Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Red buckeye

with 14 comments

Red Buckeye Leaves Emerging 1304

Anyone not familiar with red buckeye, Aesculus pavia var. pavia, who saw one of these red capsules while it was still closed would probably assume it’s a bud, but you can see here that it isn’t: the casing opens to release not flowers but new compound leaves that are initially much crinkled. I took today’s photograph, the first of this species to appear here, in Great Hills Park on March 7.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 26, 2013 at 6:23 AM

14 Responses

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  1. Breath-taking! It looks like a painting!

    Bonnie Michelle

    March 26, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    • I’m glad that you find this picture painterly, Bonnie. I wish I had some talent for painting, but alas I don’t. All that I can do pictorially I do with a camera.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 26, 2013 at 11:15 PM

  2. You’re a trickster, Mr. Schwartzman! It took me a minute to realize what was happening with the border of the photo. I was thinking to myself that I hadn’t seen that thin line around your photos until recently – now I need to go back and see what else you’ve come up with. You must have used essentially the same html as for links that change color on a mouse-over, but I still can’t quite figure out how you managed it.

    Now, as for that red buckeye, my reaction to the photo was very much the same as my reaction after watching “Beasts of the Southern Wild”. When the film was over, all I could think was, “What was THAT?” Same here – pure amazement. This is one of the most unusual sights I’ve seen in the plant world. I’ve been sitting here just staring at it.


    March 26, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    • Just curious – is that “bubble” up top new, too? I have a feeling you’ve been tweaking your site, but of course now I can’t remember what it looked like before.


      March 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      • Now it’s my turn to be mystified, because I don’t know what “bubble” you’re seeing up top. Different browsers render pages in different ways, and which platform you’re on (Macintosh versus Windows) also can make a difference. Add to that the frequent changes that WordPress makes behind the scenes, and there’s plenty of mystery to go around.

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 26, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    • Folklore is full of what are called trickster tales, but I have to claim innocence when it comes to the appearance of the borders around photographs on this blog. I see what you mean about the outline changing color with a mouse-over, and I’d noticed it sporadically on other occasions but never gave it a second thought. I’ve just looked back at the last bunch of posts and found that some photographs behave that way and others don’t. It’s a bit of WordPress wizardry that I’m not in control of.

      The red buckeye is indeed strange, and it took me some time to realize that what I thought were buds were sheaths in which new leaves formed. By coincidence, just this afternoon I photographed this same tree, which by now, almost three weeks later, has plenty of flowers on it. I’ll see about scheduling a picture of that stage to contrast with this one. In the meantime, happy new leaflets.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM

  3. Beautiful in every aspect of the red buckeye.


    March 26, 2013 at 11:07 PM

  4. Oh – that little gizmo at the top right that includes the words “Perspectives on Nature Photography” is designated a “bubble” in the page source. I suspect it’s because it looks like the conversation bubbles or balloons that are used in cartooning.


    March 27, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    • Ah, now I see. I’d probably have called it a cartouche, but bubble makes sense. It’s has been there since the beginning. I’m not aware that WordPress has changed its appearance, but I could be wrong; I never look at it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 27, 2013 at 8:41 PM

  5. This is gorgeous. Do you sell prints of your work?


    March 29, 2013 at 6:17 PM

  6. […] recent post showed that what might seem to be buds on a red buckeye, Aesculus pavia var. pavia, open to reveal not flowers but new leaves. If that left you wondering what the tree’s flowers look like, here’s a photograph from […]

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