Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

One good turn deserves another

with 21 comments

Mustang Grape Tendril by Pond 0845

What the adage says about turns could be said of tendrils too. Here from July 30th with the Riata Trace Pond in the background is another and more abstract view showing the kind of tendril you saw last time, that of a mustang grape vine, Vitis mustangensis. In yesterday’s photograph there was a stalk for the vine to wind around, but even without anything to grab on to here, the tendril couldn’t keep itself from looping. That’s what a tendril of this kind knows to do, and that’s what this one did. You can see that the branch of the tendril going off to the upper left is beginning to curl at its tip in a similar way.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2014 at 6:48 AM

21 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I’m fond of tendrils: perhaps inordinately so. I’m always amazed by how quickly they grow, by their ability to reach into the air, and by their twists and turns. This one recalls the metal interlocking loop puzzles I used to amuse myself with as a kid.


    August 19, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    • Oh, I remember those metallic loop puzzles, even if I haven’t seen or thought about one for decades. Those metal puzzles aren’t as tender as tendrils, nor as colorful or fuzzy, but they do last.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2014 at 7:21 AM

  2. And people say that plants can’t move … whooey! Turgor and differences in the stiffness of the cell wall can do all sorts of crazy stuff. Another classic, thoughtful, Schwartzman composition. D

    Pairodox Farm

    August 19, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    • Turgor: not a word you run into every day, and therefore welcome here. I’ve read a little bit about the difference in growing rate on one side of the tendril compared to the other, and how that difference enables the curling.

      As for the picture, you know I’m fond of abstractions, and so I include some here from time to time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2014 at 7:32 AM

  3. I suppose once you start turning it’s hard to stop. Reminds me of “Turn, turn, turn” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ga_M5Zdn4


    August 19, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    • Aye, interminable turning and returning. I remember that song and that specific version of the song, which was quite popular so many turnings of the earth ago.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2014 at 9:36 AM

  4. Nature is far more impressive than anything man made…


    August 19, 2014 at 12:47 PM

  5. When I see these, I get this impish urge to put something–anything–into the curve to see if it will latch on in an hour or so…


    August 19, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    • That’s a good proposal for an experiment. If you decide to carry it out, or convince someone else to carry it out, please let us know the result.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2014 at 1:34 PM

  6. Any comment I could conjure just sounds loopy.


    August 19, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    • That’s a good one. All I can say is that I didn’t know if you’d like this picture but I’m glad you’ve come around

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2014 at 4:23 PM

  7. “Let’s twist again, like we did last summer”.

    Steve Gingold

    August 19, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    • Did you know that the stage name Chubby Checker was patterned after that of Fats Domino?

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      • It seems so obvious but, to be honest, I never gave it a thought until now.

        Steve Gingold

        August 19, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        • I hadn’t either, till I read or heard about it some years ago, and then of course it made a lot of sense. I sometimes think there must be a lot of relationships like that out there that I’ve failed to notice, just as I wonder what great photographic subjects I’ve failed to notice while I’ve walked around in nature.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 19, 2014 at 6:31 PM

  8. Amazing how “twisted” nature can be, that is exactly why I love it!


    August 19, 2014 at 5:46 PM

  9. […] probably remember seeing some mustang grape tendrils recently, but a couple of years ago I showed the opposite end of the scale, namely a venerable […]

  10. You created a nice piece of atrwork here – love the colors and lines…..


    August 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: