Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 12th, 2021

Great Plains ladies’ tresses orchid

with 22 comments

November in Austin is prime time for Great Plains ladies’ tresses orchids (Spiranthes magnicamporum), so on the first day of the month I hied me over to a property a few miles from home where I’ve been finding the species for the past decade. After wandering around for a while I thought I’d failed, as has happened in lean years. Eventually I came across exactly one orchid, and it turned my failure to success. (On the way back I found three more orchids in a small area but they were shorter and grew in places where portraits would have included background clutter.) The right vantage point revealed a tiny spider:

✻      ✻
✻      ✻      ✻
✻      ✻

Here are two related thoughts from approximately 1700 years apart.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” — Juvenal. English translations have included “Who will watch the watchmen?” and “Who will guard the guards themselves?” You could add current relevance with “Who will be in charge of the people who are in charge?” or “Who will police the police?” or “Who will fact-check the fact checkers?”

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” — James Madison in Federalist Papers, No. 51 (1788).

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 12, 2021 at 4:40 AM

%d bloggers like this: