Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

From croton to cotton

with 25 comments

Speaking of woolly croton (Croton capitatus), as I did the other day, in Bastrop State Park on September 23rd I found a large stand of it that blended nicely into an even larger colony of snake cotton (Froelichia gracilis). In the picture above, the croton predominates toward the left, the snake cotton toward the right. The second picture gets a little closer to the snake cotton colony in its own right.

As you’ve already seen a closeup of woolly croton, so below I’ve given you one of snake cotton. (Due to what seems a WordPress quirk, the last photograph looks blurry in my preview of today’s post, but when I click it I get the original version with normal sharpness. If the bottom picture looks out of focus to you, see if clicking it solves the problem.)

☆         ☆

“It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years. — Bill Clinton; January 24, 1995.

“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.” — Barack Obama; December 15, 2005.

“Let me tell you something, folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons—hear me, tons—of everything from byproducts from methamphetamine to cocaine to heroine, and it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico.” — Joe Biden, 2006.

“You can’t continue to have open borders. And you’ve got to put more technology and personnel along the borders to make sure we know who know who is coming into our country and prevent people from entering illegally.” — Hillary Clinton; November 6, 2007.

“Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple…. People who enter the United States without permission are illegal aliens and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who enter the U.S. legally.” — Chuck Schumer; June 24, 2009.

“We’re a nation-state. We have borders. The idea that we can just have open borders is something that … as a practical matter, is unsustainable.” — Barack Obama, September 2021.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 13, 2021 at 4:37 AM

25 Responses

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  1. I’ve noticed that softness a few times with my posts as well. Not much pink in all that white.

    Steve Gingold

    October 13, 2021 at 5:14 AM

  2. Over the past week, the cotton harvest has begun in earnest. The fields around the midcoast are full of covered, semi-truck-sized bundles and the roadsides are lined with bits of cotton that escaped. If someone tried to harvest snake cotton, those bundles would be quite a bit smaller.

    The difference in sharpness between the two smaller images is strange, but clicking through does show the plant in all its glory. Every time I see it I’m tickled by those bits of orange. The shape of the inflorescence reminds me of the tiny flowers of ball moss, which have that same vase-like appearance.


    October 13, 2021 at 7:37 AM

    • Now that’s a fanciful notion: harvesting snake cotton. Astute rather than fanciful is your recognition of the similarity between the inconspicuous flowers of snake cotton and those of ball moss.

      From personal experience you can confirm that the scene in the top picture was (fortunately) still about the same 18 days later.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 13, 2021 at 7:49 AM

  3. Those are beautiful images, Steve!

    Lavinia Ross

    October 13, 2021 at 9:08 AM

  4. Unless my eyes can turn blurry images into focused ones, your photo is as sharp as it can be. No need to click on it.

    Peter Klopp

    October 13, 2021 at 9:19 AM

    • If you’re seeing the third image as already sharp, then it seems WordPress is being kinder to you than to me and some other viewers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 13, 2021 at 9:30 AM

  5. Your beautiful photograph looks sharp to me.

    You did a good job finding quotations of leaders from the Democratic party against illegal immigration but has anyone with the responsibility of civil service defended illegal immigration in the last, let’s say, 50 years? There have been lots of changes in the immigration system since 9/11 to make legal immigration much harder. However, I am unaware of what has been effectively done since 9/11 to curb illegal immigration.

    Alessandra Chaves

    October 13, 2021 at 2:00 PM

    • I’m not aware of any recent administration other than Trump’s that made moves to curb illegal immigration. The current administration, of course, is thwarting the law and bringing in huge numbers of people illegally, even as Blinken says with a straight face that the border is closed. Of the five Democrats I quoted, Obama seems to be the only one has held to his position against unchecked illegal immigration.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 13, 2021 at 3:35 PM

      • You seem to be suggesting that the Biden admin is “bringing people in” illegally (your words). Can you elaborate? How are they bringing those people in?

        Alessandra Chaves

        October 13, 2021 at 5:55 PM

        • The current administration has been releasing tens of thousands of illegal immigrants into the country:

          Chris Wallace recently interviewed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. After various questions and answers about the waves of people illegally crossing the Rio Grande into Texas, Wallace finally asked Mayorkas point blank: “Why don’t you stop them?” Mayorkas’s answer was that that’s not the policy of this administration.

          That “we won’t stop them from entering” policy keeps attracting people from all over the world.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 13, 2021 at 6:26 PM

          • Ok. What this is saying is that more individuals have been paroled into the USA rather than being deported. If we had a law that explicitly said that if you are ever caught illegally in this country then you can never obtain legal residency or citizenship neither can your descendants. When this is done I’ll believe the USA is serious about curbing illegal immigration.

            Alessandra Chaves

            October 13, 2021 at 7:05 PM

            • For years now I’ve been proposing what you said: someone who comes here illegally should be permanently barred from becoming a citizen. I think that kids who were brought here illegally and grew up here and really know no other country should be allowed to be American citizens.

              The current administration, by all its actions and inactions, not only doesn’t want to curb illegal immigration, it wants to increase illegal immigration.

              Steve Schwartzman

              October 13, 2021 at 7:54 PM

              • Well, until this becomes a law, I have the suspicion that there’s no interest in ending illegal immigration. I’m fine with either, I don’t think it’s my place to say what the USA should do about illegal or legal immigration. But of course, the “dreamers” need a path to citizenship. They haven’t made the choices that brought them here.

                Alessandra Chaves

                October 13, 2021 at 8:02 PM

                • We already have laws against illegal immigration. Unfortunately the current administration won’t enforce those laws and does everything it can to thwart them.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  October 13, 2021 at 9:12 PM

                • Sorry to break the news but illegal immigration does not only happen through the southern border. There are numerous folks who come in legally, as tourists, students etc, and simply stay. Once inside the country, the individual has many opportunities not to be caught. The hope of being pardoned and one day becoming a citizens is what lures people in. Illegal immigration not a feature of the Biden administration, although it is possible that, as you pointed out, more people are now endearing to cross the southern border. This is a long-term problem that can be mitigated with a simple solution.

                  Alessandra Chaves

                  October 14, 2021 at 7:27 AM

                • “The hope of being pardoned and one day becoming a citizens is what lures people in.” That’s for sure. All the more reason, in my view, why the government should stop setting a bad example with round after round of amnesty.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  October 14, 2021 at 7:49 AM

    • Why the unclicked version of the last picture appears sharp on some people’s monitors (like yours) but blurry on others’ (like mine) remains a mystery.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 13, 2021 at 3:37 PM

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