Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 25th, 2011

Sycamore connection

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A feature on CBS Sunday Morning an hour ago dealt with the supposed real-life town that inspired the setting of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, which for years now has been shown on American television every Christmas season. The CBS story reminded me that the old house that played such a big role in the movie, the one that George and Mary Bailey renovate and move into, was located in the fictional town of Bedford Falls at 320 Sycamore St. Readers of this blog will recall that the post from two days ago featured not the white snow that also played a big part near the end of the movie but several white-barked sycamore trees. Now you can think about these stately native trees of ours every time you watch the classic film.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 25, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Christmas cactus

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Christmas cactus; click for greater detail.

Given that today is December 25, it’s only appropriate to present you with a picture of Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, or Christmas cactus, so called for its green joints and bright red fruits that compensate for their small size by appearing in large numbers and by lasting into the winter. The plant’s slender and roughly cylindrical joints have inspired the alternate name pencil cactus. Yet another name is tasajillo, a diminutive of the Spanish tasajo that means ‘jerky,’ though I confess I don’t know what part of the plant reminded people of preserved meat.

This multiply named cactus is native to northern Mexico and to the parts of the southwestern United States shown on the state-clickable map at the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 25, 2011 at 5:05 AM

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