Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for April 23rd, 2022

Totally Texas toadflax

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On April 10th in rural eastern Williamson County we came across a field covered in flowering Texas toadflax, Nuttallanthus texanus. Above’s a somewhat dreamy take; below, you get a feel for the expanse of the colony.



© 2022 Steven Schwartzman






Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 23, 2022 at 4:02 PM


with 18 comments

In northwest Austin on April 16th the flower of a southern dewberry vine (Rubus trivialis) caught my attention for two reasons: it was conspicuously pinker than the white I’m used to seeing, and its petals appeared to be doubled. Dewberry is in the rose family, and I’ve heard of doubled roses, so maybe a doubled dewberry’s not as strange as I think. Or maybe it is.



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Mark Twain didn’t say “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.” Two hundred years before Twain’s death in 1910, Jonathan Swift did write that “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect.…” A 2018 article in Science corroborates those two similar thoughts:

Lies spread faster than the truth

There is worldwide concern over false news and the possibility that it can influence political, economic, and social well-being. To understand how false news spreads, Vosoughi et al. used a data set of rumor cascades on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. About 126,000 rumors were spread by ∼3 million people. False news reached more people than the truth; the top 1% of false news cascades diffused to between 1000 and 100,000 people, whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1000 people. Falsehood also diffused faster than the truth. The degree of novelty and the emotional reactions of recipients may be responsible for the differences observed.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 23, 2022 at 4:29 AM

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