Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Sunflowers from behind

with 17 comments

You could say I’m behind in my pictures of Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower. From the Arbor Walk Pond on October 8th, here are photographs from behind showing sunflowers in two phases. The views resonate with me, so to speak, and a sticky drop confirms that the flower head and the seed head “resinate.”

⊡      ⊡
⊡      ⊡      ⊡
⊡      ⊡

Good news from Austin!

Right here in Austin, Texas, some high-minded people devoted to
the pursuit of truth are taking the first steps to found a new university:

  • We’re reclaiming a place in higher education for freedom of inquiry and civil discourse. Our students and faculty will confront the most vexing questions of human life and civil society. We will create a community of conversation grounded in intellectual humility that respects the dignity of each individual and cultivates a passion for truth.
  • The University of Austin is a liberal arts university committed to freedom of inquiry, freedom of conscience, and civil discourse. To maintain these principles, the university is fiercely independent—financially, intellectually, and politically.

You’re welcome to read more. And scroll down to see the well-qualified board of advisors.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 10, 2021 at 4:32 AM

17 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Sounds like an interesting university.

    Kelly MacKay

    November 10, 2021 at 4:42 AM

  2. love the angle of these and the university sounds so interesting


    November 10, 2021 at 4:52 AM

    • You’ve probably heard me quip that you’d expect good angles from a math teacher.
      I do hope the people who are setting up the University of Austin will attract the necessary funding.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2021 at 6:56 AM

  3. Like some people I know, these flowers were best captured from behind.

    Peter Klopp

    November 10, 2021 at 8:22 AM

  4. Aging is brutal. I’m glad to see that people are trying to preserve the spirit of universities but starting from independence and ground zero. It will be hard to fund but also American universities seem to need all sorts of expensive things that have nothing to do with education. My college in Brazil had a library, biology labs and classroom with blackboard and chalk. We had a poor, yet good education. Never more than 25 students per class. Written exams ( yes we had to write the answers down). No fancy gym, commons, dorms. Education does not have to be super expensive, it needs good professors and students willing to learn.

    Alessandra Chaves

    November 10, 2021 at 8:22 AM

    • I’m with you on education. The first year that I taught math in Honduras we didn’t even have a textbook. I made up things out of my own imagination—things I hadn’t realized I could do till there was a need to do them. As you pointed out, American education is full of frills that have little or nothing to do with education—or worse, that detract from it by consuming time and money.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2021 at 9:21 PM

  5. I had seen some mention of the University of Austin, but hadn’t followed up to see what it was about. Then, I bumped into an article in the San Antonio paper, and followed that over to Twitter. From what was said on that bastion of knee-jerk responses, I predict great success for the new venture.

    I’m familiar with two of the trustees and a dozen or so of the board of advisors. I was surprised to see John Nunes in that group; I’ve always admired him, and had a couple of chances to hear him speak in the mid-1980s.

    Your first sunflower photo made me laugh. They just refuse to quit.


    November 10, 2021 at 7:47 PM

    • I like your phrase “bastion of knee-jerk responses” and the implied success it foretells for the University of Austin. Regarding the trustees, Joe Lonsdale was one of the two people Eve and I went to see in a public dialogue here last month. The person he spoke with was Greg Lukianoff, who, along with Jonathan Haidt (also on the University of Austin board), wrote The Coddling of the American Mind. I’d not heard of John Nunes, unlike most of the other trustees and advisors.

      As for sunflowers, yes, I still see some around town, and a greater quantity of Maximilians hanging on.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 11, 2021 at 7:46 AM

  6. I’ve made a few images of flowers’ backsides and quite often they rival the fronts. Although at the end of their lives both of yours exhibit nature’s beauty and function.

    Steve Gingold

    November 11, 2021 at 3:21 AM

  7. I love that petal curl on the sunflower.


    November 17, 2021 at 1:15 PM

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: