Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘white

More from a newly discovered nearby neighborhood park

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A post last week showed you how rain lily flowers (Zephyranthes drummondii) were changing from white to pink and purple as they approached the end of their ephemeral lives in Schroeter Neighborhood Park, which I’d just learned about. Plenty of other native plants were coming up there, like the zexmenia (Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida) in the top picture, and the white larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum) below.



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Some ancient theologians asserted the existence of nine kinds of angelic beings:

  • Seraphim
  • Cherubim
  • Thrones
  • Dominions (or Dominations)
  • Virtues
  • Powers
  • Principalities
  • Archangels
  • Angels

Not only can you find out more about each supposed kind of angelic being in the article “9 Types of Angels,” you can also read about the medieval debates that angelologists engaged in to determine how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

Not to be outdone by a paltry nine categories, present-day theologians assert the existence of “as many genders as we say there are.” Here are some of them:

  • Agender
  • Aliagender
  • Androgyne
  • Aporagender
  • Bigender
  • Boi
  • Butch
  • Cisgender
  • Demiboy
  • Demienby
  • Demigirl
  • Demitrans
  • Female
  • Feminine of center
  • Femme
  • Gender expansive
  • Gender fluid
  • Gender outlaw
  • Genderqueer
  • Gendervoid
  • Graygender
  • Intergender
  • Male
  • Masculine of center
  • Maverique
  • Neither
  • Neutrois
  • Nonbinary
  • Novigender
  • Omnigender
  • Pangender
  • Polygender
  • Soft butch
  • Stone butch
  • Third gender
  • Trans
  • Transfeminine
  • Transgender
  • Transmasculine
  • Trigender
  • Two spirit

After I gleaned those from various sources, I came across a Dude Asks article with a list of 112 genders as of the year 2022, along with a brief explanation of each. Check them out for your great edification. It occurred to me as a math teacher that each of the 9 types of angelic being could come in each of those 112 genders, so in all there are 9 x 112 = 1008 angelicogendric combinations. In fact the number is really higher than 1008. One reason is that some of the genders in my first list aren’t included in the 112 of the second list and need to be added. Another reason is that most likely at least one new gender will have been gen(d)erated in the week since I prepared this post. Thanks to the advances that modern science has engendered, it’s as hard to keep up with the many recent changes in genders as with the many recent changes in botanical genera.

Despite my best efforts I haven’t yet found an article that tells how many angelicogendric beings can dance on the head of a pin, but I’ll remain agenda-fluid and keep searching for the answer.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman






Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 14, 2022 at 4:28 AM

Crab spider on prairie paintbrush

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One of the flowers I expected to see at the Doeskin Ranch on April 27th was prairie paintbrush, Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri, based on what I found there last year (though a month earlier in the season, when things were on a normal schedule rather than the delayed one we had this spring). As I got close to one prairie paintbrush I noticed a little crab spider on it, as you see here. The plant bumping up against the paintbrush was white milkwort, Polygala alba, which was out in force at the Doeskin Ranch. Below is a somewhat dreamy view of white milkwort near a few sensitive briar flower globes, Mimosa roemeriana.


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“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

— President Harry S. Truman
Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States. August 8, 1950.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman






Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 8, 2022 at 4:31 AM

A good time for Nueces coreopsis

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After we visited both parts of Lake Somerville State Park on April 6th, we continued clockwise around the lake. On LBJ Dr. across from Overlook Park Rd. in Washington County we found this happy colony of Nueces coreopsis, Coreopsis nuecensis. (Click to enlarge.) The erect white-topped plants in the background were old plainsman, Hymenopappus scabiosaeus. Below is a closer view of one in Round Rock on April 2nd.


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There’s been a lot of hoopla since U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled on April 18 that a public mask mandate in mass transit (planes, trains, etc.) is unlawful.

Some critics of the ruling complained that a single judge had overturned all the medical science established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact the judge did no such thing. Nowhere in her 60-page decision did she rule “on the merits” of the issue. She did not decide—and never claimed to have the requisite expertise to decide—whether wearing masks in public transit vehicles is an effective way to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but that’s not what the ruling dealt with.

