Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Wildflower carpets continuing into June

with 47 comments

Here from Mourning Dove Lane and US 183 in Leander is a field that was still wonderfully flowerful on June 7th. Dominating everything else was Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels, Indian blankets, and blanketflowers. The two kinds of white flowers toward the back were bull nettle (Cnidoscolus texanus) and white prickly poppies (Argemone albiflora).

Because I show pictures here at a size of about half a megapixel, you often miss details apparent in the full 50-megapixel photographs my camera takes. The image below is a strip across the bottom of the photograph above. Click the strip to enlarge it and see more details. The white flower at the left is Texas bindweed (Convovulus equitans). Near the middle of the strip is the pod of a milkweed, probably antelope horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula). The purple inflorescence a little farther right is a horsemint (Monarda citriodora). Notice how many of the firewheels had already become seed heads.

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“The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a violent sociopolitical purge movement in China from 1966 until 1976.” So begins the Wikipedia article about what I choose to call the Anti-Cultural Revolution because it destroyed culture and killed people. “Estimates of the death toll from the [Anti-]Cultural Revolution, including civilians and Red Guards, vary greatly, ranging from hundreds of thousands to 20 million.”

Elements of that horrific movement have now come to America, where crazed mobs, both in person and online, persecute people for having said or done something that the fanatics don’t like, even if the thing was decades ago and the people weren’t yet adults. As in the North Korean dictatorship today, a supposed offender’s family, friends, and associates also are deemed worthy of punishment. Thankfully, some Americans are speaking out against such destructive fanaticism. If you’d like to learn more about a recent incident, you can listen to Bari Weiss‘s half-hour podcast “America’s Cultural Revolution.”

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 15, 2021 at 4:32 AM

47 Responses

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  1. It is your blog and what you post is of course your choice and business. But there is so much crap going on in the world I don’t really enjoy reading more of it on your blog. Plus your paranoia is getting a bit irritating as you continue to stretch things into a case of what they are not. We are not turning into North Korea. You might want to take Robert Kampet’s advice to heart. At any rate, I am taking a break from your posts, No offense if you do the same with mine.

    Steve Gingold

    June 15, 2021 at 4:46 AM

    • For the first nine of my ten years on this blog I kept to nature. When the country started getting crazy a year ago, I felt I had to say something, and this blog is the only place I have a regular platform. I assumed I’d lose readers by adding comments about the state of the country. I’ve been separating those comments at the end of my post, so anyone wanting only nature can stop reading at the end of the first part.

      I was born shortly before the end of World War 2. Refugees from and survivors of that war were around as I grew up. I remember that the man who ran the local candy store had a number tattooed on his arm. For more than the first half of my life I lived through the Cold War. The 20th century is fading but it’s still living memory for many of us. China and Russia are still dictatorships. With all the evidence of other countries that have turned bad, there’s no reason why ours can’t. I don’t want to be among the ones who let it happen without working against it.

      (And since you mentioned North Korea, coincidentally I have a comment coming up soon from a woman who escaped North Korea and now finds herself facing some elements of that dictatorship here.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2021 at 7:47 AM

      • I don’t see that happening but anything is possible. I think the last administration was more likely to turn into a dictatorship but a few of your posts have indicated otherwise. At any rate, people shouting down people is not the same as making it more difficult to vote or making demonstrations illegal or refusing to allow our historical facts to be taught because it isn’t patriotic. Slavery existed here as did Japanese interment camps during WWII. I agree that some get carried away but I don’t see that as creating a dictatorship. I didn’t bring up North Korea, you mentioned it as something developing here.
        I also grew up, although a few years later, with people who came back from WWII including my father from the Pacific as well as knowing folks who were numbered in German camps. I think what you are concerned with is no more likely to happen here than what folks thought would happen during the last four years comparing that time as the buildup to the Third Reich.

        As far as making a difference you’d have a greater effect running for office or getting involved locally than here, in my opinion.

        Steve Gingold

        June 15, 2021 at 8:05 AM

        • Mr. Schwartzman, political censorship was, if anything, worse during your idealized childhood than it is now. The Red Scare had official government backing. The FBI ran an entire section devoted to hunting and persecuting people with communist sympathies. People weren’t merely shamed in the press, they went to prison. A lot of these cases involved refugees from World War 2, including holocaust survivors. In fact, Jewish refugees were specifically targeted by the FBI. In most cases, these people were innocent. They were not agents of the USSR or of Communist China. But they were still shamed in the press, and they still lost their livelihoods. Like the North Korean woman you mention, many of these people were worried about signs of dictatorship in the United States–but in their case, they were worried about fascism. So was President Eisenhower.

