Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for August 3rd, 2011

New cedar elm leaf

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Click for greater clarity.

The new leaves of a cedar elm tree are sometimes so colorful that they seem not to be real. They remind me of the flat, sugar-sprinkled jelly candies in the form of fruit slices that my mother used to buy when I was a kid; in a similar way, people fashion marzipan into the shapes of leaves not all that different from the one shown here.

But let’s not speak of confections: this really is the young leaf of a cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia. The species name means ‘stout-leaved,’ a reference to the stiff, rough texture of the tree’s small leaves. I photographed this one on a rundown lot where for several months a bunch of shabby buildings have stood abandoned in various stages of demolition. New buildings will soon enough replace them, along with the sunflowers, downy gaura, peppervine, giant ragweed, young cedar elms, and other plants and creatures that I and my camera have gone to play with repeatedly in the past couple of months. Once construction begins, all those pieces of nature will have melted into air, and I will have to say of this real place, as someone before me did of a place only imagined, that all my revels there now are ended.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

(For those interested in the craft of photography, point 11 in About My Techniques is relevant to today’s picture.)

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2011 at 5:58 AM

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