Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Contortion

with 8 comments

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Here’s an austere change of pace. On January 26 of this year, as I walked through the lower portion of Allen Park in north-central Austin, I came across this small and strangely contorted stalk. Because it was dried out and had no leaves or fruit attached, I didn’t have any clues to the kind of plant it was from, nor do I know what caused it to grow in such an unusual way. I do know that I was fascinated by its bending and was happy to take pictures of it.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

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The daily posts that you’ve become accustomed to will continue while I’m away from Austin. Feel free to comment if you like, but please be aware that I may not be able to answer for a while.

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 28, 2012 at 5:01 AM

8 Responses

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  1. What a beautiful example of one part of nature imitating another. This vine looks exactly like a nascent oxbow lake. My favorite oxbow is Moon Lake, Mississippi, where my great-gramp’s Civil War service began in the ill-fated Yazoo Pass Expedition. I’m rather fond of this stalk, too.

    shoreacres

    June 28, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    • Like you, I’ve often been fascinated by the way one part of nature imitates another. Your comment reminds me of an art appreciation course I took in college. One assignment was to write a paper comparing two things: a sculpture of a torso by Aristide Maillol, and a landscape painting by Thomas Cole called… (drumroll)… “The Oxbow.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 28, 2012 at 10:11 AM

  2. Hi,
    Very unusual stalk to grow with such a bend, it does make you wonder why it went that way, then seems to straighten up again. A great photo.

    magsx2

    June 28, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    • I wish I could’ve asked the stalk to tell me what caused it to grow that way. If any botanists see this and have an explanation, please let us know.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM

  3. Well, isn’t that a curious thing?? It looks so reptilian with that curve!!

    Just A Smidgen

    June 28, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    • That makes at least two of you: my wife Eve sees the curving stalk as a snake (and I assure you there’s no connection to the Eve and serpent of the well-known garden from ancient times).

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM

  4. It appears to me to have wilted…and then somehow received enough water to start growing again…and once it reached a point where it would pull it down it started righting itself. Looks like a marvelous proverb from the plant world! 🙂

    snowbirdpress

    June 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    • Good explanation: I see that the curved part widens as it comes out of the lower part of the stalk. That’s also a euphonious phrase: “proverb from the plant world.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 28, 2012 at 9:12 PM


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