Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Asymmetry may still be a symmetry

with 14 comments

In the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183 on August 14th I found a “common” sunflower (Helianthus annuus) opening asymmetrically, as often happens with this species and some others in that botanical family. While at this stage the uneven opening deprives the flower head of radial symmetry, it still possesses bilateral symmetry, with the line of symmetry passing through the longest and the shortest ray floret.


❖        ❖        ❖


An old cynic like me will tell you that if a Congressional bill is named X, then you can be pretty sure that the bill will not cause X to happen. What’s worse, the bill may not even have anything to do with X at all. The latest example in Orwellian naming is the “Inflation Reduction Act,” a monstrosity of over 700 pages filled with enormous “clean energy” boondoggles, tax advantages for the wealthy, and an expansion of the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) so unprecedentedly huge that the agency will end up with more employees than the total for the Pentagon, State Department, FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and CBP (Customs and Border Patrol). Spending over 700 billion dollars that we don’t have is highly unlikely to reduce inflation. Inflation will sooner or later come down, but not because of anything in the bill.

According to an August 12th article by Mike Palicz:

The bill imposes a regressive tax on American oil and gas development. The tax will drive up the cost of household energy bills. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the natural gas tax will increase taxes by roughly $6.5 billion.

The tax hike violates President Biden’s tax pledge to any American making less than $400,000 per year. Biden administration officials have repeatedly admitted taxes that raise consumer energy prices are in violation of President Biden’s $400,000 tax pledge.

letter to Congress from the American Gas Association warned that the methane tax would amount to a 17% increase on an average family’s natural gas bill. Democrats have included a tax in the bill despite retail prices for energy surpassing multi-year highs in the United States….

With gas averaging more than $4.00  per gallon across the country and only weeks removed from record-high prices, Democrats have included a 16.4 cents-per-barrel tax on crude oil and imported petroleum products that will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher gas prices….

The bill would more than double current excise taxes on coal production. Under the Democrat proposal, the tax rate on coal from subsurface mining would increase from $0.50 per ton to $1.10 per ton while the tax rate on coal from surface mining would increase from $0.25 per ton to $0.55 per ton.

JCT [the Joint Committee on Taxation] estimates that this will raise $1.2 billion in taxes that will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills.

You can read the full article for further bad news about how this bill is going to take more of your money away from you.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 16, 2022 at 4:28 AM

14 Responses

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  1. Is it my imagination, or are the bracts beneath the flower head oddly shaped, as well? They look a little ‘globby,’ as though some of them also were having difficulty unfurling.


    August 16, 2022 at 7:22 AM

    • “Globby” is a good word for it. I don’t know how to account for the unusual shape of those bracts. I also photographed an unfamiliar plant, and in that case I managed to get it identified.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 16, 2022 at 8:08 AM

  2. Lol my first biology class in college was about the types of symmetry. Good job on the sunflower against the sky and clouds.

    Alessandra Chaves

    August 16, 2022 at 12:04 PM

    • I’m fond of taking pictures in which my subject appears to rise partly or fully above the clouds. Two photographs that I’ve scheduled for later this month show sunflowers rising higher above the clouds than in today’s picture.

      Not having ever taken a college biology class, I didn’t know what’s likely to come up at the beginning of one. Symmetry strikes me as a great place to start.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 16, 2022 at 1:09 PM

  3. Thank you for the explanation of the various kinds of symmetry!

    Peter Klopp

    August 16, 2022 at 4:19 PM

    • You’re welcome. Point symmetry and line symmetry were things I regularly taught in pre-calculus.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 16, 2022 at 4:56 PM

  4. That flower has its “hands” to its “face” in horror at the deeds of dastardly governments around the world colluding to bring hardship upon the populace.


    August 16, 2022 at 4:54 PM

    • Someone has a good anti-authoritarian imagination. I’m happy to see it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 16, 2022 at 4:58 PM

      • The older I get the more it develops 😊


        August 17, 2022 at 3:14 AM

        • The events of the last three years have added plenty of fuel to the fire.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 17, 2022 at 6:20 AM

          • That is for sure, although for me I began collecting kindling eighteen years ago. I found a rabbit hole one day…..


            August 17, 2022 at 6:35 AM

  5. I always like your flower and sky perspectives and enjoy the clouds too. I saw the bilateral symmetry right away.

    Steve Gingold

    August 17, 2022 at 2:49 AM

    • It’s been over 20 years since I realized that getting low and looking partly upward is a good way to make flower portraits. In that one photo session I was able to get different cloud and sky combinations, some of which will provide backgrounds for pictures in upcoming posts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2022 at 6:25 AM

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