Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘beach

Beach morning glory: white

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Botanists know the white-flowering beach morning glory as Ipomoea imperati. At Port Aransas on June 3rd the white flowers significantly outnumbered the purple ones produced by Ipomoea pes-caprae. Here are broader and closer views of the white flowers, with a tiny spider on one in the second picture. Everywhere we looked, practically all the leaves had beach sand on them. These plants have apparently learned to cope with lesser amounts of sunshine making it through to the leaves.

  

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Title IX is a section of the American legal code that “protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states: ‘No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.'”

As has too often been the case in recent years, many universities have taken to enforcing Title IX in ideological ways that deny due process and a presumption of innocence to people accused of violating it. In one such case, reported Reuters on June 2nd:

A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled a former assistant professor of physics can sue Cornell University for gender discrimination over claims it disciplined him following a “skewed” investigation into a female student’s sexual harassment claims.

The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ revival of Mukund Vengalattore’s Title IX claims came in a case that one judge said was an example of a “disturbing trend” of threats to due process for university faculty accused of misconduct.

That judge was José Cabranes of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In his concurrence he wrote:

This growing “law” of university disciplinary procedures, often promulgated in response to the regulatory diktats of government, is controversial and thus far largely beyond the reach of the courts because of, among other things, the presumed absence of “state action” by so-called private universities. Thus insulated from review, it is no wonder that, in some cases, these procedures have been compared unfavorably to those of the infamous English Star Chamber.

As alleged, Cornell’s investigation of Vengalattore denied him access to counsel; failed to provide him with a statement of the nature of the accusations against him; denied him the ability to question witnesses; drew adverse inferences from the absence of evidence; and failed to employ an appropriate burden of proof or standard of evidence. In other cases and other universities the catalogue of offenses can include continuing surveillance and the imposition of double jeopardy for long-ago grievances.

You can read more from Judge Cabranes’s concurrence in a “Notable and Quotable” item from the Wall Street Journal.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

 

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 15, 2022 at 4:24 AM

Beach morning glory: purple

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The term “beach morning glory” is ambiguous: people use it for Ipomoea imperati and for Ipomoea pes-caprae, both of which grow on coastal sand dunes, often even together. One easy way to tell them apart is that the former produces white flowers and the latter purple flowers, as shown here at Port Aransas on June 3rd. Other vernacular names for the purple-flowering species are railroad vine (presumably because it tends to grow along railroad tracks), goatfoot morning glory (which is what the Latin pes-caprae means), and bayhops. Both kinds of beach morning glory have thick and leathery leaves, but those of the white-flowering species are only about 1.5 inches long, while those of the purple-flowering species reach as much as 3.5 inches in length. I found one of those larger leaves that had turned conspicuously yellow, and it contrasted nicely with the day’s blue sky.

 

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All photographs are illusions.
Speaking of which, here’s an interesting article about optical illusions.

 

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

 

 

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 14, 2022 at 4:35 AM

What do these two have in common?

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What the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) has in common with the variegated stone and its shadow is that I photographed them both at Muir Beach in California four years ago today. You might also find that the forms and colors of the heron’s feathers resemble those on the stone.

And here’s a relevant poem for today:

“The Peace of Wild Things”
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 1, 2020 at 4:39 AM

New Zealand: another look at Little Manly Beach

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Five years ago today I spent some morning time—in fact the last morning in New Zealand on that first trip—at what turned out to be one of my favorite places for abstract photographs, Little Manly Beach on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula north of Auckland.

You’re looking at some of the beach details that fascinated me.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 27, 2020 at 4:41 AM

Lambug Beach

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After our December 16th visit to Kawasan Falls we drove north to Lambug Beach, which provides a view westward across the Tañon Strait to the island of Negros.

