Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

We bade* goodbye to fall

with 26 comments

On the last full day of fall, December 20, we drove down to Buda, a rapidly growing suburb south of Austin. A year earlier at around the same time we visited the expanding Sunfield subdivision there, where we watched a strangely somnolent squirrel. This year along an edge of the still-expanding subdivision on the conveniently named Eve’s Necklace Drive I renewed my acquaintance with a great colony of bushy bluestem (Andropogon tenuispatheus). The top photograph shows how the bushy bluestem sits in an expanse of dry broomweed (Amphiachyris dracunculoides), which you see in front of and beyond the fluffy grass. The on-the-ground vantage point shown in the view below swapped out the broomweed for an expanse of clear blue sky and turned the bushy bluestem plants into towers.

* The verb bid has two past tenses. A lot of folks now say bid for the past, the same as the present-tense form. The other past tense is bade, pronounced to rhyme with had. Because many people are no longer familiar with bade, when they do come across it in writing they pronounce it the way the spelling suggests, as if it rhymes with made. In summary, bid has two past tenses, and one of those past tenses has two pronunciations. But wait: that’s not the end of the dualism. Turns out that our modern verb bid came about as the merger of two similar sounding but etymologically unrelated Old English verbs: bidden, which meant ‘to ask, to command,’ and bēodan, which meant ‘to offer, to proclaim.’

✸       ✸       ✸

Here’s a bit of humor for today in the form of a comment that rightfully ended up in my spam folder.

I have always been a very spiritual person; I believe that the universe has a way of guiding us forward through our lives with the help of spirits and angels. I was blessed with the gift of being able to connect with the outside world, and love having the opportunity to connect my clients with their universal current. My focus is to bring forth awareness and healing through love and to teach others how to open up their spiritual potential.

Love Spells
Attraction spells
Beauty Spells
Marriage Spells
Stop Divorce Spell
Lost Love Spells
Marriage Spell
Bewitching Spell
Save My Marriage Spell
Reverse A Curse Spell
Aura Cleansing Spell
Casino Spell
Success Spell
Protection Spell
Remove Marriage Problems

I like the rhyming phrase “reverse a curse.” Someone should trademark it.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 29, 2021 at 4:34 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

26 Responses

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  1. Happy New Year, 2022, Steve.


    December 29, 2021 at 7:02 AM

  2. Beautiful photos of the bluestems, Steve. That first photo is especially nice–great contrasts in texture and the blue sky complements the plants’ form and colors.


    December 29, 2021 at 9:09 AM

    • That broad expanse of backlit bushy bluestem just called out to have portraits made of it. I heard the call and eagerly answered it. Today’s murky weather wouldn’t have worked, but we lucked out with a clear blue sky that morning, the better to complement the bushy bluestem, as you noted.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 29, 2021 at 9:16 AM

  3. I never get such interesting spam! Andropogon is known as ‘prairie grass’ here, although I suspect several grasses have been given that name. I do love grasses against a blue sky in winter. 😃


    December 29, 2021 at 12:17 PM

    • WordPress used to report search strings that led people to my posts. Some of those search strings were strange or funny, and I used to do a compendium of them at the end of each year. Eventually WordPress stopped reporting search strings, and since then I’ve occasionally shown interesting spam.

      And what’s not to like about warm-colored grasses against a blue sky? “Prairie grass” would be accurate in many parts of Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 29, 2021 at 3:36 PM

  4. The Bushy Bluestem appears nicely frosted in your first photo, but I suspect that’s an optical illusion.
    Maybe the Aura Cleansing Spell would work to make my eyes see the plants as they really are. (I have to say that “bring[ing] forth awareness and healing through love” is an admirable calling for a human.


    December 29, 2021 at 5:20 PM

    • What you fancy as frosting is an effect of backlighting: the sun, which was in front of me, sent light through the fluff of the bushy bluestem seed heads on its way to the camera.

      Bringing forth awareness and healing through love is indeed admirable, but I’m sorry to say that whoever sent the spam is using that noble-sounding goal as a come-on to extract money from gullible people. After all, whoever claimed to be healing through love was also offering to bewitch people and to remove curses.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 29, 2021 at 5:30 PM

      • Whenever one is put out by people trying to benefit financially from others’ problems, one can put it in perspective by thinking of what the Catholic church did to believers for centuries, namely bankrupting them, by taking their money to “guarantee” them eternal life in heaven.


        December 30, 2021 at 3:50 PM

        • As I understand it, the sale of indulgences was one of the things that instigated the Protestant Reformation.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 30, 2021 at 4:37 PM

          • That’s correct. I can’t help but think that the ad that ended up in your spam folder pales in comparison to that practice. I have a hard time believing that an institution as faulty and corrupt throughout the centuries continues to exist.


            December 30, 2021 at 4:48 PM

  5. I think I could use a good Aura Cleansing, something Energizing with Mood Lightening and Fluoride.

    Robert Parker

    December 29, 2021 at 7:12 PM

    • Speaking of fluoride, I guess you could try some toothpaste to clean your aura. That’d probably be a lot cheaper than whatever the commenter charges.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 29, 2021 at 10:40 PM

  6. The beauty of these photos cast a spell of their own.


    December 30, 2021 at 5:37 AM

  7. I especially like the way you combined the bushy bluestem with broomweed. I’m sure there must be such grassy islands in the midst of other plant streams around here, but I don’t recall seeing one; it’s a nice way to present and highlight the bluestem. Looking at the second photo, I’m most impressed with how clearly it suggests the sound of the dried plants. It’s always seemed to me that dry little bluestem whispers, but dried bushy bluestem crackles.

    I wonder if that ‘universal current’ your spammer mentioned could power our homes and cars? That would be good: AC, DC, and UC.


    December 30, 2021 at 6:14 AM

    • I hadn’t paid due attention to the spammer’s “universal current.” I like the way you’ve recast it as a power source—and also the way you spoke of the bushy bluestem in the top photograph as a grassy island in the midst of other plant streams. I remember years ago finding intermingling colonies of bluebonnets and poverty weed plants, each forming islands in streams of the other.

      Your sonic interpretation of the two bluestems is something I’ve never experienced.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 30, 2021 at 8:33 AM

  8. Hehe, your spam folder sounds more exciting than mine – but that would still have been hit with a permanent delete. The pronunciation of words that I only ever come across as written can be a tricky thing. (Less tricky if I can be bothered to check in the dictionary!)

    Ann Mackay

    December 30, 2021 at 7:04 AM

    • Oh, I deleted it all right, but only after copying it to this post for a bit of merriment.

      Checking the dictionary’s a good thing to do. And speaking of the pronunciation of words, I’ll be pointing out another anomaly in a post two days from now.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 30, 2021 at 8:36 AM

  9. My spam is either p*rn or very long, incomprehensible medical stuff. Maybe your universal current is more attractive than mine!

    • Maybe the universal current is yet to wend its way to your spam mailbox. Why we get the particular spam that we do is a mystery. The product most often promoted in my recent spam has been CBD oil.

      In any case, a happy 2022 to you!

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 30, 2021 at 3:19 PM

  10. I wonder how many people will check their spam mail – the person seemed to put a lot of thought into the comment — it’s crazy what some people will cast out as bait!

    • I wonder what percent of the people who receive this message reply to it.
      Every so often I check the spam folder because occasionally a real comment ends up there by mistake.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 4, 2022 at 6:26 AM

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