Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The silky strands are better known than the flowers

with 17 comments

When it comes to the Clematis drummondii vine, the swirls of silky strands that spring from its fertilized flowers garner much more attention than the flowers themselves. I sure paid plenty of attention to the lustrous strands I found in the northwest quadrant of Howard Lane and Heatherwilde Blvd. on July 17th. Click to enlarge.

◊     ◊

In a survey by the Cato Institute a year ago, about 62% of respondents confirmed that “the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive. The share of Americans who self‐​censor has risen several points since 2017 when 58% of Americans agreed with this statement.” While the latest survey included respondents across the political spectrum, conservatives were half again as likely (77%) to feel intimidated as people on the political left (52%). Given all the turbulence over the 12 months since last year’s survey, I imagine the numbers would be even higher today. It’s a shame that in a supposedly free country any people should have to worry about speaking their mind.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 28, 2021 at 4:37 AM

17 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. One doesn’t need to even *say* anything when in certain states the act of wearing a mask is seen as a political statement. Love the photo of beautiful silky clematis strands.

    Ms. Liz

    July 28, 2021 at 4:51 AM

    • When even a majority (52%) of people who align with the culturally dominant group are fearful of speaking their mind, we have a problem that no tangential comment can mask.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 28, 2021 at 5:33 AM

  2. When Clematis get large they are covered with these. Kind of like cousin Itt.

    Steve Gingold

    July 28, 2021 at 6:11 AM

    • I had to look up Cousin Itt to understand your hirsute (hair suit?) reference. I look forward each year to the time when our Clematis drummondii gets to looking like this.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 28, 2021 at 6:17 AM

  3. A very disturbing situation…


    July 28, 2021 at 6:25 AM

  4. Interesting plant. Although I, too, think I better keep my mouth shut, there are plenty of very vocal people out there who don’t feel the least intimidated to speak up their minds.

    Alessandra Chaves

    July 28, 2021 at 8:27 AM

  5. I’ve completely missed out on this wonderful plant during this summer — at least, to this point. It may go by the name old man’s beard, but I laughed when I saw this photo. It looks rather like a certain old lady’s hair after a few hours of sweating in the heat. Thank goodness there’s no green in my hair, though; I’ve not yet begun to turn moldy.


    July 29, 2021 at 6:34 AM

    • You’re funny in extending the metaphor of old man’s beard to that of a certain old lady’s hair in the Texas summer heat. I do hope you’ll run into some Clematis drummondii soon. I’m seeing both lustrous and feathery strands now as I drive around Austin. I may have go for another round of picture-taking.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2021 at 11:45 AM

  6. […] Dr. in far north Austin on July 31st. This is a later and more feathery stage than what you saw in a July 28th post, which was later than the flowering stage shown the day […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: