Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for April 11th, 2022

Pink evening primroses predominate

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In contrast to the almost 500 miles we covered last Wednesday and Friday hunting for wildflowers (and finding plenty), on the morning of April 9th I drove less than two miles from home to the embankment of US 183 in my Great Hills neighborhood to photograph this colony of pink evening primroses (Oenothera speciosa) that I’d been eyeing as we set out on each of our long jaunts days earlier.


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As someone who’s long noticed fads in language, I empathize with this passage from David Mamet’s new book Recessional:

What’s in a name? Shaw wrote that any profession which communicates largely in jargon is make-believe. “Wellness” is a neologism, meaning “health.” What was wrong with “health”?

But fashions change. That is the sine qua non of fashions. Derelicts become vagrants, then the homeless. The people are the same, but the social problem has been inverted into a political solution: rename and worship them.

Employees are now referred to as human resources. The folks described are the same, but the difference is semantic, which is to say, in the way they are considered, and, so, treated. What does one do with employees? One pays them. What does one do with resources? One exploits them.

Coca-Cola is just brown bubbly sugar water. It is also the most famous brand in the world. The fool who decided to market “New Coke” is counterbalanced by the marketing genius who promoted a Marxist-anarchist America-hating group as “Black Lives Matter” (a sentiment with which no one would disagree) and used the title to immunize themselves against scrutiny of their operations….

“Wellness” is the New Coke of health, in that it clouds the issue. We realize, except when ill or frightened, that each is in charge of his own health, but “wellness” seems to enlarge the concern to a point where neither its object nor its attainment can be precisely stated. Thus attempts to merchandise “wellness” products and treatments can be infinitely expanded.

See also a concern for that phantasm called social justice, a concept, like “wellness,” of which one can never have enough and so may be sold any amount.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 11, 2022 at 4:27 PM

Calderón de la Barca comes to Austin

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When I walked in our untended back and side yard on April Fool’s Day I wasn’t fooled: I recognized a good half-dozen native species that had come up on their own, including this Carolina geranium (Geranium corolinianum). Apropos the foliage supporting that flower, look at this passage from Pedro Calderón de la Barca‘s 1632 play La Banda y la Flor (The Scarf and the Flower):

La verde es color primera
Del mundo, y en quien consiste
Su hermosura, pues se viste
De verde la primavera.
La vista más lisonjera
Es aquel verde ornamento,
Pues sin voz y con aliento
Nacen de varios colores
En cuna verde las flores
Que son estrellas del viento.

Green is the primary color
Of the world, and the reason
For its beauty is that
Spring dresses in green.
That green ornamentation
Is the most flattering view,
Because without voice but with breath
A green cradle gives birth to flowers,
Which are the wind’s stars.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 11, 2022 at 4:31 AM

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