Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rusty blackhaw

with 12 comments

Rusty Blackhaw Leaf Changing Color 0210

On December 4th, for the first time in a good while, I drove down to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. There I met Bonnie Michelle, whom I know from her blog The Iris and the Lily, who was visiting from Pennsylvania to spend some time in Austin with her daughter Rebecca. Together the three of us wandered through the Wildflower Center’s courtyards and walked the nature trails on both sides of the property. Although the skies were cloudy and we had a few minutes of rain, the temperature gradually rose into the 70s, quite different from what Pennsylvanians normally experience in December.

That excursion to the Wildflower Center was also a chance for me to try out my first full-frame digital camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III that I’d gotten five days before. The resulting files aren’t a lot larger than those from my EOS 7D, 22 megapixels compared to 18, but the pictures from the new and larger sensor are smoother and less noisy, even at higher ISOs.

But enough of the technical. This picture from that first session with the new camera is also a first for this blog, Viburnum rufidulum, a tree known as rusty blackhaw because its leaves turn red (and to a lesser extent yellow and orange) in the fall.

To see the various places where this species grows, you can check out the state-clickable map at the USDA website.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 10, 2012 at 6:51 AM

12 Responses

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  1. Well, that was mostly odd…
    I tried to look at your photograph and got this message: Firefox can’t find the server at srp.freecause.com. Tried to leave you a message and got the same error. Cyberspace junk clogging the blogosphere again I guess. However, now everything seems to be in working order, so I have no clue. 😉 ~Lynda


    December 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    • Sorry you had a problem with that, but I’m glad it resolved itself. While we’re at it, I’ll mention that WordPress recently changed its routine for uploading photographs, and when you put a picture in a post it’s now clear that there’s a choice of where a click on that picture will take someone. The choice “media file” will lead to a version of the picture all by itself, which is what I prefer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      • I had a heck of a time figuring that one out right after the change! I eventually worked it out with some help from WordPress. Do you suppose it would help if I read their bulletins once in a while? 😉


        December 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        • I’ve had the idea that whenever there are major changes every blogger should be sent an e-mail summarizing those changes. That way we’d know right away that something has changed.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

          • They do, you have to sign up for them, but they make so many changes I never read them anymore! Sad, isn’t it?


            December 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

            • I didn’t know that I could sign up for updates. You’re right to point out that WordPress keeps making changes: just when I get comfortable with some feature, it changes. I imagine WordPress wants to keep ahead of the competition, but I find frequent changes disconcerting.

              Steve Schwartzman

              December 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

  2. Smooth and lovely colours for this Viburnum.


    December 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    • I don’t think I’d ever paid as much attention to an individual leaf of this type of tree, but the details in this one and some others nearby that were in the process of turning caught my attention.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

  3. I was amazed to find so many viburnums – and I suspect now that some of the red color we’ve enjoyed here this year is Viburnum rufidulum rather than Chinese tallow. It’s easy to take a quick glance and assume it’s the tallows, but I’m going to do a little closer-looking on my way to work this morning and see if my suspicions are right.


    December 11, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    • For the sake of our native species, I hope at least some of the color you’ve been seeing is from rusty blackhaw rather than that invasive Chinese tallow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM

  4. I love this photo because these colors are beautiful !


    January 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM

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