Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 6th, 2014

A lush and colorful revelation

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Poison Ivy Turning Colors 0361

In the last post you saw poison ivy in its vine form turning colors, as the plant usually does here in late November or early December. Earlier on that same morning of November 25th I’d turned north off 45th St. onto Perry Lane when suddenly the blaze of colors shown here greeted me in the front yard of a house. All that wonderful color was coming once again from poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). The plant was so lush I couldn’t initially tell what form it had taken, but eventually I peered through openings between the leaves and found that the poison ivy appeared to be in its bush form. What’s more, it had taken root beneath an often-planted invasive type of non-native tree (alas!) and had almost completely eclipsed the lower part of it (yay!). Notice that not only can poison ivy’s leaflets turn yellow or yellow-orange, as you saw last time, but they can go all the way to red.

Three days later I passed back by and knocked on the door of the house. I asked the woman who answered whether she knew that all those pretty-colored leaves were poison ivy, and in fact she didn’t. She added—I think separately from the fact that the plant had turned out to be poison ivy—that she didn’t find the leaves attractive. Oh well, one person’s gorgeous fall foliage is another person’s blah.

Another six days later, on the morning of December 4th, I happened to drive past the house again just when a fire engine and an EMS vehicle were out front with their lights flashing. I saw that the woman I’d spoken with a week earlier was being wheeled out to the ambulance on a gurney. She was conscious and didn’t seem to be in distress, but obviously something must have happened to her.

This is the second recent photograph I’ve posted from an iPhone 5s. When I took pictures at this site the first time I didn’t have my regular photo equipment with me, but I was happy enough with the phone’s version that I didn’t feel any need to redo it—aside from which the leaves and the weather were both duller three days later when I stopped by the second time.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 6, 2014 at 5:27 AM

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