What the judge did rule on was the legality of the CDC issuing its mass transit mandate. “Judge Mizelle said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had exceeded its authority with the mandate, had not sought public comment and did not adequately explain its decisions.”

Another illogical reaction to the decision came from people who interpreted the end of a requirement to wear masks in mass transit as meaning that nobody would be allowed to wear masks in public transit. The judge’s ruling, of course, did not prevent anyone wanting to wear a mask from doing so—or even wearing double or triple masks, goggles, a face shield, and earphones if they want to.

Yet another unfounded accusation was of the ad hominem*—or in this case ad mulierem*—type. Some people complained that Judge Mizelle is only 35 years old. Age has nothing to do with the validity of a legal argument. Some people complained that Judge Mizelle had never tried a single case in court. True, but then neither had Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, whom the critics of Judge Mizelle presumably support and whom they no doubt did not criticize on those grounds. In any case, that’s irrelevant to the facts and legal principles adduced in the current decision.

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* The Latin phrase ad hominem means ‘against the man.’ We use that phrase when a person criticizes some personal trait of an opponent rather than dealing with the opponent’s arguments. The Latin word homo, of which hominem is one grammatical form, meant not only ‘man’ in a biological sense but also generically ‘human being.’ For anyone who objects to the use of a male form as a generic, I’ve turned to the Latin word mulier, ‘woman,’ to create the indisputably female phrase ad mulierem.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 24, 2022 at 4:32 PM

White prickly poppies in the wind

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The wind blew incessantly on April 6th. When my first photo stop came on US 77 south of Lexington in Lee County, I set a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second to stop the motion of these white prickly poppies (Argemone albiflora).

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 22, 2022 at 4:21 AM

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with 21 comments

A couple of decades ago I noticed how common it is for purple wildflowers to have white variants. A colony of bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) in Round Rock on April 2nd presented me with one whitebonnet, shown above. On April 6th at the Nails Creek Unit of Lake Somerville State Park I doubled my fun by mostly lining up one whitebonnet with another. I’ve been finding more of them this year than usual.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2022 at 4:28 AM

The southern dewberries have been flowering

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The first day of spring, March 20, coincidentally brought my first sighting of southern dewberry flowers, Rubus trivialis. In the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183 I lay on the ground to photograph a few of them.


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Judges and lawyers in countries like Russia, China, and North Korea don’t act independently. Instead, they do the bidding of the authoritarian régime in power. Unfortunately that seems to be the way the United States is heading. Aaron Sibarium’s March 21st article “The Takeover of America’s Legal System” offers a scary look at the rise of illiberalism in our legal system and the growing threats to due process.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 28, 2022 at 4:28 AM

A different take on an anemone

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Two weeks ago you saw a ten-petal anemone (Anemone berlandieri) with a tiny spider on it. During that same March 1st photo session I photographed several other anemones, including the one shown here.

I processed this picture differently from the last one, pulling down the tone curve from its default diagonal line to darken the image, especially in the background, and emphasize the backlit glow at the heart of the flower. I then slightly lightened or darkened a few small areas to produce an overall effect that pleased me.


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I recommend Asra Q. Nomani’s article “Anti-racism betrays Asian students.”

It helps if you understand that “anti-racism” is wokespeak
for ‘racism that’s anti-white and anti-Asian.’

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2022 at 4:31 AM

Water white against blue times two

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On February 5th at Austin’s Bull Creek District Park I played off ice against a clear blue sky. On March 1st outside my house wispy clouds filled in for the white of the ice. Both ice and clouds are forms of water.



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Before she decided to strip him of all custody over his son, Drew—before determining that he would have no say in whether Drew began medical gender transition—California Superior Court Judge Joni Hiramoto asked Ted Hudacko this: “If your son [Drew] were medically psychotic and believed himself to be the Queen of England, would you love him?”

“Of course I would,” the senior software engineer at Apple replied, according to the court transcript. “I’d also try to get him help.”


