Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Growing rampant

with 10 comments


Growing rampant on some of the Virginia saltmarsh mallows, Kosteletzkya pentacarpos or virginica, which you saw in the last post on the gulf side of Galveston Island State Park on September 19th, were a bunch of hairypod cowpea vines, Vigna luteola, as shown above. Next, have a look at one of the cowpea flowers from down low, where I’m wont to go:


And here’s one in isolation that’s even more sculptural:





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On the theme of “Do as I say, not as I do,” the other day I happened across an article by Emily Smith from November 1, 2021, that began like this:

There is outrage after Jeff Bezos’ $65 million Gulf Stream jet led a 400-strong stream of private planes into Scottish environmental summit COP26.

World leaders and dignitaries from all over the globe, including Prince Albert of Monaco and a host of “green” CEOs landed in Glasgow and Edinburgh over the weekend, creating what one Scottish news outlet described as “an extraordinary traffic jam [which] forced empty planes to fly 30 miles to find space to park.” 

The article went on to quote Matt Finch, of the UK’s Transport and Environment campaign group:

The average private jet… emits two tons of CO2 for every hour in flight. It can’t be stressed enough how bad private jets are for the environment, it is the worst way to travel by miles. Our research has found that most journeys could easily be completed on scheduled flights.

Private jets are very prestigious but it is difficult to avoid the hypocrisy of using one while claiming to be fighting climate change…. To put it in context, the total carbon footprint of an ordinary citizen — including everywhere they travel and everything they consume — is around eight tons a year. So an executive or politician taking one long-haul private flight will burn more CO2 than several normal people do in a year [italics added].

Of course those 400 private jets converged at a “climate summit” for the sake of “saving the planet,” so it must have been okay.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 5, 2022 at 4:27 AM

10 Responses

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  1. The last shot looks like a beautiful piece of origami.


    October 5, 2022 at 7:31 AM

  2. I would describe your post today as pulling out all the stops in your photographic craftsmanship.

    Peter Klopp

    October 5, 2022 at 9:39 AM

    • Coincidentally, one of the first things I learned about photography was f/stops and their effects.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 5, 2022 at 9:42 AM

  3. Those are lovely. I do really like the low one with the blue sky and clouds. That’s lovely.

    I’ll start believing there’s a crisis when those who tell me it is start acting like there really is one. Until then I don’t want to hear about my footprint or whatever!


    October 5, 2022 at 10:34 AM

    • One advantage of getting low is you can say things are looking up. Blue sky and soft clouds don’t hurt, either.

      “Do as I say, not as I do” has unfortunately become the modus operandi of too many people.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 5, 2022 at 11:25 AM

  4. It’s a beautiful yellow and the third shot in particular is lovely. “Hairypod Cowpea” sounds like a desperado from the Old West or maybe a scary tale for summer camp.

    Robert Parker

    October 5, 2022 at 1:40 PM

    • I encourage you to follow through on your vision and write The Adventures of the Desperado Hairypod Cowpea. I’m sure you’ll have a hit on your hands if you do.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 5, 2022 at 1:44 PM

  5. When Ms. Liz recently posted a combination of pink and yellow blooms from her spring season, she mentioned that the combo was unusual, or at least less-favored. I mentioned that yellow and pink is one of our native combinations, but couldn’t call to mind an example. Here it is, and it’s lovely. Now I’m remembering the combination of salt-marsh fleabane and this cowpea. I’m sure there are others.

    I especially like the way the hanging peas follow the line of the stem, adding to the sense of height.


    October 6, 2022 at 7:40 AM

    • Yellow and pink made you stop and think. You found pink and yellow to be oh so mellow. I’m glad you pointed out those zigzagging peas, which I hadn’t paid attention to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 6, 2022 at 8:22 AM

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