Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Uncommon colors in a young sycamore

with 20 comments

Sycamore Sapling Turning Colors by Bushy Bluestem 6636

Near the end of my visit to Lost Maples on November 14th I came across a sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, that in spite of being just a sapling had some of the yellowest leaves I’d ever seen in that species. A few of the other leaves had turned a maroon that also struck me as unusual for a sycamore.

Growing adjacent to the sapling and even partly mixed in with it was some bushy bluestem, Andropogon glomeratus, a native grass that co-starred in the previous post.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 13, 2014 at 5:34 AM

20 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Lovely rich colours! Have a happy holiday season. 🙂


    December 13, 2014 at 5:50 AM

  2. This is one of my favorites of your fall collection. Not only the colors, but the shapes of the curling and drying leaves are beautiful. And doesn’t that bushy bluestem in the foreground look like a painter’s brush?


    December 13, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    • When I got to your words “fall collection” I suddenly thought about the stylized events at which clothing designers show off their latest fashions. Those creations are often outlandish, but to my mind the natural fall collection shown above—call it inlandish if you like—outdoes them and costs a whole lot less money.

      Yes, the bushy bluestem looks like a painter’s brush, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I learned that various American Indians used bushy bluestem that way (if any reader happens to know, please tell us).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 13, 2014 at 7:42 AM

  3. They do that brownish red here all of the time. I do not think that I have ever seen them as just yellow, so your revelation is just as shocking to me! 🙂


    December 13, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    • Brown is quite common for sycamores here too, but I don’t think I’ve seen much of the shading into maroon, or maybe I just haven’t been observant enough.

      I reacted to the bright yellow the same way you did. I’ve seen occasional yellow in sycamore leaves, like the backlit (and therefore color-saturated) one I showed here two years ago,


      but the most prominent leaves on the sapling in today’s post had greater areas of yellow than I’m used to seeing and therefore grabbed my attention.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 13, 2014 at 8:32 AM

  4. I love this, what a feast for the eyes, absolutely glorious colors combined with intricate shape and details. Beautiful close up shot, fall perfection!


    December 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM

  5. This is great, Steve. It should be hanging on a wall somewhere. Really, really nice.

    Steve Gingold

    December 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    • Thanks for your appreciation, Steve. In addition to blue skies, tight shots seem to be another common hallmark in my work.

      Eve has been after me for a long time to get some new images hanging on the walls. The ones that are up are from the 1970s, so I guess it’s time for some renovating.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 13, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      • It’s the same here, Steve. I finally hung a current print last year, but everything else is as old as yours…or older. Sounds like a good winter project.

        Steve Gingold

        December 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM

  6. I will have to agree with Shoreacres, this is beautiful indeed. I am so envious that colors persist ‘down south.’ Pennsylvania’s palette is sorely limited … already. D

    Pairodox Farm

    December 13, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    • Yes, even into December we’ve had some fall foliage and wildflowers. As you noted, that’s not unusual down here, but it’s enough to create envy in those of you up north.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 14, 2014 at 12:10 AM

  7. Beautiful colours!


    December 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM

  8. Congratulations!
    I have nominated your blog for the Award of Excellence.
    More about this nomination is at


    December 13, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    • I’m glad to hear you were recognized for this award. I also appreciate your thinking of me, but I decided a few years ago, when I was new to this world, that I’d let people’s appreciation of my posts be reward enough for me and that I’d not entertain overt awards. Thanks again, and I hope you’ll understand.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 14, 2014 at 12:16 AM

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: