Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 24th, 2012

Huisaches are wide

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Click for greater size and clarity.

There was widespread interest in the flowering huisache tree, Acacia farnesiana, that appeared in these pages on March 22. That post’s photograph was a close one, and it let you see individual flowers, but it happened to be vertical, so this time I thought I should explain that a huisache often has multiple trunks that lean out from the tree’s center as they grow. In that case the overall effect is horizontal, and today’s picture gives you a feel for that wide huisache gestalt. As your gaze sweeps from left to right, be aware that everything in this photograph is part of a single tree. Quite a sight for the eyes, and quite pleasant for the olfactory.

I took this picture on March 21 when I was on my way home from McKinney Falls State Park in southeast Austin (this may be the first picture you’ve seen here from that part of town). I purposely drove along some streets I rarely travel, just to see what I might find. As I passed the grounds of an Austin Energy depot, I noticed several large huisaches on the property, so in I went. I parked and then walked over to an area surrounded by a fence with razor wire on top of it; I don’t know why that area was so well protected, but it was, and all the huisache trees were inside it (and no, I don’t think Austin Energy was trying to protect them). As I walked past the sliding gate to enter that enclosure, I wondered what would happen if someone closed the gate and I got locked in. I almost found out. It was only 2:30 in the afternoon, but after I wandered around taking pictures for 15 minutes, I suddenly noticed that the gate had been slid almost all the way closed and the last workers were leaving. I quickly headed for the exit and ended up being the last person to get out through the narrow opening before the workers closed the gate completely. As I’ve said before: the things we do for pictures.

Huisache trees grow in Mexico and across the southern tier of the United States, as the state-clickable map at the USDA website confirms.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 24, 2012 at 5:20 AM

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