Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Woody winter white

with 16 comments

On January 13th along Talleyran Drive in far northwest Austin I didn’t need to call on freezing water—of which there was none—for winter white. The trunk and some branches of a sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis) did the trick. The sunlit white gleamed so bright that by comparison the sky registered as a darker-than-normal blue. On January 30th at Jessica Hollis Park I went for the opposite of a minimalist approach by adding compositional complexity to the whiteness of a sycamore’s trunks and branches.


△         △         △


In my commentary last July 23rd I documented that the founders of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization admitted to being trained Marxists who want to, among other transgressive things, “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement….” I also linked to a New York Post article reporting that the organization’s co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors—presumably, being a Marxist, a member of the downtrodden proletariat—had gone “on a real estate buying binge, snagging four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the US alone, according to property records.”

Now let me update the story. It’s been said that history repeats itself, and that seems to be the case here, only with a kind of corrupt-money version of Moore’s Law doubling the amount in considerably less than two years. On January 28th the Washington Examiner ran a story headlined “Anger over BLM’s purchase of $8.1 million Toronto mansion grows as group’s finances scrutinized.” And it turns out the mansion in question wasn’t just any old $8.1 million building, but the very same 10,000-square-feet mansion “that once served as the headquarters of the Communist Party of Canada.” Those Marxist defenders of the working class sure do know how to live in style.

But there’s more. As the January 28th Examiner story also noted: “BLM revealed last February it raked in $90 million in 2020 from big corporations and individual donors after the police killing of George Floyd and the nationwide riots that followed. The group said it closed out 2020 with $60 million in its coffers.” Not only isn’t it clear where that $30 million difference went, but a January 27th Examiner article pointed out that it’s also not clear where BLM’s headquarters is and who’s in charge of the organization and all its money: “The nonprofit organization listed a nonexistent address [in Los Angeles] on its 2019 IRS 990 form, and a visit to the similarly named address listed on a credit monitoring report (which has the same street number but a different spelling for the street and the wrong ZIP code) came up empty.” Perhaps whoever’s running the show made an honest mistake and assumed that because the organization is a nonprofit it could have a nonexistent office.

The Examiner reports that a visit to the would-be address confirmed that BLM has no office there. The article continued: “One day after the visit, an unidentified BLM spokesperson emailed the Washington Examiner to clear up (or deepen) the mystery. ‘In response to your request for a copy of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s 2020 Form 990, we wish to inform you that at this time we do not maintain a permanent office,’ the spokesperson wrote, offering to send the form by mail instead.”

Where are the FBI and the IRS when we need them?

— — —

I prepared this post a couple of days ago. Yesterday afternoon the Washington Examiner published a follow-up story headlined “California threatens to hold BLM’s leaders personally liable over missing financial records.” Here’s the first paragraph: “The California Department of Justice has threatened to hold the leaders of Black Lives Matter personally liable if they fail to fork over information about the charity’s $60 million bankroll within the next 60 days, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner. You’re welcome to read the full story.

UPDATE: On the morning of February 2nd I came across yet another Washington Examiner article that documents more suspicious monetary dealings involving Black Lives Matter and some people associated with it. That article is headlined “BLM’s millions unaccounted for after leaders quietly jumped ship.”

Do you think the Washington Examiner will win a Pulitzer Prize for its thorough reporting? Dream on.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2022 at 4:16 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

16 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Nice post


    February 2, 2022 at 6:19 AM

  2. Oh, the branches look so neat against the blue sky.

    I’ve been following that story as well. We’ll see if Calif. does anything about it.


    February 2, 2022 at 6:53 AM

    • I was thankful for the rich blue backdrop on both of those days to contrast with the sycamores’ bright white bark. Now you’ve led me to consider the potential for white-on-white pictures on a white-sky day, when I normally avoid including the sky.

      Where did you hear about the latest troubles with BLM’s finances? I did a little searching just now and failed to turn up any stories about it in the legacy media.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2022 at 7:47 AM

  3. I rarely get to see such a striking sycamore. Timing or temperature has meant that most of the big ones I see still have half of their leaves; the images can be pleasing, but they’re quite different than this one. Given my love of white flowers, it should be no surprise that I’m really fond of this white tree, in both views.


    February 2, 2022 at 7:08 AM

    • Then we can say that images like these have flowered in your appreciation. I’m always on the alert at this time of year for sycamores with bright branches and few remaining leaves. This season I’ve also made pictures of sycamores that have retained a lot of dry leaves. Those photographs are okay but lack the drama of the two shown in this post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2022 at 7:52 AM

  4. Ah, the bare tree in the second picture looks good with the blue background.

    Peter Klopp

    February 2, 2022 at 9:08 AM

    • It sure looked good to me when I saw it that way. I photographed this tree a year earlier, on our first-ever visit to Jessica Hollis Park, but never showed any pictures from that encounter.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2022 at 9:53 AM

  5. The white on blue makes for very striking images! Interesting to see how very different the two are from each other – the top for me is all about strength and the power of life, while the bottom one makes me think of the more delicate patterns of nature. There’s something about the tracery of fine twiggy branches that makes me think of connections within nature, also other natural systems that branch – rivers, veins etc.

    Ann Mackay

    February 3, 2022 at 8:21 AM

    • I like your thoughtful analysis. Yes, white on blue makes for bold images. I see how the zoomed-in-on tree trunk in the first picture conveys strength. Like you, I’ve noticed certain patterns occurring in unrelated things in nature, like the rivers and veins you mentioned. As a photograph, I’m always on the lookout for such things and happy when I find them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 3, 2022 at 8:39 AM

  6. […] recent post presented pictures of sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis) with white bark. In the first of those views I’d aimed at a conspicuous part of my subject and zoomed in […]

  7. […] The white tells you the trees were sycamores (Platanus occidentalis), whose bright limbs you saw two direct views of not long ago. A little further downstream the reflections were more […]

  8. […] Lives Matter, whose unsavory beliefs and practices I detailed here on July 23 of last year and on February 2 and March 18 of this year. The sordid saga continues. Last week New York magazine ran a story with […]

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: