Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Portraits from our yard: episode 9

with 26 comments

On July 22nd I noticed that a bit of inland sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) had sprung up along a front walkway, partly hidden by adjacent shrubbery. Here’s a minimalist view of three fresh seed heads on a stalk that formed a graceful arc. This could almost be a small modern sculpture. Speaking of which, look how a Bosnian artist carves miniature sculptures in the lead at the tip of a pencil.

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Austin, where I live, is one of those “progressive” places with an activist city council that cut one-third of our police budget last year. As a result, Austin now has 150 fewer police officers than before and the average time it takes for the police to respond to emergency calls has gone up by several minutes. And look at the headline for an August 6th article in the Austin American-Statesman: “Austin police investigating 50 homicides in 2021, the highest number in three decades.” Riot-wracked 2020 saw 48 homicides in Austin, and 2021’s current count of 50 surpassed that with five months of the year still to run. Some “progress.”

It also recently came to light that U.S. Representative Cori Bush of Missouri had spent some $69,000 over a three-month period for private security for herself. That’s ironically the same Cori Bush who has been ardently campaigning to “defund the police.” When Representative Bush was asked about her practice of “security for me but not for thee,” she said the work she is doing is so important that no matter how much she spends for personal protection, “my body is worth being on this planet” and the rest of us will just have to “suck it up.” I should add that this is also the same Cori Bush who for years has pushed the disproven narrative that a policeman killed Michael Brown when he had his hands up and was trying to surrender. In a post last month I gave you the Obama Justice Department’s evidence refuting the “hands up, don’t shoot” claim. And this is also the same Cori Bush who said the other day that she was “elated” after the current administration extended a moratorium on evictions after admitting that the Supreme Court had already ruled such a moratorium extension unconstitutional, given that it came from the Centers for Disease Control, which has no legislative authority at all.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 10, 2021 at 4:34 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

26 Responses

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  1. I’ve seen miniature art on a variety of things, pencil lead is a first. So are your sea oats.

    Steve Gingold

    August 10, 2021 at 5:09 AM

    • Carved pencil lead was a first for me, too, as I imagine it would be for most people.

      There’s a sea oats (Uniola paniculata) that grows along the coast, so the grass that grows here is called inland sea oats to distinguish it from the other one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2021 at 5:37 AM

    • I just realized that in 2019 I showed sea oats in Florida:

      Navarre Beach

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2021 at 9:32 AM

  2. Beautiful seed-heads – I first saw these in a big garden/nursery where they specialise in grasses. It was autumn and they had turned lovely bronze and copper shades, which made them look even more sculptural.

    Ann Mackay

    August 10, 2021 at 6:50 AM

    • I see those bronze and copper shades for a greater part of the year than I see the fresh green stage shown in today’s picture. I agree that that makes them look even more sculptural.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2021 at 9:33 AM

  3. Attractive detail and a great design, nice light and bright greens. The Bosnian artist’s work is amazing.


    August 10, 2021 at 7:54 AM

    • Thanks, Tom. Sometimes simplicity is the best way to go, and other times intricacy, as in the Bosnian artist’s work, carries the day.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2021 at 9:35 AM

  4. Beautiful photograph!

    Alessandra Chaves

    August 10, 2021 at 8:46 AM

  5. That’s pretty!


    August 10, 2021 at 8:57 AM

  6. Best photograph of the day!

    Michael Scandling

    August 10, 2021 at 11:05 AM

    • It’s right up your minimalist alley. Can I be flippant and say that because it’s the only photograph I’ve posted today it is necessarily the best?

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2021 at 12:30 PM

  7. This is one of my favorite plants. I’ve seen this green and glowing stage in the Big Thicket, and I photographed dried plants along the Sabinal last fall. The dark background shows off the details, and the pleasing curve, beautifully.


    August 11, 2021 at 6:21 AM

  8. I really like this composition, nicely done. I agree, it could be a sculpture. Sometimes these minimalist perspectives work so well, and I think this one does.

    Todd Henson

    August 11, 2021 at 7:58 AM

    • I’m glad to hear it, having long been a fan of abstraction and minimalism. In the past month I’ve used flash more than usual; it accounts for many of the dark backgrounds in recent posts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 11, 2021 at 8:47 AM

  9. Simply beautiful, Steve.


    August 13, 2021 at 10:58 AM

  10. Stunning … the lighting, black background, composition and structure of the sea oat all combine beautifully!


    August 16, 2021 at 12:29 PM

  11. […] That would be too depressing, though, so I’ll just do an occasional post on that theme, as I did on August 10th. Here’s a new one, from the Daily Wire on August […]

  12. […] often photographed seed head arcs of inland sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), and my post on January 16th showed two views of this […]

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