          Your childhood also coincides with the “Yellow Dog” period of Texas politics. Not exactly a time known for its support of free speech or open elections. Newspapers in Texas had to run their stories by county officials. It is unlikely that Bari Weiss would have been published in Texas during your childhood–partly because of her gender, and partly because of her last name and assumed ethnicity. A small group of cronies ran Texas from the state level to the county. That’s a lot closer to actual dictatorship, or totalitarianism, than anything you’ll find in Texas today.

          Even on the national level, political stories were censored by the government during your childhood, and well into your young adulthood. When the Washington Post published the Pentagon Papers, the reporters there were in real danger of going to jail–despite the fact that they had overwhelming evidence and verifiable sources. At least two other papers passed on the story because they would not take the risk. The owner of the Washington Post knew she was in danger of going to federal prison when she made the decision to publish. It took a Supreme Court ruling to protect her. Contrast that to the freedom pundits like Bari Weiss have to express their opinion in 2021. And when was the last time the owner or editor of a newspaper seriously had to worry about prison time in the United States for something his/her newspaper published? When was the last time a newspaper had to make sure they had overwhelming evidence before they published a story?

          And this liberty and freedom should be apparent to you. You have the freedom to publish your opinion on your blog, and the worst you have to fear is a little pushback from people who come here to look at your pictures of flowers.


          June 15, 2021 at 11:35 AM

          • Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’m sorry for this late reply, but I just now found that WordPress had put your comment in the spam folder, which I check only every so often.

            In the early 1950s I was too young to have much awareness of politics in general and anti-Communist feelings in America in particular. I remember being annoyed in 1952 when the presidential campaigns and conventions that were aired on television got in the way of the regular programs I would’ve watched. I also remember the “Duck and cover” drills we had in elementary school—as if getting under our desks would somehow have saved us from an atom bomb or hydrogen bomb.

            Some people in our time refer, as you did, to “the Red Scare” of that period. I think they use the phrase as a put-down of the prevailing attitude in the country. Being scared isn’t necessarily unwarranted. I think most evolutionary scientists see fear as something that developed to increase the likelihood an individual, and indirectly the species, would survive. If you’re out on the African savanna and a lion appears, you have good reason to feel scared. Ever since the Russian Revolution we’d seen the horrors of Communism: the slaughter, the censorship, the purges, the disappeared people, the starvation—and all that was before World War 2, in the aftermath of which the Soviet Union quickly took over a bunch of countries in eastern Europe and subjugated their people. Americans in the early 1950s weren’t just imagining that Soviet spies had infiltrated the American government; they had, and revelations in later decades showed that the infiltration was greater than what many had thought. Some of those spies gave atomic secrets to the Soviets, who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to develop those weapons so quickly.

            I don’t think it was wrong in the 1950s to point out that certain Americans were Communist sympathizers or outright Communists. I do think it was wrong to blacklist them. The proper way to defeat bad ideas is with good ideas, which is why I’m such a free speech supporter, and why I’m fearful of the censorship that has become rampant here in the past year. Our government may not be censoring people directly, but it’s getting quasi-monopolies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon to do the censoring for it, which in practical terms is just as bad.

            As a math teacher, I know that when two negatives get multiplied they make a positive, but when added they make another negative. One wrong added to another wrong makes things more wrong, not right. I don’t justify current wrongdoing by pointing to wrongdoing in the past. If censorship on one political side was wrong in the 1950s, censorship by the opposite side is wrong now.

            Steve Schwartzman

            June 26, 2021 at 7:21 AM

        • I don’t have the kind personality that lends itself to doing what you have to do to get elected. In contrast, writing is a strength of mine, so I’ve begun including the little commentaries you’ve seen here lately. Though I’m not a political person, I’ve started donating a little money to organizations that I feel are fighting the good fight against totalitarianism and indoctrination. I may get involved with any local group I learn about that is working for what I believe in.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 16, 2021 at 8:30 AM

    • It’s not paranoia. It’s legitimate concern.


