Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

White prickly poppies aplenty

with 24 comments


On March 25th white prickly poppies (Argemone albiflora)
filled a field along US 87 near China Grove, east of San Antonio.
The clouds conveniently mimicked the white flowers.
Below is a closer look at the prickly poppies in another field.




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The deleterious effects of Critical Social Justice ideology in schools show up in more than just curricula. Real student achievement in the United States has been in decline for years, and many experts believe that a major part of what is required to get us back on track is a greater adherence to proven and measurable educational standards. Critical Social Justice, however, strips away these standards wherever it encounters them. From the elimination of advanced classes and standardized tests, to the lowering of admissions requirements for magnet schools and higher education institutions, all are justified by the goal of achieving “equity”—defined not as promoting a fair process for everyone, but as insisting on equal outcomes between racial groups of students without regard to individual performance.  


That’s a paragraph from Grayson Slover’s March 20th article “Is ‘toxic wokeness’ a greater threat than the Chinese Communist Party?” You can read the full article on the website of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR).



© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 1, 2023 at 4:25 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Dorothy and her friends should be running through that field of poppies toward Emerald City. Did Glinda make it snow while you were there?

    Steve Gingold

    April 1, 2023 at 6:07 AM

    • Billie Burke, probably best known to people today for having played Glinda, played a bunch of ditzy dames in many other movies. I just learned from Wikipedia that “among Burke’s early suitors was the operatic tenor Enrico Caruso.” She ended up marrying the impresario Florenz Ziegfeld.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2023 at 7:37 AM

      • The other roles were probably more of a challenge.

        Steve Gingold

        April 1, 2023 at 7:43 AM

        • I’ve sometimes wondered how much the ditziness played to an aspect of her own personality and how much it was purely acting. A biography of her would probably answer that question.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 1, 2023 at 7:55 AM

          • I don’t know about her specifically and was unaware of anything she had done beyond Glinda, but I’ve often read that the role of “ditzy” or “dumb blonde” was played by smart women which isn’t surprising because memorizing and portraying something foreign to your own personality must be a challenge and why good acting is an art. Also, I have never met anyone like those characters so it must be total fantasy by some screenwriter. I have a hard enough time playing myself.

            Steve Gingold

            April 1, 2023 at 8:29 AM

            • The Wikipedia article about her says that in the 1950s “she also appeared in several plays in California, although her mind became clouded, and she had trouble remembering lines. In the late 1950s, her failing memory led to her retirement from show business, although her explanation at the time was, ‘Acting just wasn’t any fun anymore.'” How ditzy or not she was in her early years, the article doesn’t say.


              Steve Schwartzman

              April 1, 2023 at 12:13 PM

      • But did Billie Burke wear ditzy prints?


        April 2, 2023 at 11:14 AM

        • Good question. To find out, I’d have to rewatch the movies (or at least parts of them) in which she played a ditzy dame.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 2, 2023 at 1:26 PM

  2. Oh no, I need to go to Texas! Never seen these spread out like that! Only small bushes here.

    Alessandra Chaves

    April 1, 2023 at 7:17 AM

    • As Davy Crockett said: “You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.” And so he did. You’re always welcome to follow his example. Texas knows how to do wildflowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2023 at 7:40 AM

  3. The flowers are beautiful and I am really enjoying your title. I shall say it out loud today as if I was practicing to be a radio announcer.

    Robert Parker

    April 1, 2023 at 10:42 AM

  4. Both beautiful images, but the first one with the lovely sky, trees, and copious poppies is my favorite. So many white flowers!


    April 1, 2023 at 1:52 PM

    • I’m accustomed to focusing on a field of these flowers, as in the second view. The white clouds in the first scene gave me something to play off against the flowers for a change.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2023 at 2:28 PM

  5. Oh, my. You’ve been especially lucky this year: not only to find these flower-filled fields, but also to have skies that set them off so nicely. I’ve yet to see anything this lush, poppy-wise, and most of the fields I found were accompanied by leaden skies. No matter. Beggars, chosers, and all that. Besides, the year’s still young, and these are long bloomers. Maybe we’ll both find more in the coming weeks.


    April 2, 2023 at 11:33 AM

    • We left Austin with a clear sky. The further south we got, the more it clouded over. The first picture above was probably the best sky we had down there. Later, as we drove back north, the sky cleared up again.

      I suspect you’ll still get your fill of prickly poppies this season, especially if you head over to the area near La Vernia.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2023 at 4:33 PM

  6. Eye-popping poppies!

    How clever of you to arrange the clouds to appear over the field just at the right time.

    Although we have both yellow and white prickly-poppies here, I have never encountered such a vast display as you have captured. Stunning!

    Wally Jones

    April 2, 2023 at 11:49 AM

    • The white prickly poppies in Texas are well known for their ability to form large colonies (and thereby pop eyes). The two colonies shown here east of San Antonio aren’t unusual. Two years ago I showed a big colony of them along the Willow City Loop northeast of Fredericksburg:

      White prickly poppy colonies

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2023 at 4:39 PM

  7. That just screams SPRING!! to me. I love the fresh green with white flowers.


    April 4, 2023 at 10:43 AM

  8. White loveliness and cloud puffs … divine!


    April 7, 2023 at 2:52 PM

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