Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Forked bluecurls

with 15 comments


A year ago today in Bastrop State Park I had my first encounter with Trichostema dichotomum, a member of the mint family known by the quaintly descriptive common name forked bluecurls (except that I see the color as purple). Does the curving part of the flower at the upper left remind anyone else of Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa“?


We’re out of Texas for the first time since the pandemic. Sorry if I’m slow replying to comments.



☸︎        ☸︎        ☸︎



What would you think if an American university posted an opening for an engineering professor and concluded the announcement with a euphemistic statement to the effect that African American women need not apply? I take it you’d be outraged. After all, this is 2022, not 1822. And you’d be justified in your outrage because our country has evolved and has passed many laws prohibiting such discrimination. Nevertheless, American universities today do issue such job announcements, the only difference being that the group excluded a priori consists of white men, and sometimes Asian men too. Sad to say, such blatant bigotry has become commonplace, no matter what our laws say to the contrary.

As an example take Texas A&M University, whose Department of Finance recently opened up a position. As Louis K. Bonham reported in a September 12th “Minding the Campus” article: “The head of the recruiting committee confirmed in writing that the position was indeed ‘reserved’ for non-white, non-Asian candidates.” And now one person has done something about it. Finance professor Richard Lowery, of the University of Texas, has filed the lawsuit  Lowery v. Texas A&M University System. Bonham’s article quotes three paragraphs from the lawsuit:

8. The Texas A&M University System, along with nearly every university in the United States, discriminates on account of race and sex when hiring its faculty, by giving discriminatory preferences to female or non-Asian minorities at the expense of white and Asian men. This practice, popularly known as “affirmative action,” has led universities to hire and promote inferior faculty candidates over individuals with better scholarship, better credentials, and better teaching ability.

9. These race and sex preferences are patently illegal under Title VI and Title IX, which prohibit all forms of race and sex discrimination at universities that receive federal funds. But university administrators think they can flout these federal statutes with impunity because no one ever sues them over their discriminatory faculty-hiring practices and the Department of Education looks the other way.

10. These discriminatory, illegal, and anti-meritocratic practices have been egged on by woke ideologues who populate the so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion offices at public and private universities throughout the United States. The existence of these offices is subverting meritocracy and encouraging wholesale violations of civil-rights laws throughout our nation’s university system.

“The lawsuit also has another twist: it seeks certification as a class action, for the benefit of all white and Asian candidates who have been discriminated against by Texas A&M’s DEI [diversity, equity, inclusion] employment initiatives.”

You’re welcome to read the full article for more information.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 11, 2022 at 4:30 AM

15 Responses

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  1. exquisite


    October 11, 2022 at 4:32 AM

  2. Indeed, now that you mention it, I also see the wave.

    Peter Klopp

    October 11, 2022 at 8:44 AM

  3. That’s lovely!!


    October 11, 2022 at 11:20 AM

    • It is. Initially I didn’t even know what it was but the form made me have to photograph it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2022 at 6:11 AM

  4. What a wonderful flower !!!


    October 11, 2022 at 1:33 PM

  5. I am familiar with Hokusai’s work but it took your suggestion for me to see the comparison. Having photographed these in prior years but sadly not this I only saw a blue curl.

    Steve Gingold

    October 12, 2022 at 2:52 AM

  6. Really great photo!

    Alessandra Chaves

    October 12, 2022 at 7:16 AM

  7. I don’t remember seeing this, so your portrait was a surprise. It’s a beautiful flower, and not at all what I was expecting when I read ‘blue curls.’ I see it as purple, too; many of the flowers that have ‘blue’ in their names, like blue mistflower, seem more lavender or purple to me.

    When I looked at the USDA map just now, it became clear why I’ve not seen it before. A return trip to Bastrop may be needed to find it.


    October 12, 2022 at 8:36 AM

    • I remember where I saw this, and I remember that you were walking not far away. Still, no once can notice everything, even in a small area. If you do decide on a return to Bastrop, let me know and we can have a repeat venture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2022 at 9:18 PM

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