Back to my first stop on the Possumhaw Trail
I don’t want you to get all possumhawed out, so although I took plenty of pictures of Ilex decidua on January 19 along Texas Highway 29 between the towns of Bertram and Burnet (and in various other places since then, including as recently as yesterday), I’ll add only one more to the view you saw a month ago. The pale green leaves in the lower left aren’t those of the possumhaw, which by then had lived up to its species name, but of a greenbrier vine, Smilax bona-nox, that had climbed into the tree.
This picture is from the first of my three stops along the highway that afternoon. While I was walking back to my car, a man who lived in the nearby house and who’d seen me taking pictures came up to me and said hello. It turned out that he didn’t know what kind of tree it was that had caught my attention at the fence separating his property from a railroad right-of-way, so I told him it was a possumhaw. That’s a strange word—I hardly needed to tell you that again—and the man had trouble understanding what I said. I repeated the word a couple of times but I could tell that he still didn’t get it. Then I tried to help him out by saying that the haw is the same haw that’s in hawthorn, which unfortunately led him to think that the tree is a possumhawth. I said the name slowly one more time as I left, but I’m not sure he ever got it. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t have to try to get nonagonal and drupe across to him, too.
If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 1, 3, 9 and especially 18 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.
© 2013 Steven Schwartzman