Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

An ice cap is a nice cap

with 43 comments

Behold a cap of sleet on the seed head remains of a horsemint
(Monarda citriodora) in Great Hills Park on January 10th.

And here’s a quotation relevant to the current freezing out by some large technology companies of opinions and even facts that they don’t like: “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion.” — John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty,” 1859.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 24, 2021 at 4:35 AM

43 Responses

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  1. Makes it look like some sort of unusual gold and silver flower – or a sculpture. 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    January 24, 2021 at 4:49 AM

    • Now that you mention it, I do see a metallic look. Horsemint seed heads do look sculptural, even without the ice cap.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2021 at 9:58 AM

  2. That looks so fancy


    January 24, 2021 at 6:36 AM

  3. Oh, a lovely little gem. Like a hat pin or lapel pin, non? That was a cool sighting.


    January 24, 2021 at 7:15 AM

  4. The photograph makes it look like a piece of jewellery. The ice cap must be as rare to your location as Monarda citriodora is to central New Jersey.

    Khürt Williams

    January 24, 2021 at 7:45 AM

    • You’re right: we don’t often get snow and ice here, so when we do I run out to see what I can record. Your reference to jewelry reminds me that a slang name for it is ice.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2021 at 10:43 AM

  5. I have to agree that the horsemint looks like a fine piece of jewelry. The words of John Stuart Mill are wise and fitting for this time. Thanks for providing the links to his work – excellent reading to ponder.


    January 24, 2021 at 8:05 AM

    • John Stuart Mill might be considered the crown jewel in classical liberalism, which placed a high value on freedom in general and free speech in particular.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2021 at 11:06 AM

  6. The ice jewel on the seedhead is a very impressive macro, Steve. In the chaotic world of opinions, which are inundating us through the media, your quote is good advice for all of us.

    Peter Klopp

    January 24, 2021 at 8:16 AM

    • Your reference to jewelry and gems is the fourth in a row, so there must be something to it.
      Yes, there are many opinions, but some media are suppressing views and even facts that they don’t want the public to hear. I’ve never seen as much suppression in my whole life as in the past few months.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2021 at 11:17 AM

  7. Botanical snow cone! Great shot, as usual, Steve.


    January 24, 2021 at 9:58 AM

  8. That looks like it belongs with the House of Medici: perhaps a diamond and gold table decoration. The monarda seed heads I find usually are gray and boring; perhaps a combination of just the right light, just the right degree of decline, and the moisture created that golden glow. It’s beautiful.


    January 24, 2021 at 10:14 AM

    • This portrait led a bunch of people, including you, to find a resemblance to jewelry. For whatever reason, I hadn’t even thought about then when I took, prepared, and posted the picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2021 at 11:21 AM

  9. …Behold a mighty shot! 😉

    marina kanavaki

    January 24, 2021 at 10:39 AM

  10. Looks like it is made of gold and crystal!

    Eliza Waters

    January 24, 2021 at 5:23 PM

  11. That is a beautiful crown!

    Lavinia Ross

    January 24, 2021 at 9:58 PM

  12. When in college, John Stuart Mill was a favorite read and it has been too long. It’s good advice these days when folks are only interested in their own point of view and all others are unworthy.

    The horsemint’s crown does look bejeweled. Our garden Monarda’s rarely look like this as Mary Beth deadheads them.

    Steve Gingold

    January 25, 2021 at 3:56 AM

  13. This is such a striking photo, Steve. I love it.
    I’m intrigued by your quote…are large companies refusing to hear other sides? I’ve been out of the loop news-wise so don’t know to what you are referring. In a general way, of course, John Stuart Mill is quite right.


    January 25, 2021 at 10:11 AM

    • You really have been out of the news loop recently! Some large companies aren’t just ignoring what they don’t like, they’re intervening to prevent other people from hearing what those companies don’t like. Let me cite two examples, though there are plenty more. (1) In October the New York Post, the oldest surviving newspaper in the country, ran a story, including documentation, alleging that Hunter Biden had been involved in shady business dealings in the Ukraine and China. The New York Post’s Twitter account was immediately locked, and all Twitter users were blocked from even linking to the newspaper story. Facebook also suppressed the story. (2) The week before last, Amazon, Apple, and Google all dropped Parler, an alternative to Twitter that lets multiple viewpoints be heard.

      But yes, it is a striking picture of an ice-covered horsemint.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 25, 2021 at 10:55 AM

  14. Yes … ‘nice’! The gold portion looks metallic.


    January 26, 2021 at 11:54 AM

    • That’s what everyone sees, and yet I didn’t think of it that way when I took the picture or even when I processed it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 26, 2021 at 11:57 AM

  15. Terrific quote, wonderful photo!


    January 29, 2021 at 12:39 PM

  16. It’s a particularly nice cap btw! Great shot Steve


    January 29, 2021 at 6:12 PM

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