Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Greenbrier green, greenbrier dead

with 28 comments

Smilax bona-nox; Great Hills Park; January 12th.

And here’s an ever-relevant quotation: “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” — Daniel J. Boorstin, 1962. Boorstin also coined the term pseudo-event.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 3, 2021 at 4:43 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , ,

28 Responses

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  1. That’s another great quote, this one a more refined form of “It ain’t what you don’t know, it’s what you know that ain’t so.”


    February 3, 2021 at 8:10 AM

  2. Greenbrier’s green, dilly dilly, greenbrier’s brown;
    twined through the trees, it serves as a crown…


    February 3, 2021 at 8:16 AM

    • Oh, I wouldn’t want to wear that crown! Notwithstanding my wishes, greenbrier has put itself on me many a time, though never on my head.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 3, 2021 at 8:26 AM

  3. Wonderful photos of the greenbrier, Steve, a plant we are not familiar with in the colder places on earth. I had to look it up on Wikipedia. Looks a little wicked with those thorns.

    Jet Eliot

    February 3, 2021 at 10:28 AM

    • Yes, “Something wicked this way comes.” Greenbrier vines are very common in central Texas, and more times than I care to remember they’ve snagged my clothing or skin. At least they’ve repaid me photographically over the years.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 3, 2021 at 12:52 PM

  4. I wonder how many people are under the illusion of knowledge and don’t know how much harm they bring to our planet earth.

    Peter Klopp

    February 3, 2021 at 10:51 AM

  5. I had not heard about the term pseudo-events. Any documented examples of that?

    Alessandra Chaves

    February 3, 2021 at 2:09 PM

  6. That sure looks like a nasty customer. I hope it’s easy to spot in time to avoid it.


    February 3, 2021 at 2:17 PM

  7. I’m so glad our deer can pick their own greenbrier and I don’t have to fetch it for them anymore! Green is just as nasty to become snagged in as the dead brown. Nice comparison images for those who have never had a close encounter with this vine.


    February 4, 2021 at 8:08 AM

    • I’ve had many a close encounter with this vine, mostly of the green sort. What do the deer do about the spines that so heavily protect this vine?

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 4, 2021 at 9:12 AM

      • Deer primarily eat the leaves from the vine. I have seen them nibble the more tender end of the vine with the spines (small and pliable, unlike the older growth with bigger and tougher spines). All through our woods, only the cascades of vine that grow high into the trees are untouched by the deer. They nibble leaves from the vine as high as they can reach.


        February 4, 2021 at 9:29 AM

        • Thanks for clarifying that it’s the leaves the deer are primarily interested in. I’ve nibbled new shoots to confirm what I’d read, namely that they’re edible; if people can eat the shoots, then it’s not surprising that deer could, too.

          I like the way you described the “cascades of vine that grow high into the trees.” I’ve often noticed that and have taken my share of pictures showing it, including as recently as this Monday.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 4, 2021 at 9:40 AM

          • The cascades are what I generally try to pull down, making for a large bundle to feed the deer. It’s good to clip the vine back anyway, as it promotes new growth down below for all deer to share. I’ve learned to appreciate the vine after raising orphaned deer. When we first moved here I cursed the vine!


            February 4, 2021 at 9:44 AM

            • Just goes to show that people’s purposes aren’t necessarily animals’ purposes. Most people have no use at all for greenbrier vines, given its grabby spines. As a photographer, though, I find the dense tall tangles appealing; they exemplify an esthetic that values complexity and has as its motto “More is more.”

              Steve Schwartzman

              February 4, 2021 at 9:55 AM

  8. That’s a great quote … and rather nasty thorns!


    February 8, 2021 at 1:10 PM

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