So begins a February 7th City Journal article by Abigail Shrier entitled “Child Custody’s Gender Gauntlet.” You probably don’t know the extent to which gender ideology has been taking over our courts. If you read this article you’ll sadly find out.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman







Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2022 at 4:36 AM

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with 16 comments

The title of today’s post reflects that fact that today is 2/22/22, on which date the country used to celebrate George Washington’s birthday when I was a kid, and for the sake of which this post went out at 2:22 in the morning. That’s a lotta 2s. Even so, you’re getting just one twosome of photographs today. From the property of Central City Austin Church in far northwest Austin on Valentine’s Day come these two pictures of sycamore trees, Platanus occidentalis. In the top view, the sycamore played merely a supporting role, literally and pictorially, for a shelf fungus. Below, the peeling bark on a sycamore bole is the subject in its own right.


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American college tuition has skyrocketed, “thanks” to the bloat of high-salaried administrators making sure that trendy ideological nonsense pervades everything. Prime among the institutions that have resisted the descent into mass delusion and indoctrination is Hillsdale College. You don’t even have to enroll there to learn from its free online courses. Watch some lessons and see what you think.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2022 at 2:22 AM

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Woody winter white

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On January 13th along Talleyran Drive in far northwest Austin I didn’t need to call on freezing water—of which there was none—for winter white. The trunk and some branches of a sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis) did the trick. The sunlit white gleamed so bright that by comparison the sky registered as a darker-than-normal blue. On January 30th at Jessica Hollis Park I went for the opposite of a minimalist approach by adding compositional complexity to the whiteness of a sycamore’s trunks and branches.


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In my commentary last July 23rd I documented that the founders of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization admitted to being trained Marxists who want to, among other transgressive things, “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement….” I also linked to a New York Post article reporting that the organization’s co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors—presumably, being a Marxist, a member of the downtrodden proletariat—had gone “on a real estate buying binge, snagging four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the US alone, according to property records.”

Now let me update the story. It’s been said that history repeats itself, and that seems to be the case here, only with a kind of corrupt-money version of Moore’s Law doubling the amount in considerably less than two years. On January 28th the Washington Examiner ran a story headlined “Anger over BLM’s purchase of $8.1 million Toronto mansion grows as group’s finances scrutinized.” And it turns out the mansion in question wasn’t just any old $8.1 million building, but the very same 10,000-square-feet mansion “that once served as the headquarters of the Communist Party of Canada.” Those Marxist defenders of the working class sure do know how to live in style.

But there’s more. As the January 28th Examiner story also noted: “BLM revealed last February it raked in $90 million in 2020 from big corporations and individual donors after the police killing of George Floyd and the nationwide riots that followed. The group said it closed out 2020 with $60 million in its coffers.” Not only isn’t it clear where that $30 million difference went, but a January 27th Examiner article pointed out that it’s also not clear where BLM’s headquarters is and who’s in charge of the organization and all its money: “The nonprofit organization listed a nonexistent address [in Los Angeles] on its 2019 IRS 990 form, and a visit to the similarly named address listed on a credit monitoring report (which has the same street number but a different spelling for the street and the wrong ZIP code) came up empty.” Perhaps whoever’s running the show made an honest mistake and assumed that because the organization is a nonprofit it could have a nonexistent office.

The Examiner reports that a visit to the would-be address confirmed that BLM has no office there. The article continued: “One day after the visit, an unidentified BLM spokesperson emailed the Washington Examiner to clear up (or deepen) the mystery. ‘In response to your request for a copy of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s 2020 Form 990, we wish to inform you that at this time we do not maintain a permanent office,’ the spokesperson wrote, offering to send the form by mail instead.”

Where are the FBI and the IRS when we need them?

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I prepared this post a couple of days ago. Yesterday afternoon the Washington Examiner published a follow-up story headlined “California threatens to hold BLM’s leaders personally liable over missing financial records.” Here’s the first paragraph: “The California Department of Justice has threatened to hold the leaders of Black Lives Matter personally liable if they fail to fork over information about the charity’s $60 million bankroll within the next 60 days, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner. You’re welcome to read the full story.

UPDATE: On the morning of February 2nd I came across yet another Washington Examiner article that documents more suspicious monetary dealings involving Black Lives Matter and some people associated with it. That article is headlined “BLM’s millions unaccounted for after leaders quietly jumped ship.”

Do you think the Washington Examiner will win a Pulitzer Prize for its thorough reporting? Dream on.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2022 at 4:16 AM

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