Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘moss

Lichen on moss

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When I visited the Stillhouse Hollow Nature Preserve on July 7th I hadn’t been there for several years. Rain in the weeks before my visit left parts of the place looking a little Pacific-Northwest-ish, as evidenced by the lichens on moss on a dead tree branch that you see busily filling the frame in today’s close-up.


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In the last post I provided governmental evidence to prove that the “Hands up, don’t shoot!” meme that some people still push developed from a false story about Michael Brown. One organization that has continued to push the false narrative is Black Lives Matter. When I checked the national organization’s website in July of 2020, it included Brown as a “victim” of an unjust system. When I re-checked the website a couple of days ago, it still memorialized the petty criminal who stole from a store, shoved the employee who confronted him, then a little later attacked a policeman and tried to grab his gun.

One thing that has disappeared from the Black Lives Matter website between July of last year and now is this statement: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” It’s not that those in charge don’t still want to disrupt the nuclear family. They do, but saying so on their website was bringing them too much adverse publicity, so they took their “What We Believe” page down.

Three times the “What We Believe” statement used the word collective or collectively, and twice the word comrades. Those words made it clear that this is an organization that advocates Marxism, the ideology that in the Soviet Union and China in the 20th century caused the deaths of tens of millions of people. One of the founders of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, was proud to identify herself as a Marxist in 2015: “We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.” (You can watch her saying that at about one minute into a YouTube video.)

You shouldn’t be surprised that this recent American incarnation of Marxism is as unethical and hypocritical as every other one has been. For example, even as millions were driven to starvation in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, those in control got wealthy and lived the good life. Similarly, North Koreans today lead miserable lives while Kim Jong-un gets fat. This spring brought the revelation that Patrisse Khan-Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter who revels in being a Marxist and is therefore presumably a champion of the masses and an enemy of capitalism, nevertheless managed to buy not one, not two, not three, but four houses worth some 3.2 million dollars in all. I guess that’s supposed to set an example of fair housing practices, though it seems to be a new form of Redlining.

Many people who support Black Lives Matter do so because they want fair treatment for everyone, regardless of race. That’s a noble goal, one that I support, too, but just be aware that the national Black Lives Matter organization stands for things other than those you may think it does.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 23, 2021 at 4:38 AM

Posted in nature photography

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New Zealand: up and down at Tunnel Beach

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Three years ago today we visited Tunnel Beach about five miles southwest of Dunedin.

I took the first picture from the edge of a cliff looking down at some bull kelp in the surf below.
Doesn’t it remind you of the long, flowing hair in a Botticelli painting?

The next two photographs, taken from the beach, show natural designs on the walls of a cul-de-sac.

And here’s the view looking back up at the adjacent sculpted rocks:

Living in Texas, I can’t help but be reminded of a pair of outsized cowboy boots.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

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Two years ago on this date we spent several hours in the temperate rainforest
of the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve near Guerneville, California.

Intermittent rain accompanied us there. During rainless periods the lace lichen,
Ramalina menziesii, still suggested its own sort of precipitation from the trees.

Even when fresh, bits of lace lichen end up on the forest floor, there to perish.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 27, 2018 at 4:44 AM

New Zealand: green is the color of Riccarton Bush

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A year ago today we visited Riccarton Bush in Christchurch.

As you can see, the place is heavily shaded. The green of and on the dense vegetation predominates.

If you’d like to read more about the history of this area, click the image of the plaque and it will enlarge; then click again and you should be able to make out the words.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2018 at 4:40 AM

Six years

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Six years ago today I uploaded the first post of now almost 2300 in Portraits of Wildflowers. You might say that tentative entry was like the little fern shown above getting a foothold in the vertical strata along the trail we trekked to New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier on February 20th this year.

Those strata, which hadn’t always gotten turned 90°, proved so visually appealing that I took many photographs of them. Below is another one. The pink in both cases is from small lichens. Call these formations waterfalls in stone and you’ll have come up with an apt metaphor.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 4, 2017 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: still more things than the glacier at the glacier

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When we visited the Franz Josef Glacier on February 20th, my attention leapt not only to the glacier and nearby waterfalls, but to the many rocks in the area. In particular, lots of rocks were coated to varying degrees with a fine red-orange lichen, shown above, that made the stone surface it was on seem painted.

In many cases, as you see below, mosses vied with the reddish lichens for territory on the rocks.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Forest green

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muir-woods-forest-7793

Oh, look at the lush green of the forest—the ferns, the mosses, the trees—at Muir Woods National Monument as I experienced it on October 29th. This place is just 12 miles north of San Francisco in a metropolitan area of millions and is therefore one of the most popular nature sites in the country. Unfortunately we ended up having to visit on a Saturday, when the multiple parking lots had filled up early and parked cars lined the country road for half a mile. None of that need trouble you in this tranquil picture.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 24, 2016 at 5:01 AM

Different greens

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Here are some different shades of green I saw in Great Hills Park on February 23. The first picture is a close-up of mosses on a horizontal tree branch.

Moss on Tree Branch 5975

In the second picture, notice how the rattan vines, Berchemia scandens, held the upper part of a broken tree in place and kept it from falling over.

Rattan Vines on Dead Tree 5958

In the third image, look at all those maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris, made happy by the rain.

Maidenhair Ferns on Creek Wall 5934

And finally here are some branches of an Ashe juniper, Juniperus ashei, with pale green lichen on them.

Lichens on Broken Branches 5970

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 12, 2016 at 5:03 AM

New Zealand: A colorful seep

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Colorful Seep 5217

Driving along SH 6 north of Punakaiki on the west side of New Zealand’s South Island on February 17th, I caught some flashes of bright colors off to my right on the highway embankment, so I pulled over at the first safe spot and walked back to investigate. I found that the place I’d seen was a seep whose slow but steady oozing of water had nourished the lush growth you see here. If you can take your eyes off the rich reds and oranges, note also the slender green leaves on some young flax plants, Phormium tenax, known in Māori as harakeke.

UPDATE: Thanks to Peter Beveridge, who writes: “Looks to me like the relatively common liverwort Syzygiella colorata.  You know the usual reluctance to be definite about these things in the absence of a close look but this seems highly likely.” In searching online, I see that the species has also been known as Jamesoniella colorata.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 14, 2015 at 5:10 AM

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