Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

An oak alive (but not a live oak) and a juniper dead

with 6 comments

Oak Sapling Turning Red by Dead Ashe Junipers 9738

When I was at the Doeskin Ranch nature preserve in Burnet County on November 26th I photographed this young tree, apparently a Texas red oak, Quercus buckleyi. Though still a sapling, its leaves knew to turn red at this time of year. What a contrast with the dead and bare branches of the fallen Ashe juniper, Juniperus ashei, touching it.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 11, 2014 at 6:03 AM

6 Responses

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  1. I like the contrast between the two. Now I must confess to my anthropomorphising, and tell you that I have always found seedlings and saplings adorable in their sporting of enormous leaves (like teenager’s feet) and their ability to know to turn color. My baby bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) is finally growing into its leaves.

    melissabluefineart

    December 11, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    • Now that’s anthropomorphic all right, large young leaves being like teenagers’ feet. And similarly with your description of a baby bur oak growing into its leaves, like people growing into their clothing.

      Speaking of large young leaves, I have a picture of some coming up the day after tomorrow. What kind of tree are they from? Saturday morning will bring the answer.

      And yes, it was the contrast between the living and the dead that made me stop to take this picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 11, 2014 at 11:30 AM

  2. I’ve been sitting here wondering if that cedar fell, or was pushed. It looks like the beginnings of a brush pile. No telling, I suppose. In any event, that beautiful oak may reach maturity before the cedar disintegrates. It does make a nice background for the red leaves, and I’m always a fan of a little horizontal/vertical contrast, even when it’s subtle.

    shoreacres

    December 11, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    • Doeskin Ranch is a federal preserve. It’s managed by Fish and Wildlife, which does do maintenance, but I don’t know if they purposely killed this juniper or even if they pushed it over after it was dead. A lot of trees died in the drought of 2011, so this could have been one of them. In any case, as you noted, I found the contrast between the (mostly) horizontal and the vertical appealing, along with the overall diagonal sweep from lower right to upper left.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 11, 2014 at 10:31 PM

  3. Our world is in such an amazing state of constant change…Love the photo.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    December 12, 2014 at 3:35 PM


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