Portraits of Wildflowers

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Archive for December 14th, 2021

Return to Inks Lake State Park

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On May 6th, during a spring visit to Inks Lake State Park, we explored a section of the park that we’d not been to before and that proved rewarding. When we returned on November 29th for our first visit since then, we adopted the same strategy and walked an additional two trails we’d never trodden before. Among the first things to catch my photographic attention on that clear and sunny day was a bald cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) whose feathery leaves had turned yellow, orange, and reddish brown. I positioned myself under the tree and aimed toward the sun to let backlighting transluce and saturate the foliage even as patches of blue provided a contrasting hue.

Not far away, a different reddish brown revealed itself on the trunk of a fallen oak tree.

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“Mass migration only flows in one direction: from countries that haven’t made the meritocratic transition to those that have.” “One of the most reliable rules in life is that second-rate people will always appoint third-rate people in order to protect themselves from being shown up.” “We are about to learn that the meritocratic idea can be just as powerful in the service of state-authoritarianism as, until now, it has been in the service of liberal democracy.” Those are three lines from Adrian Wooldridge’s good article “The War on Meritocracy,” which traces the history of the meritocratic ideal and discusses the ways in which dogmatists are assailing and increasingly defeating that ideal.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 14, 2021 at 4:34 AM

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