Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Wispy clouds above the town of Cedar Park on January 11th

with 15 comments


At the pond on Discovery Boulevard in suburban Cedar Park on the morning of January 11th wispy clouds enhanced the seed heads of the native grass called bushy bluestem, Andropogon tenuispatheus, as shown below. The clouds were so attractive that I figuratively and then literally looked up to them and had them sit (or rather float and drift) for portraits in their own right, as you see above.




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I recently read Andrew Sullivan’s January 27th article “The Other Black Lives That Matter.” After describing the big push by the school district in Washington, D.C., to make “equity” the supreme goal of education, Sullivan returns to reality:

Now check out the data on how the DC Public School system is faring. A key metric is what they call “proficiency rates” — a test of whether the kids are passing the essentials of reading and math at every stage of their education. Overall, only 31 percent of DC students have proficiency in reading and just 19 percent have proficiency in math. Drill down further in the racial demographics and the picture is even worse: among African-American kids, the numbers are 20 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Among black boys, it’s 15 percent and 9 percent. Which means to say that DC Public Schools graduate kids who are overwhelmingly unable to do the most basic reading and math that any employer would need.

This is not a function of money. In the most recent federal analysis: DC spends far more per student — $30,000 a year — than any other state, double the amount in many states across the country.

Let’s put it this way: if this were a corporation, it would be in liquidation. If it were a house, it would be condemned. But since it’s a public school system, it can avoid this catastrophic failure by emphasizing “equity”!

Yup, just as long as the kids are woke, it doesn’t matter that most of them are illiterate and innumerate. You’re welcome to read the full article.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2023 at 4:33 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

15 Responses

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  1. The clouds in the first photo are the most grasslike I’ve ever seen. How appropriate that you followed it with a photo of grasses seen against clouds: a clever pairing.

    I see your area’s still near the top of the outage heap. I hope your power’s back, but I suspect it’s not. As for the article you highlighted, this just occurred to me. It’s the creation of innumerati by the illuminati.


    February 4, 2023 at 8:28 AM

    • I thought I’d mentioned how plant-like the clouds in the top picture seemed to me, but in looking at the post now (on my computer—hallelujah for restored electricity as of bedtime last night), apparently my thought remained just that. In any case, you picked up on it without my needing to say it explicitly. The pairing of the two pictures got the point across without words.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 4, 2023 at 9:48 AM

    • I forgot to mention the clever aptness of your “creation of innumerati by the illuminati.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 4, 2023 at 1:00 PM

      • If we were dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusivity, I suppose we really should add ‘illiterati’ to the mix.


        February 4, 2023 at 4:51 PM

  2. If you coloured the wispy clouds golden-brown, they would become very much like the bushy bluestem in the second picture.

    Peter Klopp

    February 4, 2023 at 9:31 AM

  3. The clouds alone and in combination with the seed heads are quite striking. A good start to the morning!

    Lavinia Ross

    February 4, 2023 at 10:48 AM

  4. Feathery!


    February 4, 2023 at 11:07 AM

  5. Yes, nice photos and clever pairing, another feather in your cap.

    Robert Parker

    February 4, 2023 at 11:21 AM

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