Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘mosses

Lichens, mosses, and ferns

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All the things mentioned in the title commonly occur in Great Hills Park, as I confirmed for the umpteenth time on January 2nd. The top picture looks like it shows hoary rosette lichen, Physcia aipolia. The young fern in the bottom picture seems to be a southern maidenhair, Adiantum capillus-veneris. I’m sorry I can’t give any information about the other greenery.


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“…Countries that have pushed the laudable doctrines of equality of opportunity most assiduously (so that would be the Scandinavian countries) have the lowest rates of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] enrolment among females in the world, as it turns out that freed females, so to speak, given free choice, do not often voluntarily become engineers and mathematicians and physicists. To call this a major problem for those who insist (1) that all sex differences are socially constructed and (2) that equality of opportunity doctrines will necessarily equalize outcomes is to say almost nothing at all.”

That’s from Jordan Peterson’s essay “Equity: When the Left Goes Too Far,” which you’re welcome to read. While discrepancies in upper-echelon jobs get lots of attention, the lower portion of the job market, which employs a much larger work force, scarcely draws any attention. Consider the people who come around and empty the garbage cans that home-dwellers put out at their curb, and the dumpsters of people in apartment complexes. I distinctly remember—because it was so unusual—seeing one woman working on a garbage-collecting crew, and I might have seen a second one at another time. That’s it for my entire life. How many women have you ever seen working in a pick-up-the-garbage crew?

Similarly, here in Texas the people who sweat long hours maintaining yards in the summer heat, and who bake on rooftops putting shingles on houses, are universally male. I’ve never seen a woman doing either of those jobs (though a woman is in charge of the arborist crew that has come to our house several times to cut down damaged trees, and she’s always joined in doing the physical work along with the men). In your experience, what percent of the yard maintenance and roofing crews that you’ve see are female? Can you imagine any sort of “affirmative action” that will coax tens of thousands of women to give up even low-paying positions in winter-warmed and summer-air-conditioned offices to do those jobs instead? That’s a rhetorical question.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 18, 2022 at 4:38 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Muir Woods National Monument

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Four years ago today we drove along Muir Woods Rd. north of San Francisco, where I stopped in the cloud forest to take pictures of the lichen- and moss-covered trees.

Then we pushed on to the Muir Woods National Monument, which the other pictures in this post show.

I’d rather not have visited such a popular place on a weekend. That said, when you’re traveling you can’t afford to sit out two days, so thither we went on a Saturday morning.

With judicious aiming and timing I managed to keep my pictures free from all traces of the crowds.

I was sorry to hear that on Christmas Eve in 2019 a man walking in this park was killed when a redwood tree fell on him.

Related quotation for today: “When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe.” — John Muir in his journal in 1869. In 1911 he offered a shorter version in My First Summer in the Sierra: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” In addition to those two authentic quotations, various incorrect versions circulate on the Internet.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 29, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Ferns and mosses at Bull Creek Park

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Five years ago today I visited Bull Creek District Park, where I found these mosses and southern maidenhair ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris) thriving on a cliff along Bull Creek after heavy rains in May.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 29, 2020 at 4:44 AM

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