      June 16, 2021 at 6:53 AM

      • There may be legitimate concern about the continued well-being of our government and way of life but I believe much of that concern should lie elsewhere. I agree that people are giving others an undue amount of attention and grief over statements made. But I don’t think that equates with attacks from elsewhere such as making voting more difficult for folks, discouraging educators from covering the history of our country with all its pluses and minuses, trying to overturn an election that has been proven many times to have been fairly executed with an honest result, etc. Do I wish people could be more civil in their discussion of societal problems? Of course. But there are difficulties in that realm on both sides of every discussion. Insult and name calling have become the norm in these things and solving that problem would go a long way in alleviating some of Steve’s and your concerns. If one reads the accounts of American political history there are stories that were created of total fiction that assassinated character right and left. Yet here we are a few hundred years later with similar issues yet a free country. I think it will take more than shout downs to undo that.

        Steve Gingold

        June 16, 2021 at 1:57 PM

        • You mentioned “discouraging educators from covering the history of our country with all its pluses and minuses.” I’m not aware of any public school American history curriculum that fails to discuss slavery, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, mistreatment of indigenous peoples, etc. Those are important parts of our history and must be taught. (You know me: the more that’s taught and that students learn, the better.) I assume you’re alluding to laws that several states have passed in response to the teaching of critical race theory in public schools. Some schools have started teaching a version of our country’s history that overemphasizes the negatives and plays down or omits the positives. Some schools are stigmatizing white children for the sins of their ancestors (that’s akin to original sin in Christianity). Some schools require students to engage in political activism (which of course means leftist political activism). To deal with those abuses, the recent laws call for a balanced approach, just as you said you want, with the pluses and minuses. I suspect that the news media you follow have misrepresented those laws. When in doubt, go to the source. I just looked up the text of the Texas law. Here are relevant excerpts:

          “Teachers who choose to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs shall, to the best of their ability, strive to explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective….”

          “No teacher, administrator, or other employee in any state agency, school district, campus, open-enrollment charter school, or school administration shall be required to engage in training, orientation, or therapy that presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or sex.”

          “No teacher, administrator, or other employee in any state agency, school district, campus, open-enrollment charter school, or school administration shall require, or make part of a course the following concepts: (1) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (2) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (3) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex; (4) members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex; (5) an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex; (6) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex; (7) any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or (8) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.”

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 17, 2021 at 6:23 AM

          • Thanks for sharing those excerpts.

            Steve Gingold

            June 17, 2021 at 6:40 AM

            • You’re welcome. I hope that reassures you that nobody (at least in the Texas legislature) is trying to sweep anything under the rug.

              Steve Schwartzman

              June 17, 2021 at 7:19 AM

              • Not entirely. As written in the excerpts you provided it sounds okay but how do they evaluate whether someone is doing the job as they desire and what are the consequences if not? Suppose some parent doesn’t like what their child comes home and tells them, accurate or not, and lodges a complaint?

                Steve Gingold

                June 17, 2021 at 4:06 PM

                • From my point of view, at least it puts “woke” teachers on notice that they won’t be able to keep getting away with indoctrinating their students. Every student has a cell phone, and if a teacher launches off into something untoward, a student will probably record that as evidence of what the teacher said. Remember that it was all those Zoom classed in 2020 that tipped parents off to what some teachers were actually doing.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 17, 2021 at 4:28 PM

  2. Love the carpet of wildflowers! Evening here and I don’t have time to listen to the podcast however I had a quick read of a NPR article from July 28, 2020 and it’s a very sad situation where hugely deep hurt was caused in a mixed community. It seems that there has been meaningful dialogue within the community and I hope they can work things through together – as a community. The fact they’re talking is a good start. When I have time I’ll try to read more about what’s happened between then and now.

    Ms. Liz

    June 15, 2021 at 6:11 AM

    • Happy magic carpet to you.
      Do you have a link to that article?

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2021 at 8:00 AM

        • Thanks for finding it. If you’ve had time to follow the link in my text and listen to the podcast conversation between Bari Weiss and Majdi Wadi from June 9th of this year, you’ll have learned, alas, that in the ensuing year the situation got worse, not better. Cancel mobs are ruthless.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 15, 2021 at 4:01 PM

          • I’ve just listened to the podcast and I’m sad for Mr Wadi because he seems genuine in his remorse and willing to learn and change. On the other hand I’m also sad that no mention was made of how Black people have been cancelled and are still wounded from great injustices, notably Tulsa. Just yesterday, earlier in the day before reading your post in the evening, I read about a place called Denton in your own state. Here’s one paragraph from that story:

            “In 1921, three years after the Confederate monument went up in Denton, the town voted to relocate the whole of Quakertown [successful Black merchant district] to Solomon Hill, a swampy cow pasture on the other side of the railroad tracks in southeast Denton, thus giving the white ladies their walking path to school. More than 60 families lost their homes and many residents left Denton altogether. It was the same year as the Tulsa Race Massacre, 435km north, when the city’s “Black Wall Street” was burned and 300 people were killed.”

