Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 10th, 2013

Flaming flameleaf sumac

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Flameleaf sumac with Fruit Turning Colors 3038

Click for greater clarity and size.

It’s time for another picture of that stalwart of fall color in Austin, prairie flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata. In recent autumns I’ve delighted in visiting and photographing several of these trees on an undeveloped property behind Seton Northwest Hospital, and from today’s picture you can see why my November 19th stay there—on the land, not in the hospital—was satisfying. The warm sunlight of late afternoon intensified the yellows and oranges of the sumac’s many leaflets, especially as they contrasted with the clear blue sky beyond them. The dark areas are drying panicles of the tree’s tiny fruits. (A panicle is bio-speak for a kind of cluster, and I can’t resist pointing out that the uppermost part of one of these clusters is the pinnacle of the panicle. Just think what Danny Kaye could have made of that if only he or his writers had been botanists.)

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 10, 2013 at 5:51 AM

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