Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Vendredi: vues verticales*

with 27 comments

⇧ Fraying leaf tip of a sotol, Dasylirion sp.

⇧ Cattail leaves (Typha sp.) at sunrise.

⇧ Annual sumpweed inflorescences, Iva annua.

These portraits are from the pond at Gault Lane and Burnet Road on October 11, 2020.

— — —

* In case French isn’t among your languages, the doubly° alliterative title means “Friday: vertical views.” The Spanish equivalent would also work, “Viernes: vistas verticales,” as would the Italian “Venerdì: viste verticali.”

The greatest number of different possibilities for having a post title alliterate with a day name is seven because a week consists of seven days. (If you’re wondering how that came to be, you can check out this Britannica article.) Whether any language has all seven of its day names beginning with different sounds, I don’t know. English falls one short of the maximum because Saturday and Sunday begin with the same sound. (Tuesday and Thursday begin with different sounds, despite the initial written letter being the same; that’s because th represents a single sound.) French also has six, because mardi (Tuesday) and mercredi (Wednesday) both begin with m. Likewise for Spanish martes and miércoles.

° Although all 3 words in the title of today’s post begin with a v, the 2nd v creates only the 1st instance of alliteration, so the 3rd v would constitute the 2nd instance of alliteration. In that sort of “it takes two to tango” analysis, the number of alliterations will be 1 less than the number of identical initial letters. On the other hand, you could still make the case for triple alliteration in today’s title by considering the v-words in pairs: vendredi with vues, vendredi with verticales, and vues with verticales.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2021 at 4:39 AM

27 Responses

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  1. The creativity of an artist shines through all your photos, especially the first one.

    Peter Klopp

    October 15, 2021 at 8:03 AM

  2. The cattail leaves image is my favorite.


    October 15, 2021 at 10:00 AM

    • Perhaps because in processing that image I lowered the Clarity slider to create a softened effect.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2021 at 10:08 AM

  3. Exquisite images, my dear friend… as always!

    marina kanavaki

    October 15, 2021 at 10:11 AM

  4. If I had a better command of Latin, it should be a walkover to construct the same thought there. “Vertical” is almost literal Latin, but the source for all those cognate “views,” including English, is “videre,” the verb, but it needs more knowledge than I have to fit it into today’s theme. Still, pedantry aside, I particularly enjoy your first photo of your fraying leaf tip. Nice work with depth of field. Happy shooting.

    Brad Nixon

    October 15, 2021 at 10:28 AM

    • I did some checking, and as far as I can tell, Latin didn’t use the past participle of its verb for ‘to see,’ vidēre, as a noun. That practice apparently arose in the Romance languages: from French we have view and from Italian we have vista. Even if a Latin alliteration version of this post’s title fails, I’m happy to hear you view these pictures favorably.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2021 at 11:25 AM

      • Viewing your pictures “favorably” is something to which I look forward each day, and you merit more likes than I deliver, since often I’m not signed in to WP that early.
        It bears mentioning that Latin has perhaps the most memorable of double alliterations on “V,” which includes today’s verb: veni, vidi, vici (although I’m still not certain if I give in and use our common pronunciation, the voiced labiodental fricative, or the classic unvoiced “w” sound, but no matter.)

        Brad Nixon

        October 15, 2021 at 11:41 AM

  5. What a delightfully curly-wurly leaf tip! You’ve created a lovely set of images – the soft sinuousness of the cattails and the way the light etches the shapes of the sumpweed both appeal to me too.

    Ann Mackay

    October 15, 2021 at 10:42 AM

    • In your view, then, as the post’s title is three for three in alliteration, so the pictures are three for three in their visual appeal. I like the way you described the sotol’s leaf tip as curly-wurly. I discovered there’s a chocolate bar of that name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curly_Wurly

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2021 at 11:34 AM

      • Hehe, that chocolate bar was really good. a part of my childhood. (It had toffee inside – yum!) So it didn’t take long for you to find the source of my description. 🙂

        Ann Mackay

        October 15, 2021 at 1:20 PM

        • Apparently the Curly Wurly chocolate bar isn’t sold in the United States, so I’d never heard of it.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 15, 2021 at 3:33 PM

  6. Those are all beautiful compositions, Steve, especially the first one.

    Lavinia Ross

    October 15, 2021 at 11:41 AM

  7. That curly leaf tip is winning hearts, it seems. I am trying to withstand its pull but resistance is futile.

    Steve Gingold

    October 15, 2021 at 2:02 PM

  8. I know that pond! All three of these photos are lovely; I really like the first two. Do you see many birds when you go?


    October 15, 2021 at 2:44 PM

    • I’ve been there only two times, the most recent being last November (how the time keeps zooming!). I must have seen a few birds there but I’m not tuned in to the avian world the way you are. My attention went to the water and the plants—which is not to say that if a bird had settled near me I wouldn’t have tried to photograph it. Maybe I should go back and take a new look.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2021 at 3:53 PM

  9. I’m often surprised by what’s lurking in the nether regions of my mind. After reading ‘vendredi’ and before getting to ‘vues verticales,’ I thought: ‘samedi, dimanche.’ I’ve always enjoyed French names for the days of the week; they have a bit of a lilt to them, and they’re fun to say.

    I saw the first photo as a creative twist on musical notation. The curl reminded me of a clef, despite the fact that the staff is vertical rather than horizontal. And I must say I’ve never seen sumpweed look so good. That’s a beautiful green.


    October 15, 2021 at 9:52 PM

    • Just as English day names bespeak their mostly pagan origins, so do French day names. In both cases, it may take a little digging to see that. For example, changes in sound and spelling have obscured the fact that Monday is actually Moon day. Your high school French teacher probably didn’t explain—as mine didn’t, either—that vendredi developed from Latin Veneris dies, which is to say ‘the day of Venus.’ Mardi and mercredi similarly trace back to Mars and Mercury.

      Regarding the first photograph, it also corresponds to the photographer having remained vertical. Now if only he could have remained immune to the effects of airborne sumpweed pollen.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 16, 2021 at 5:12 AM

  10. Love the first shot. It has a nice balance between simplicity and complexity.


    October 18, 2021 at 1:15 PM

    • And I like the way you analyzed it. The first picture has proved to be the favorite in this trio.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2021 at 1:16 PM

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