Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Wildflower recapitulation

with 16 comments

At this time three years ago south-central Texas was having quite a floralfest; one person told me he’d heard that the wildflowers hadn’t been that good in 10 years. From the Christ Lutheran Church in New Berlin on March 18, 2019, here’s a colorful mix of Nueces coreopsis (Coreopsis nuecensis), sandyland bluebonnets (Lupinus subcarnosus), and Indian paintbrushes (Castilleja indivisa).

In contrast, even compared to what’s just average rather than superb, in central Texas this year the land still comes up wanting, with hardly any wildflowers in sight at a time that would normally be botanical spring here. (And notice how wanting in the expression “to come up wanting” preserves the original sense of ‘lacking,’ rather than the now-predominant sense of ‘desiring.’ The semantic transition followed the notion that when something [good] is lacking, people desire it.)


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More Corruption


After the moral panic of 2020, in which the “social justice warrior” group Black Lives Matter (BLM) was exalted—beyond all reason and despite countervailing evidence—to a prime place in our country’s moral firmament, I felt obliged to point out disquieting facts about the organization. Its founders were self-avowed Marxists. The group aimed to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement.” The organization perpetuated the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative about a petty criminal named Michael Brown even after the Justice Department headed by Eric Holder in the Obama administration did a thorough investigation and found the narrative false. BLM’s co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, who revels in being a Marxist and is therefore presumably a champion of the masses and an enemy of capitalism, nevertheless managed to buy not one, not two, not three, but four houses worth some 3.2 million dollars in all. News broke in January that BLM purchased a 10,000-square-feet, $8.1 million Toronto mansion that once served as the headquarters of the Communist Party of Canada. Not only that, but tax authorities couldn’t figure out who’s currently in charge of the “non-profit” organization and what became of all its money.

BLM is hardly alone in its corruption. This week came news of a similar organization, VIB, which stands for Violence in Boston. (The linguist in me can’t help noticing the absence of an anti- in front of the Violence; maybe that would have spoiled the vibe of the initialism VIB.) As the New York Post reported on March 16: “A high-profile social justice activist [Monica Cannon-Grant] in Boston and her husband [Clark Grant] used a nonprofit they founded to scam at least $185,000 from donors who included a Black Lives Matter chapter and the local district attorney’s office, federal authorities allege.” (What’s a district attorney’s office doing donating presumably public money to a private organization?) The Post continued:

In June 2019, Cannon-Grant also took part in a ceremony at the Suffolk County (Mass.) District Attorney’s Office, where her nonprofit was awarded $6,000 in forfeited assets to take “10 at risk young men” from Boston’s crime-ridden Roxbury neighborhood to a three-day “Violence Prevention Retreat” in Philadelphia.

But instead of using the money that way, Cannon-Grant and her hubby — who at the time had balances of just $1.35 and $21.01 in their personal checking accounts, respectively — allegedly blew it on a trip to Columbia, Md., the following month.

The spending included more than $1,200 at a Sonesta Suites hotel, as well as hundreds more for a rental car, fuel, parking and meals at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Shake Shack and other restaurants in Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland, according to the indictment…

The couple’s alleged fundraising fraud allegedly accelerated in 2020 when their nonprofit began raking in donations of up to $50,000 a month, with some of the proceeds withdrawn in cash from ATMs or transferred to investment accounts at the Robinhood and E-Trade websites, according to the indictment.

Cannon-Grant and Grant are also accused of scamming a total of more than $100,000 in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

You’ll find plenty more allegations of wrongdoing in the New York Post article and one at Boston.com.

If you’re like me, you won’t be surprised to learn that in 2020 Boston magazine had named Monica Cannon-Grant “Best Social Justice Advocate” and the Boston Globe had designated her one of its “Bostonians of the Year.” That’s what happens in moral panics: the suspension of logic, law, ethics, and due diligence.

 © 2022 Steven Schwartzman



Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 18, 2022 at 4:34 AM

16 Responses

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  1. In your post about the land bridge, you mentioned the relative absence of wildflowers around San Antonio, and you’ve confirmed it here. Although I’ve seen a few ‘early risers,’ when I was looking through my archives a day or so ago, I suddenly was overcome with fear that I’ve been missing the show. Apparently not. It’s going to be a glorious weekend, and I’m going to range a bit farther than I usually do: to the Attwater preserve, and up to the Big Thicket. I need to get down to Palacios, too, so there are some decisions to be made. Two days and three destinations doesn’t work. But it will be interesting to see what’s up wherever I go, literally as well as metaphorically.


    March 18, 2022 at 8:16 AM

    • From your posts so far this year, you seem to have done pretty well finding individual wildflowers, even if no colonies yet. Good luck figuring out how to wangle three far-flung places in two days.

      Over here a few bluebonnets are finally coming up along Mopac now, but they’re looking pretty sparse. People in Facebook’s Texas Flora and Wildflowers groups have posted a few things from the Austin area, nothing special. One person found a bunch or orchids in Bastrop. Maybe I’ll investigate.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 18, 2022 at 8:46 AM

  2. How I love to see a floral carpet again! When I look out the window, I see nothing but snow. Great picture, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    March 18, 2022 at 10:03 AM

  3. What a gorgeous scene and photograph! I hope something similar comes your way soon.


    March 19, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    • Me too. Individual wildflowers are finally beginning to appear now, but I’ve yet to see anything approaching what you could call a colony.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 19, 2022 at 8:05 AM

  4. Very pretty. I’m waiting to see California’s wildflowers this year.

    Alessandra Chaves

    March 19, 2022 at 9:00 AM

  5. Heavenly!

    Birder's Journey

    March 19, 2022 at 9:57 AM

  6. WOW that is gorgeous! We had a field of wildflowers bloom along the road to Telluride a couple of years ago that was a beautiful and similar sight. We had a record snow the previous winter which made all the difference as it has never happened again. I don’t think there was even one flower there last year.


    March 21, 2022 at 3:28 PM

    • If only that area were the same in 2022. I’ve heard reports from people who drove through there within the past few days and found a big dry nothing—just the way you describe the road to Telluride. We’ve been short on rain here in so far this year, and that’s probably the biggest factor.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 21, 2022 at 3:56 PM

  7. What a fabulous sight! We rarely have wildflowers en masse here. Occasionally there might be a field of poppies (though I’ve never seen one round here.) There are bluebell woods though and they can be lovely.

    Ann Mackay

    March 23, 2022 at 6:48 AM

    • Your bluebell woods are the most prominent example I recall (from pictures only) of wildflowers en masse there. This year the wildflowers remain quite sparse here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2022 at 6:53 AM

  8. […] 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 the headline […]

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