Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

In the beginning

with 24 comments

Click for greater clarity.

As you saw last time, the lower surfaces of the leaves of Vitis mustangensis, the mustang grape vine, are covered with so many downy hairs that those undersides look as if they’re made of felt. When the vine’s small and soft new leaves form, their fuzziness predicts the later lower surfaces, but they also have conspicuous traces of magenta that don’t make it into the mature leaves. Slightly down and to the right of center in today’s picture you can see parts of a few emerging buds, whose tips have magenta “stars” or “crosses” on them.

Despite the title of this post, it’s the sixth and last entry in the current series about the mustang grape vine. For more information about Vitis mustangensis and to see a state-clickable map of the places where it grows, you’re welcome to visit the USDA website.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 23, 2012 at 2:09 PM

24 Responses

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  1. This does not look real! It looks like a silk flower rendering of a grapevine!

    Bonnie Michelle

    January 23, 2012 at 2:54 PM

  2. Much of art (and science) is about ways of seeing. Something commonplace, seen in a new way becomes remarkable. So it is with your photographs. Thanks.

    Neil

    January 23, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    • And thank you, Neil. I’m always on the lookout for something new in the familiar. So far nature hasn’t disappointed me, and I keep finding things.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 23, 2012 at 5:24 PM

  3. Impressive shot Steven.
    The details are amazing.

    Pablo Buitrago

    January 23, 2012 at 3:51 PM

  4. Each shift of the eye reveals another layer of this lovely image, Sally

    Sally W. Donatello

    January 23, 2012 at 4:50 PM

  5. You held back the best for last? Love this, I might have expected magenta maybe, but fuchsia was totally unexpected. Beautiful! ~ Lynda

    pixilated2

    January 23, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    • I didn’t intentionally hold this one back till the end. In fact I planned to show only the first two pictures in the sequence, but after I had the first two lined up I searched my archive to see what else I had that could show other aspects of the species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM

  6. I’m seeing a brilliant butterfly emerging from a cocoon. More beautiful textures!

    kathryningrid

    January 23, 2012 at 9:40 PM

  7. it’s all about the colours for me–and do they ever pop!

    weisserwatercolours

    January 23, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    • Agreed: I used to work a lot in black and white but now I’m enamored of saturated colors.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2012 at 6:57 AM

  8. Very beautiful shot!

    BoJo Photo

    January 24, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    • Thank you. This picture has a greater appeal than I first thought. We can say that, like the vine itself, it has grown on me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2012 at 7:15 AM

  9. Very pretty and you saved the best for last. I am really enjoying your wealth of subjects! Thanks for sharing Steve!

    dhphotosite

    January 24, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    • So you agree with Lynda’s (pixilated2) comment above. There is a wealth of subjects to see in nature here: I’ve photographed many more things than have appeared in these pages so far, but there’s lots more coming.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2012 at 9:47 AM

  10. I’ve really enjoyed your photos of the mustang grape vine. There’s something about vines curling around other plants that’s kind of creepily fascinating. We grew peas in the garden last year, then cucumbers, and they seemed to take on a life of their own, growing at an incredibly rapid rate and overtaking the other plants.

    Mind Margins

    January 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    • I’m pleased that you enjoyed the series. Speaking of creepily fascinating, yesterday I came across a battle of the titans: a rattan vine and a mustang grape vine had twined together, and the rattan seemed to have gotten the better of the mustang grape.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      • I used to take my fifth graders on field trips to our district’s Environmental Center. My favorite part was the hike into the thicket. I was always fascinated with the long, thick vines that hung from the trees (and secretly wanted to swing on them a la Tarzan). Are those just older, thicker mustang vines or another vine altogether?

        Mind Margins

        January 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      • Here in Austin, the largest vines seem to be the two in question. One way to tell them apart is that the mustang grape develops a tree-like bark, while the rattan remains smooth. Be careful with your Tarzan swinging, though, because poison ivy can become a thick and long and woody vine as well; you’ve probably seen one attaching lots of little horizontal rootlets to the side of a tree as a method of climbing its way up that tree. If one of those aged poison ivy vines comes loose, it can hang down like the other vines.

        Steve Schwartzman

        January 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        • Interesting about the poison ivy. Knock on wood, but despite countless years camping and hiking in various places around the world, I have yet to have an allergic reaction to poison ivy. My dad is the same way, so I’m guessing it must be something genetic. I’m like candy to mosquitoes, though, so that makes up for it!

          Mind Margins

          January 24, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      • That’s quite a coincidence: like you, I (and my sister) are mosquito bait, but so far in my years of traipsing around in the woods and several times just barely brushing up against poison ivy by accident, I’ve never had a reaction either. It’s possible that we’re genetically exempt, but I never push my luck and always steer clear of poison ivy just in case.

        Steve Schwartzman

        January 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM


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