Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Horsemint and standing cypress

with 15 comments

Compared to the previous post from May 30th along Balcones Woods Dr., this time the standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) in the picture above brings up the rear, while a horsemint (Monarda citriodora) dominates the foreground. But how could I not show you some more of standing cypress’s rich red? Below, an arc of its buds harmonizes in shape and contrasts in color with the arcs of its leaves.



§         §         §



Regarding San Francisco voters’ recall this week of the city’s district attorney, who’d for years been refusing to adequately prosecute many criminals, including violent ones, Peggy Noonan had an editorial in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Personifying the majority of voters, she wrote:

We won’t let our city go down. We won’t accept the idea of steady deterioration. We will fight the imposition of abstract laws reflecting the abstract theories of people for whom life has always been abstract and theoretical. We can’t afford to be abstract and theoretical, we live real lives. We wish to be allowed to walk the streets unmolested and with confidence. This isn’t too much to ask. It is the bare minimum.

Speaking for herself, she continued:

Progressive politicians have been around long enough running cities that some distinguishing characteristics can be noted. One is they don’t listen to anybody. To stop them you have to fire them. They’re not like normal politicians who have some give, who tack this way and that. Progressive politicians have no doubt, no self-correcting mechanism.

Another characteristic: They are more loyal to theory than to people. If the people don’t like the theories the progressives impose, that’s too bad; the theory is pre-eminent.

Progressives say: We are changing all rules on arrest and incarceration because they are bad for minority groups.

The minority groups say that sounds good in the abstract but let’s make sure it’s good in the particular.

It proves not to be. The minority groups say: Stop.

The progressive says: You have to like what we’re doing, it’s good for you! What are you, racist?

The minority groups say: We’re going to fire you.

No you’re not, don’t be ridiculous.


And they fire him. And he’s shocked.

Here’s the third distinguishing characteristic: The progressive can’t understand why. He tells reporters the voters are “in a bad mood” because of inflation and housing costs.

A final characteristic of progressive politicians is that they tend to be high-IQ stupid people. They are bright and well-educated but can’t comprehend the implications of policy. They don’t understand that if an 18-year-old is repeatedly arrested for assaulting people on the street and repeatedly let go, his thought may not go in the direction of, “What a gracious and merciful society I live in, I will do more to live up to it.” It is more likely he will think, “I can assault anyone and get away with it. They are afraid of me.”

Criminals calculate. Normal people know this and anticipate it. It is a great eccentricity of progressive politicians that they can’t.

So I do think America is on a campaign to remove them, one by one. And this is good.

You’re welcome to read the full editorial, which includes Peggy Noonan’s equal-opportunity thoughts on what progressives’ opponents can do better, too.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 11, 2022 at 4:29 AM

15 Responses

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  1. How lovely! I love the feeling of freshness and light these images convey to me. Just lovely!


    June 11, 2022 at 7:36 AM

  2. Beautiful. Both flowers and both pictures.


    June 11, 2022 at 7:40 AM

  3. Re: my comment about color on your previous post, I’m reading this on my iPhone after already viewing it on my computer. The red is much more deeply saturated on the phone, and the truer red is what I remember seeing in the past. The sharpness is more pronounced, too. I’m going to start looking at my posts on my phone before putting them up.

    By the way – I ended up using my phone because I’m at the car wash. As the saying goes, it’s all good.


    June 11, 2022 at 9:01 AM

    • It sounds like you’ve washed away your car troubles. Hooray for that!

      As for color fidelity, I just tried your experiment, holding my iPhone version of this post up against the view on my iMac’s monitor. The two look about the same to me, which may be because both are Apple devices. As we’ve discussed several times over the years, various factors affect how people see the images we post. Probably the most significant is that we can’t control the monitors on which people look at our pictures, and we have to assume there’s a lot of variation from model to model, in hue, contrast, and clarity. Whenever I do a public presentation of my photographs using a projector, I always tell the audience that the pictures look a lot better than what they’re seeing. Occasionally I hold up my laptop so they can see how much better an image looks on it than when projected.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 11, 2022 at 9:16 AM

  4. Both hues are pleasing but the Standing Cypress is certainly the more arresting.

    Steve Gingold

    June 12, 2022 at 2:26 AM

  5. Lovely images! I especially like the curves of the standing cypress and that bold red.

    Ann Mackay

    June 12, 2022 at 4:26 AM

  6. Beautiful soft tones in the photo of Monarda citriodora. I hope sf will go back to being safe for photographers. I love going there with my camera.

    Alessandra Chaves

    June 12, 2022 at 7:52 AM

    • For your sake and the sake of so many others, I hope the recent recall in San Francisco marks the beginning of a decrease in crime and chaos there.

      Soft tones make for a good change of pace to the starker images that have recently found their way into my posts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 12, 2022 at 8:09 AM

  7. The standing cypress is my favourite here.


    June 13, 2022 at 10:18 PM

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