Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 12th, 2011

Fall color!

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I was going to show you a closer look at heath asters in today’s post, but yesterday some fall color intervened, so here it is, hot off the [Word]Press. Take that, you lovers of red and orange.

Central Texas doesn’t have the great displays of autumn leaf color that so many people in northern regions revel in (and that I remember fondly growing up with in New York), but down here we do have prairie flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata, and it’s our most widespread and reliable source of color at this time of year. In saying “this time of year” I mean November or even the first part of December, months when for many of you in other places the deciduous trees have long since lost their leaves to the cold and the early dark. That’s one advantage of a southern latitude.

I found this young flameleaf sumac living up to its name alongside a utility driveway leading to a sump behind Seton Northwest Hospital in my likewise described—minus the Seton and the Hospital—part of Austin. Several of the older flameleaf sumacs on this property were great in 2010, but so far this year those trees aren’t doing much when it comes to warm colors; perhaps they still will. In the meantime, this little one is the best I’ve seen in 2011, and not at all bad in its own right, so I’m passing it along to all of you.

For more information about Rhus lanceolata, you can visit the websites of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the USDA.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 12, 2011 at 5:07 AM

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