            “There were no city services in the new area, and no compensation for the Blacks. “I think it broke their spirit, really,” says Linnie M. McAdams, who is 83 and served as Denton’s first Black councilwoman.”

            When Black people (in general) have suffered so much, how do you imagine they feel when a “3rd/4th class” of Palestinian person from Kuwait comes into their community, builds a business in their community which they support for years both as customers and employees, and then his daughter puts those ghastly remarks on social media? Yes he managed to build a wonderful business, but let’s not forget that the mixed community of the area enabled that – and supported him. Can you imagine how they’d feel?

            There’s another thing. The Black imam in the NPR article discusses “Arab immigrants and other immigrants of color, who built their wealth in Black communities like this one” … “had set up shop in Black neighborhoods because they weren’t welcome in white ones.”

            ~personally, following on from my last paragraph, it seems white folks should be taking a darn good look at their own attitudes because they’re part of the problem too! I don’t think Bari Weiss appears to have any insight into this aspect of the problem.

            I hope you’ll read the Denton article, Steve: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-21-year-protest-to-take-down-a-confederate-monument-in-texas-2021-6?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=2021-q2-special_projects&utm_content=juneteenth&r=US&IR=T

            Ms. Liz

            June 15, 2021 at 5:14 PM

            • Tear down all the Confederate statues you want (which is fine with me), but it won’t teach one black kid how to do simple arithmetic or write a coherent English sentence.

              Steve Schwartzman

              June 15, 2021 at 8:43 PM

              • You’re way more concerned about Mr Wadi being cancelled than about the known history of repeated White mob attacks on prosperous Black people and property? My point wasn’t about the Confederate statues.

                Ms. Liz

                June 15, 2021 at 9:03 PM

                • Tulsa was a hundred years ago. Mr. Wadi had nothing to do with that, yet his business is getting destroyed and many likewise innocent people lost their jobs. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 15, 2021 at 9:12 PM

                • 100 years really isn’t that long, I read of a woman survivor just the other day who was a little girl at the time. I agree that two wrongs don’t make a right but it’s grossly unfair to continually expect Black people to forgive, and not look at the whole context of where the racism comes from to begin with. Learning a truthful history in school is a good place to start and may have averted her ‘mistake’ of making appalling online racist comments at the age of 16.

                  Ms. Liz

                  June 15, 2021 at 9:38 PM

                • I’m not aware of any current American schools that don’t teach about slavery, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, etc. Those things have been part of the standard curriculum for decades. What’s new is the unrelenting, all-encompassing emphasis on that, with the concomitant denial of all the good things in American history, many of which don’t even get taught anymore. Fairness and balance are too often lacking.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 16, 2021 at 11:43 AM

            • And then there are the inconvenient truths that people prefer to ignore, such as the enslavement of Liberian tribal people by the newly freed black slaves who arrived there from the United States after the Civil War. “The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here” is the Liberian national motto, but the liberty of the (black) indigenous tribes was of little concern to the (black) so-called “Americo-Liberians.” In point of fact, the various coups and the terrible civil wars that have plagued that country in recent years had less to do with skin color than with tribal divisions. Having been in country between one coup and the first civil war, I know a bit about those divisions and tensions: the black-on-black violence there differs only slightly from the black-on-black violence in American cities.

              The increasingly eager attempts of some in our society to encourage tribalism of all sorts — not merely divisions based on skin color — is dangerous. As the saying goes, “Divide and conquer.” It’s worth asking some questions about who, precisely, is attempting to divide people, and to what purpose.


              June 16, 2021 at 10:44 AM

              • A film worth watching is Pray the Devil Back to Hell, the story of the Liberian women who helped to overcome some of those divisions and bring about an end to violence.


