at all until someone points it out after I post.

        Steve Gingold

        September 4, 2019 at 3:08 PM

        • I’ve had it happen in both of those ways, and sometimes I’ve even made a connection immediately.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 4, 2019 at 3:23 PM

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