Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Possumhaw fruits brightening a misty morning

with 13 comments

Several times the bright red fruits on a bare possumhaw tree (Ilex decidua) had caught my eye along the route that lets traffic heading southeast on the access road of US 183 merge onto the southbound access road of Mopac. On this year’s cool and misty Valentine’s Day morning I finally celebrated the red by parking as close as I could to the possumhaw, walking across several lanes of intermittently coming cars, and then stepping onto the ground beyond, there to wield my camera. Today’s picture gives no hint of the noisy traffic zooming by less than a hundred feet away on Mopac. Mixed in with the possumhaw are some bare branches of flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata). The greenery in the lower right is from a related bush with the apt name evergreen sumac (Rhus virens).

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 12, 2018 at 4:58 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , , ,

13 Responses

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  1. Your efforts are worth it, Steve!!


    March 12, 2018 at 8:41 AM

  2. It looks so serene! You were very brave to get this wonderful shot.


    March 12, 2018 at 9:07 AM

    • You may be giving me too much credit. I’d never risk crossing Mopac itself. Here I had to cross only the access road, which has breaks between one oncoming car (or group of cars) and the next.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 12, 2018 at 10:33 AM

  3. Beautiful. But be careful!

    Margie Roe

    March 12, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    • I told the previous commenter that I would never run across the expressway itself. Cars pass intermittently on the access road, which is therefore safe to cross when there’s a lull. I want to live to take more pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 12, 2018 at 12:25 PM

  4. That is SO not what I thought a possumhaw was. I thought it was a real haw, as in a species of Crataegus. Oops. We do not have them here.


    March 12, 2018 at 12:58 PM

  5. My first thought on seeing this was, “Wow!” My second thought was “I’m glad I don’t have to colour a B&W photo of this…”! What a lot of tiny, tiny… little tiny berries.


    March 12, 2018 at 5:34 PM

    • I’d pity you indeed if you had to hand-color every one of the little possumhaw fruits in a black and white version of this image. Fortunately that task hasn’t come your way, so you can luxuriate in the “Wow!” with impunity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 12, 2018 at 6:04 PM

  6. What a beauty. These are fun to see any time of year, even if it’s a retrospective. I did finally locate a tree that looks about this size. It’s at the edge of a county road, near a bridge and across a small ditch — which is to say, it looks unmowable. Now all I have to do is wait until next fall, and get there before the birds do.


    March 12, 2018 at 9:27 PM

    • I passed this tree yesterday. It has put on new leaves to the point that the remaining fruits don’t stand out the way they did a month ago.

      Hooray for unmowable! Now you have one more botanical pleasure to look forward to next winter, even as we’re barely into spring. I’ve noticed that only some fruit-laden possumhaws attract an onslaught of birds in winter. Why other possumhaws make it through unscathed, I don’t know.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2018 at 6:53 AM

  7. […] long ago you saw a landscape view from Valentine’s Day showing a possumhaw in its winter form, which is to say totally […]

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