Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Horsemint stages

with 15 comments

A native wildflower that typically begins to make itself seen here by mid-May is the horsemint, Monarda citriodora. The species was on schedule in Great Hills Park on May 15th when I took these pictures showing a formative and a more developed stage.



✳︎         ✳︎         ✳︎



Last year I mentioned that the incidents of institutions clamping down on freedom of expression have become so common in what used to pride itself as “The Land of the Free” that I could probably report a new suppression-of-thought incident every single day. I’m beginning to wonder if I was too modest: I might well be able to report two a day now.

I recently read about an incident in the Minding the Campus article “Free Speech Under Fire at St. Vincent College,” by Mike Sabo. If you read it, you’ll see it’s yet another instance of the DIE gang (diversity, inclusion, equity) working to kill off opinions they don’t like—hence the acronym DIE.

I studied a lot of linguistics in college and graduate school, along with a bunch of specific languages in varying degrees, from years down to several months. With that kind of language background, I figured I should do a little translating for you from Religion into English. “Diversity” means uniformity of ideas. “Inclusion” means exclusion of any person with an idea that contradicts current dogma. “Equity” means forced sameness of results, regardless of the competence or efforts of the people involved. Another way to say it is that “equity” means treating people unequally, with some getting favored treatment based on immutable characteristics like skin color or ethnic heritage and others being penalized for those immutable characteristics. Still another way to put it is that equity means inequality before the law.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman






Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 3, 2022 at 4:26 AM

15 Responses

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  1. Did you enjoy the scent as well as the form and colour of the horsemint?


    June 3, 2022 at 5:50 AM

    • Not that time. Occasionally I rub my hands on a horsemint and then sniff my fingers for the scent.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 3, 2022 at 8:37 PM

  2. The pink horsemint on schedule is pretty. Very complex looking flower.

    Alessandra Chaves

    June 3, 2022 at 8:03 AM

  3. Our garden club’s wildflower plot finally began to produce some blooms, and I noticed that these were included. I suspect they might have used a seed mix, since it’s much more common to see M. punctata in this area. That’s quite an unusual view of the nascent flowers in the first photo; I’m not sure I would have recognized the plant from the image — and that’s a compliment!


    June 3, 2022 at 7:20 PM

    • You’ve heard me say many times that I’m always on the lookout for different ways to portray familiar species. I’ve been photographing horsemints from the top for years, and yet this time I got a new result.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 3, 2022 at 8:44 PM

  4. Our Monardas, Bee Balm, resemble these a bit but a much brighter red. I planted two new ones recently that will resemble this color once they flower later this summer.

    Steve Gingold

    June 4, 2022 at 3:06 AM

  5. Yes, you are spot on everything. I agree with you: equity is indeed unequal based on one’s skin and language.


    June 4, 2022 at 3:35 AM

    • It’s a sorry state of affairs we’re regressing to, when arbitrary characteristics once again are determining how a person is treated.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 4, 2022 at 6:15 PM

  6. Fascinating to see the structure of these flowers. And worrying to hear about the restriction of free speech…I don’t like people telling me what to think, so I suspect I’d get into trouble over that!

    Ann Mackay

    June 9, 2022 at 1:58 PM

    • An early impression I had of horsemints two decades ago was that they’re floral pagodas.

      From what I gather, Britain has gotten as bad as America when it comes to clamping down on free speech, so you may yet be getting into trouble.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2022 at 2:09 PM

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