                June 16, 2021 at 10:46 AM

                • That documentary sounds familiar. You may have mentioned it before. I don’t have an Amazon Prime or Netflix membership, and haven’t seen it.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 16, 2021 at 1:16 PM

              • As someone who’s lived in Liberia, you’re in a good position to bring up those inconvenient truths, like the enslavement of Liberian tribal people by the newly freed black slaves who arrived there from the United States after the Civil War. I’m not sure I’d heard about that, but I am aware there were free blacks in the United States who owned slaves. Neither of those facts did I ever learn in school, nor do I imagine schools today mention them, either. You also mentioned tribal distinctions, which do seem to be at the heart of many conflicts. Consider Rwanda in 1994, when members of the Hutu ethnic majority in the east-central part of the country murdered as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority. I remember how puzzled people in the United States were, because those two groups were both black and looked indistinguishable.

                As to who is attempting to divide people, one possibility is leftist ideologues, who may be hoping the country will fall apart so they can set up their utopian society.

                Steve Schwartzman

                June 16, 2021 at 1:14 PM

                • There are people of both persuasions thinking of dividing the country. I am sure some leftists have something in mind. But, I ask you…did a leftist shoot up a black church with the idea of creating a race war? Did a leftist shoot up a synagogue because he hated Jews? Did leftist storm the Capitol trying to overturn the election? If you are a fair minded person then pointing your finger at one group is disingenuous. The people you rail against are trying to improve things for those who have not been treated fairly. I don’t agree that riots and slander are the way to go. But as we have seen in the past, politely asking for change does not work.

                  Steve Gingold

                  June 16, 2021 at 2:02 PM

                • I agree with you, of course, that fanatics on both sides (as well as on neither of the two main sides) do atrocious things. How could I not, when the evidence is plain to see? For each incident you mentioned, I could find a similar one on the other side. Yes, there was a crazy guy who killed people in that black church; there was also the Bernie Sanders supporter who tried to kill Republicans at a baseball game and almost managed to kill Steve Scalise. Yes, there was a riot at the Capitol on January 6th this year to protest the November election. But there were also riots in Washington D.C. (though none I think at the Capitol) after Trump won fair and square in 2016, and some people immediately started calling for him to be impeached, and for electors in the electoral college to go against the will of the people, and for the Supreme Court to overturn the election, etc.

                  Where you and I seem to disagree is that I don’t attribute good motives to most leftist ideologues, just as I don’t attribute good motives to the Bolsheviks in Russia, the Nazis in Germany, or the Maoists in China, all of whom claimed that they would right past wrongs and make life better for people—and then proceeded to enslave and starve and slaughter millions. I’m very worried that as the “woke” get power they’ll follow in the footsteps of those other movements. The first steps in that direction have already been happening as they suppress contrary opinions and create a climate in which people are afraid to say what they think.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 16, 2021 at 3:03 PM

                • So you are saying that all the trouble will come from the left. Seems at odds with what your first sentence indicated.
                  What this does show is that once someone has made up his mind that one group is worse than the other no amount of examples will sway that outlook. Crowds marching on Washington demanding the impeachment, which is a legal undertaking, is the same or worse than a bunch of radicals attacking the seat of our government, causing the death of a few police officers including beating them with flags, crying for the hanging of the vice president, whether they would have actually done that is debatable, and destroying various parts of the Capitol. Keeping an open mind is key to solving the problems facing us today. As you said there are crazy people, or at least irresponsible and willing to do illegal things, on both sides and trying to say one is worse than the other doesn’t get the job done.

                  Steve Gingold

                  June 16, 2021 at 3:37 PM

                • It’s just that the news media are so overwhelmingly oriented to the left that the public gets a distorted picture of things. There’s also the fact that my father escaped from communism, so I worry about those tendencies becoming more prominent here.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 17, 2021 at 7:24 AM

                • Actually the rioters at the Capitol did not kill a single police officer on January 6th. I know that many mainstream media outlets have made that claim, and I think I heard Biden say in Switzerland yesterday that one police officer was killed at the Capitol that day, but it just isn’t true. All the people who died at the Capitol were demonstrators/rioters. The only person killed there was Ashley Babbit, a military veteran whom a police officer shot. The government has refused to identify the officer or provide any details, even to Ashley Babbit’s family:


                  The police officer that many in the mainstream media claimed got killed at the Capitol was Brian Sicknick. Some media outlets reported that he was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. In fact he died the next day, and of natural causes, as confirmed by the chief medical examiner in D.C., Francisco Diaz, who also found “no evidence the 42-year-old officer suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have caused Sicknick’s throat to quickly seize. Diaz also said there was no evidence of internal or external injuries.”


