Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Portraits from our yard: episode 4

with 16 comments

Remember the white avens (Geum canadense) buds from April 25th that you saw four posts back? Here from the same day are lighter and darker takes on the flowers of the species. The first offers limited focus at f/3.5 by natural light; the second, at f/14 with flash, gives you a sharper view and a dark background.

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You may be interested in watching a 26-minute video in which Margaret Hoover (great-granddaughter of Herbert Hoover) interviews Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter about the excesses of “anti-racism” and critical race theory. McWhorter, himself black, is the author of the book Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America, to be released October 26th.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2021 at 4:29 AM

16 Responses

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  1. Thanks for that link. Nice to hear someone speaking up about it. I suppose he doesn’t have a voice in your mainstream media?…


    August 3, 2021 at 9:41 AM

  2. Lovely to see the white avens again. I think it looks particularly good against the dark background. I listened to the interview with interest. The one part that resonates with me is the cessation (?) of the so called war on drugs. That would be transformative here, too, but our 2020 referendum on the legalisation of cannabis failed so we have made little progress on that score. Here is a link if you are interested. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_New_Zealand_cannabis_referendum


    August 3, 2021 at 11:04 PM

    • During the past year I’ve gone for pictures with a dark background more frequently than I used to. A few months ago Linda wondered whether that trend in my work symbolized the dark events going on around me in America. I couldn’t say that it did—at least not intentionally; subconsciously, perhaps it does, as I’ve felt depressed by the illiberality, censorship, and repression that seem to be taking over my country at an alarming pace.

      The libertarian in me has been against America’s “war on drugs” for half a century now. I think I should be able to buy any drug I want, not just marijuana. I understand that some people will take drugs that end up harming them, but that’s a price of freedom. Despite current laws, people manage to get restricted drugs anyhow, often at prices higher than they need to be, “thanks” to the illicitness of the business. And then there’s the violence that comes with gangs fighting over territory in which to sell currently illegal drugs.

      When I read your linked article I was surprised that the vote came out as close as it did. I imagine that as older voters die off and more young people come of age, a future referendum on marijuana legalization there will pass. I also find it interesting that, along with the young, “Māori people were more likely to support cannabis legalisation.” Good for them!

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 4, 2021 at 5:33 AM

      • I felt it was a dark day when the referendum failed last year. But for others that failure gave them reason to smile.


        August 4, 2021 at 6:00 AM

        • I expect that eventually the first shall be last and the last shall be first, referendum-wise.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 4, 2021 at 6:14 AM

  3. It’s nice that you have so many natives in your yard. We are slowly acquiring some to offset all the non-natives that take over. We do have a few natives that are here of their own accord, such as goldenrods and boneset, but most are not.

    Steve Gingold

    August 4, 2021 at 4:30 AM

    • The natives on our property come and go. One that I helped make gone was poison ivy. After some appeared in the back yard years ago I sprayed it with an herbicide, and no more poison ivy has appeared since then. The white avens out back is also self-sown—and, unlike the poison, happily welcomed.

      I remember some of the goldenrod and boneset pictures you’ve shown from your yard. My sister’s yard in the Berkshires also has goldenrod growing in it naturally.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 4, 2021 at 5:54 AM

      • We’ve rid ourselves of poison ivy but do it by gloved hand. We also hired a guy who is not allergic to it to remove the larger patches. I don’t get bad bouts of it, just small spots occasionally.

        Steve Gingold

        August 4, 2021 at 5:20 PM

        • Hiring a guy who’s not allergic to poison ivy sounds like the way to go. I’ve never been affected but don’t know if I’ve just been lucky or if I’m among the small group of people who don’t get affected. Because I don’t know, I always play it safe.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 4, 2021 at 5:29 PM

          • Same here. I used to work with a guy who did the store’s property maintenance and if you said “Poison Ivy” to him he’d break out in it. When he mowed near where it grew he’d wear a Tyvek suit which, as you might imagine, made him pretty hot under the collar, literally. I used to use Roundup but the more I learned about it the more I hated using it for what it did to everything else collaterally affected by it. I know of folks who paint it on the leaves but even that has its side effects.

            Steve Gingold

            August 4, 2021 at 5:41 PM

  4. Very similar flower to the wood avens here – which is trying to take over my garden. (But then, so many other things are trying that too!)

    Ann Mackay

    August 4, 2021 at 5:40 AM

    • I noticed how similar your wood avens is in structure to our white avens.

      It sounds like so far you’ve been winning your garden “war.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 4, 2021 at 5:56 AM

      • I like to have some wild plants in the garden but not to have them taking over. (But that’s a problem with garden plants too – so it becomes a matter of keeping the balance between them all.)

        Ann Mackay

        August 5, 2021 at 5:42 AM

  5. […] you remember the white avens (Geum canadense) buds and flowers you saw here recently?From our back yard on July 22nd comes this view of a white avens seed […]

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