Mostly I took the opportunity to do closeups of small things that had washed up on the beach.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 22, 2020 at 4:49 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Atlantic ghost crab

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Another find on the beach at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail along the Gulf of Mexico in Brazoria County on October 6th was a juvenile Atlantic ghost crab, Ocypode quadrata, which wasn’t much more than an inch across. As it scuttled about sideways on the sand, I eventually got close enough with my 100mm macro lens to make a few decent portraits. According to the Wikipedia article about ghost crabs, “the name… derives from their nocturnality and their generally pale coloration.” This crab was obviously trying out some diurnality, which is what made it possible for me to take pictures.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 24, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Surrealistic barnacles, continued

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In a comment on the previous post, Shannon Westveer referenced the photograph showing barnacle shells on a larger shell against a background of cumulus clouds, and she mentioned the Belgian painter Magritte, whom I’d referred to in my post. That dose of Surrealism apparently primed me to misread* her next sentence, “I’m greatly looking forward to your artistic view of the barnacle covered log,” as “I’m greatly looking forward to your artistic view of the barnacle covered dog.” A barnacle-covered dog would indeed be surreal, as dogs don’t live in the ocean. Neither do large trees, yet the hefty stump shown above had spent enough time underwater in the Gulf of Mexico to acquire a crusting of barnacles before ending up on dry land again.

The second picture provides a closer look from a lower vantage, and the third one gets even more detailed. All are from our time at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on October 6th.

* In Nadja, published in 1928, André Breton (the leader of the Surrealist movement) gives value to the misreading of words. In particular, he tells how the poet Louis Aragon pointed out to him that from a certain angle the word ROUGE (red) on a hotel sign can be read as POLICE. I did my reading of Nadja in college in 1966–67 and still have my yellowing Livre de Poche paperback copy from way back then. It let me retrieve the details of what got misread as what, which I didn’t remember on my own after all these years.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2019 at 4:15 PM

More from the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail

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The previous post showed you six of the things we saw on October 6th at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on the south shore of the peninsula that’s across the bridge from the west end of Galveston Island. Now here are another half-dozen finds.

Trailing fuzzybean, Strophostyles helvola

Drying pod of a trailing fuzzybean, Strophostyles helvola

American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus

Purple beach morning glory bud, Ipomoea pes-caprae

Purple beach morning glory flower, Ipomoea pes-caprae

Barnacle shells on a larger shell

While that last picture may not be entirely “natural,” holding the shell up against the clouds seemed like a natural enough thing to do for the sake of a good portrait. Magritte or another Surrealist painter could’ve shown the entire shell floating in the clouds.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2019 at 4:42 AM

Kelly Hamby Nature Trail

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On October 6th, Linda Leinen drove Eve and me from League City to a rendezvous with Shannon Westveer and her husband Scott at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on the south shore of the peninsula that’s just across the bridge from the west end of Galveston Island. It was the first meeting for the three of us with the two of them, and we all sang Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Getting to Know You” (okay, so we didn’t actually do that). In this post you’ll see three times two of the things we found on the beach.

Beach evening-primrose flower, Oenothera drummondii

Gulf croton, Croton punctatus

Beach morning-glory, Ipomoea imperati

Shannon has made the case for this being woolly tidestromia, Tidestromia lanuginosa

A colorfully banded shell

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 19, 2019 at 6:05 PM

Looking more familiar

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By the time we reached the Alabama Gulf Coast on our way back to Austin we were increasingly seeing wildflowers that we recognized because they also grow in Texas. One of those (which actually grows as far away as New York and Massachusetts) was Chamaecrista fasciculata, commonly called partidge pea. Here you see a bud of that species in front of a flower that I believe to be a saltmarsh morning glory, Ipomoea sagittata, based on its leaves (sagittata means ‘shaped like an arrowhead’). I took this colorful picture on August 10 outside the Estuarium on Dauphin Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you’re wondering what kind of flower will emerge from the bud, you can check out a post from 2014. And if you’re interested in the craft of photography, today’s portrait illustrates point 5 in About My Techniques.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2019 at 4:47 AM

Posted in nature photography

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