                  This is a good example of why I’m so wary of believing the mainstream media. Just as you believed until now that a few police officers were killed there that day, so do many other people, even though it’s not true.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 17, 2021 at 11:28 AM

                • Actually once the coroner’s report came out most every news source reported his findings. There is the question of why a healthy 42 year old police officer suffered two strokes after the confrontation the day before and stress is a known cause. Considering all the death threats various government officials received after the recounts with none overturning the election I am not surprised the officer’s name is being kept secret.

                  Steve Gingold

                  June 17, 2021 at 4:02 PM

                • And…this shows why I generally do not engage in this sort of conversation.

                  Steve Gingold

                  June 16, 2021 at 3:38 PM

                • Yes, I understand the perils. As I mentioned yesterday, for the first nine years here I avoided anything controversial. But last year I began to get really worried about where the country is going, and I increasingly felt I had to speak out.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 17, 2021 at 7:27 AM

  3. I love this magic carpet of color! This is how I see roadside ditches in Oklahoma – so many different species of wildflower growing together. One of my favorite wild flowers to spot as the temperatures skyrocket and dry conditions set in is the white prickly poppy. While visiting a niece near Okarche Oklahoma last summer, I found a field of them and was it ever stunning! On the other hand, I had a painful encounter with a bull nettle a couple of years back. Not paying attention to where I was moving as I dug up invasive musk thistle plants in the pecan orchard, I accidentally brushed against one. I am not likely to walk around unaware ever again after that! Ouch!!


    June 15, 2021 at 7:18 AM

    • Ditches are a great place for wildflowers, as you noted. One in north Austin has been a reliable source for basket-flower pictures. We also have plenty of white prickly poppies here, and I’ve enjoyed photographing them every year. The one that I’d been relying on in Great Hills Park didn’t come up this year, maybe because of February’s sustained freeze, though I’ve seen others around town, and they would have been subject to that same freeze.

      I’ve read accounts of people who’ve had the misfortune to brush up against bull nettle, now including yours. I’m happy to say I’ve never been a member of that club and hope I never will be.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2021 at 8:36 AM

  4. Ah, the endless gallery of floral carpets! When I discovered a tiny carpet of buttercups the other day I said to my wife that Steve Schwartzman with his impressive wildflower carpets would not even bother to photograph it.

    Peter Klopp

    June 15, 2021 at 8:23 AM

    • I appreciate your thinking of me then, Peter. Maybe we’re spoiled in that respect down here, given how widespread some of our wildflower colonies are.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2021 at 8:39 AM

  5. Wonderful wildflower carpet, Steve. I enjoyed clicking on the strip and learning the flower species.

    Jet Eliot

    June 15, 2021 at 9:57 AM

    • Glad to hear it. I include enlargements from time to time so you get to appreciate all the details in the full-size images my camera makes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2021 at 10:10 AM

  6. We get these on our property. Nice to see a whole meadow of them!


    June 15, 2021 at 10:53 AM

  7. […] I mentioned the horrendous depredations of the Anti-Cultural Revolution in China under the dictatorship of Mao Zedong. Today I’m following up with the story of Xi Van Fleet, […]

  8. The Gaillardia certainly are continuing to make a splash this month — just as they did in late May. I’ve been surprised to see their profusion. It may be that they’re coming on a little later, or it may be that my memory is bad. In any event, they’re here, and beautiful. On the other hand, last weekend I found Maximilian sunflowers, too; that was a great surprise. I’m slowly adjusting to the heat, so I may have a little energy for posting my ‘finds’ in the evenings.


    June 16, 2021 at 6:58 AM

    • We can adapt an unrelated slogan to describe the firewheels: They’re here, they’re dear, get used to them. You may be right that they came on a little later than usual, presumably due to the February freeze. The recent rains here may also have let them linger past their traditional time. Whatever the reason, I was happy to take advantage of their presence in June. As for Maximilian sunflowers, I’ve occasionally found a few flowering here in the summer. So far this year I’ve found plants but not any flowers. The fact that you found some already may mean I’ll find some here as well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2021 at 8:41 AM

  9. […] this past spring, as every spring for the last decade, showing firewheels (Gaillardia pulchella) at their densely flowering peak. Even after that colonial grandeur fades, individual firewheels in diminishing numbers come up […]

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