Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

More dew, dew, dew

with 6 comments

Native grasses are a small-scale source of fall color in central Texas. Above, you’re looking at a sideways-leaning stalk of bushy bluestem (Andropogon tenuispatheus*) that had gathered lots of dewdrops at the Riata Trace Pond on the morning of November 9th. Fewer and smaller dewdrops coalesced on a nearby bushy bluestem seed head that had kept its normal upright stance; the pond provided the grey background.

* Just yesterday morning I (but not James Taylor) had to glom on to the reality that the members of the bushy bluestem complex have been reclassified, and that most of the plants in Texas have become Andropogon tenuispatheus and are no longer A. glomeratus. From now on, wordsmiths will have to play up the tenuous connections this grass has to other things.

❁    ❁

I think you’ll probably be appalled to learn the extent to which ideologues in some American schools are intruding into the private lives of even their elementary school students. Contrast that with a sentence I remember from the one year of German I took in college in 1966: Die Universität Deutschlands kümmert sich nicht um das Privatleben der Studenten. Universities in Germany don’t care about students’ private lives.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 1, 2021 at 4:28 AM

6 Responses

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  1. The variety among the stems in the first photo provides a pleasing backdrop for the dew drops, and the presence of the detached seed at the top of the bushy bluestem provides nice visual evidence of that plant’s ability to exhibit solidity and delicacy at the same time.

    I confess I’m still gloomy about losing the glommy aspect of bushy bluestem’s scientific name. For one thing, Andropogon glomeratus has a nice lilt to it, and for another, it was one of the few scientific names I could remember from my first encounter with the grass: probably because of that lilt. Ah, well. On we go!


    December 1, 2021 at 7:26 AM

    • Solidity and delicacy at the same time: that sounds like something we should all aspire to. These days it’s easy to feel buffeted about by the winds of senseless change; what a contrast with the way wind purposefully scatters loose bushy bluestem seeds. How’s that for a tenuous analogy with Andropogon tenuispatheus?

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2021 at 7:49 AM

  2. I am sorry my presence here is less frequent than previously but I can assure that I do check in every day via the daily email notification of your posts. I look forward each day to finding out what you have to show and tell. Re your link. In NZ, educational institutions have a duty of care (under law) for their students. Surveys are used to help fulfill that duty of care. Whether they are as detailed as the surveys mentioned in your post I don’t know. The ones you reference seem far too detailed and difficult for most young students to complete or comprehend. However last year, a prominent public ( state) school in Christchurch made headlines with a sexual abuse survey. From what I understand of the survey it was welcomed by students and staff and parents. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018801585/christchurch-girls-high-school-sexual-abuse-survey-shocking


    December 1, 2021 at 7:33 PM

    • Give us this day our daily email…. I’m glad you’re still reading along.

      As I see it, a duty of care is one thing, and what’s going on in schools like the one in the article I linked to is another. Social workers, psychologists, counselors, etc., have pointed out that one downside of having students out of school for a year was that it kept the educational staff from picking up on abuse, neglect, and health problems among students. In contrast, the people in charge of schools like Loudon Valley have an ideological agenda that they’re pushing students to conform to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2021 at 10:26 PM

  3. I just mentioned to a blogging friend in Denmark that we can find colours even in November if we just open our eyes which you always do, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    December 1, 2021 at 10:58 PM

    • It’s easier in Texas than in British Columbia, but more power to you for finding it there too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 2, 2021 at 6:44 AM

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