Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The lot along US 183: a fourth look back

with 19 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

For the last few days I’ve been memorializing a lot on the east side of US 183 adjacent to the Wendy’s and Costco in my northwest Austin neighborhood. Here’s still another photograph of something that used to be on the site, again from June 22, 2011: it’s a new leaf on a small cedar elm tree, Ulmus crassifolia. As I mentioned back then, the new leaves of this species remind me of marzipan candy made in the shape of real objects.

The young cedar elm tree shown here, which sprang up by the corner of what had become the ruins of a small building, held out longer than most of the other vegetation on the site, but I think it finally got bulldozed a few months ago.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 27, 2013 at 6:16 AM

19 Responses

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  1. I just love this shot – the detail is incredible!

    photosfromtheloonybin

    January 27, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    • I’m pleased that this image gets to you, Cindy. There’s even more detail in the original, which is much larger.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 27, 2013 at 9:35 AM

  2. Oh my…I do love this so much.

    sedge808

    January 27, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    • And a very different abstraction it is from your black and white urban ones, yet we’re in the same world.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 27, 2013 at 9:42 AM

  3. It does look like marzipan. btw http://www.run-a-roundranch.blogspot.com/ from North Texas asked about some wildflowers in her post today. I bet you can identify them.

    georgettesullins

    January 27, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    • Good, someone else sees the marzipan, too.

      I checked out the picture you linked to and left a comment saying that the plant there looks like it’s Pluchea odorata, known as marsh fleabane because it grows in wet soil. In 2011 I showed a picture of an earlier stage of that species, when its buds were beginning to open.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 27, 2013 at 9:56 AM

  4. Sweet perfection–really like the clarity of the edges and the elegant veins.

    lensandpensbysally

    January 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM

  5. One of the delights of your posts always is seeing where you’ve plunked your name. This one’s especially nice.

    And the photo is scrumptious. We had two huge maples and two elms in the front yard of my childhood home. I remember the color of the maples, but the texture of the elm leaves was wonderful. Just slightly scratchy, and a little sharp along the edges. Your photo brings it all back, even those tiny stiff hairs along the branch.

    shoreacres

    January 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    • When I was in college I took a course in name plunking, so I guess that accounts for it. Okay, so maybe I didn’t, but some college courses really are that arcane.

      Now scrumptious, that’s something I can get into, like the color of this leaf. Cedar elm leaves are small, but their texture is as you describe it, slightly scratchy and rough.

      We had a couple of maples along the curb in front of the house where I grew up on Long Island. They were probably Norway maples, and I think they’ve been cut way back or completely down now, but I used to climb up pretty high in one of them. From that height I could see water towers in surrounding towns miles away. A relatively small change in elevation can make a big difference in the view.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 27, 2013 at 12:22 PM

  6. A beautiful leaf ! Good job, I adore…

    Guillaume

    January 27, 2013 at 1:57 PM

  7. Oh so pretty. There are 5-6 cedar elm on my property. Some are very tall. I like the yellow of the leaves as well. Pretty in the fall when the ground is sprinkled with the leaves.

    petspeopleandlife

    January 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    • You’re fortunate to have some on your property. I have to go half a mile, to Great Hills Park, to find any, but they’re plentiful there. I’ve occasionally seen tall ones, but most around Austin are on the small side.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 27, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      • Great Hills Park — will you take a photo of the stand of elms there in full flower, for us, so that we can see what they look like, as I’m not sure! A serrated leaf edge like this one really fulfils the saying, the cutting edge; I have no doubt it could cut, if you let it. Lovely photo, steve.

        janina

        January 27, 2013 at 11:14 PM

        • The bloom time is usually July, and when that time comes I’ll see what kind of images I can get, but cedar elms have inconspicuous flowers that lack petals, so I’m afraid that even in “full flower” there isn’t a great show.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 27, 2013 at 11:51 PM

          • Thank you. I look forward to it. I’m purely interested in seeing the trees with leaves on them and what it looks like as a mass planting. But, whatever flowers maybe on them, it will be interesting to see nonetheless! :O)

            janina

            January 28, 2013 at 1:39 AM

  8. Another attractive post, looking good enough to eat.

    Mary Mageau

    January 28, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    • I sometimes feel that way about the things I photograph, even if they aren’t really edible.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 28, 2013 at 5:25 AM


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