Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Trumpet vines

with 15 comments

I’ve come to expect to see one or two trumpet vines, Campsis radicans, in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183. The property lived up to expectations on August 14th when I found one there that had plenty of buds and flowers on it. The second picture, quite tonally and compositionally different from the high-flying view in the first, shows what it’s like to look into one of these “trumpets.”


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Yesterday I commented on the Orwellianly named Inflation Reduction Act—a contorted $739 billion boondoggle spending spree that will do a lot of things, none of which will reduce inflation. The supposed need for such an act is especially hard to understand, given that our President vehemently assured us on August 10th that the nation had zero inflation in July. Tell that to the people who shopped for groceries, paid their utility bills, bought gasoline, or went looking to buy a car that month. If you want a sense of how many Americans are feeling the effects of high inflation, and how worried a lot of them are, check out the easy-to-read bar charts and pie graphs showing the results of a survey The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) conducted in June.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), average prices in July were 8.5% higher than in July of last year. The CPI had been 9.1% in June, so it’s true that inflation was no higher in July than it had been in June, and was even a little lower, but that doesn’t mean there was zero inflation. Inflation still ran a hefty 8.5%, which is higher than at any time over the forty years from 1982 through April of this year.

(As a math teacher I think in terms of calculus here. The change in prices from a year earlier [akin to the first derivative] was still positive, namely 8.5%, but the change of the change in prices [akin to the second derivative] was negative: 9.1% had gone down to 8.5%.)


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 17, 2022 at 4:32 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

15 Responses

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  1. I had to buy a car recently because my Toyota Prius died at 185 k, something I’ve been told, doesn’t happen. Head gasket. It’s such a lame car on the inside everything fell apart, cheap stuff, I opted not to fix it. The car market is unfreakingbelievable. Used cars are relatively more expensive because they are readily available (new cars you have to wait months to get) and I thought about buying new, but the dealers wanted me to finance the car for years and didn’t want to hear about paying upfront. Car dealerships now are banks making $$ on interest. Fortunately, I found an old lady selling an old Toyota with low mileage and I will hang on to it until this madness changes! Filling the tank of my old new Toyota was 60$!

    Alessandra Chaves

    August 17, 2022 at 7:47 AM

    • Thanks for your testimonial. Sorry to hear about your Prius dying. Our 1998 Toyota Avalon, though it’s showing its age and has some problems, is still running with over 220,000 miles on it. I use it primarily to go out taking nature pictures; at this point, who cares if the car gets grungy from the Texas heat and sweat?

      Yes, the car market is, as you put it, unfreakingbelievable. You walk into a dealer’s showroom and no new cars are on display. Due to the shortage, new cars that the manufacture delivers to the dealer are already spoken for by buyers who paid in advance—and who had to pay more than the MSRP (manufacture’s standard retail price) because of supply and demand.

      Gas prices have come down in the past month but are still way above where they were at the beginning of 2021. And of course gas in California, because of all its regulations and taxes, sells for a much higher price than in Texas. The AAA website indicates that as of today the average gas price in those two states is $5.34 and $3.46, respectively.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2022 at 8:09 AM

  2. The colors turned out pretty nice on those photos and the composition on the first one works really well.

    Alessandra Chaves

    August 17, 2022 at 7:49 AM

    • In the top picture I got myself (with difficulty) to a vantage point where I could more or less align the flowers and stalk with the contour of the clouds in the lower right.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2022 at 8:19 AM

  3. This is another flower that seems as tough to me as sunflowers. There are two utility poles in the Hwy 146 that have been there since I came to the area thirty years ago. At this point, they seem to be disconnected from any wires, but they’re still standing, and the trumpet vines that climb them every year still are climbing: despite the drought, despite the insults from construction, despite everything.

    I tried to find another photo of yours and couldn’t. I think it showed trumpet vines, but in any event the vine had climbed up and through the openings in a highway bridge; as I remember it, only the bridge and the flowers were shown. It was such a great photo. Do you remember it?


    August 17, 2022 at 8:05 AM

  4. I like how you show flowers using two or more photos of the same plant presenting them from different viewpoints, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    August 17, 2022 at 1:44 PM

    • It’s true both literally and figuratively that the same thing can look very different when seen from differing viewpoints.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2022 at 3:23 PM

  5. I see these by my parking space when I visit Brickyard. Although I’ve shot a few, for some reason I have never been moved to share them. The look inside is appealing.

    Steve Gingold

    August 17, 2022 at 3:43 PM

  6. Hey! I remember that growing wild in Oklahoma!


    August 18, 2022 at 12:19 AM

    • You have a good memory for the many plants you saw there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 18, 2022 at 6:16 AM

      • I was impressed by some species there. Campsis radicans is only available from nurseries here, or from established plants that can spare a few rooted bits. Seeing them growing wild on vacant parcels was strange to me. I should have gotten some of the wild sort. I collected seed from several other native species. They are nothing special within their natural range, but are very special to me. I do the same with a few species from the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. I get very distracted by unfamiliar species. That is why I considered the procurement of a vacation home near Trona, which is near Death Valley. There is not much vegetation there to distract.


        August 18, 2022 at 8:47 PM

        • Death Valley’s a place I’ve never been to but would like to see—in winter.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 19, 2022 at 6:50 AM

          • The climate is horrid there. In Trona nearby, every day may get warmer than a hundred degrees for more than the three months of summer, and continue into autumn. It may not get much cooler at night. As much as I am fascinated by it, I can not imagine why other people actually live there . During winter, the nights can get wickedly cold! It is so weird, like being on Mercury!


            August 20, 2022 at 9:23 PM

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