Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bur oak acorn

with 29 comments

From October 4th at the Wildhorse Ranch subdivision in Manor comes this Medusa of acorns borne on a bur oak tree, Quercus macrocarpa. You could call the photograph minimalist in terms of composition, even as the acorn’s cap is maximalist in details. Below, you get to see what the leaves of this kind of oak look like.

As in other recent portraits, the preternaturally dark skies come from using flash and a small aperture (f/22 in these two photographs) to get increased depth of field and lots of details in focus.

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If you’ve studied 20th century dictatorships, you know about Stalin’s purges in the Soviet Union. Regarding the Wokiet Union that America is threatening to become, you probably didn’t hear about the recent purge at the Art Institute of Chicago. The museum purged its entire staff of docents, who were highly trained, had an average of 15 years of experience, and who worked for free. Why did the museum throw away such a great resource? Because most of the docents were white. Replacements will be chosen via “an income equity-focused lens.”

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2021 at 4:35 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

29 Responses

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  1. I checked out the Art Institute purge story and it is TRUE!! Grrrrrr Say “good by” to donations from that group of generous people


    October 21, 2021 at 7:47 AM

    • In my commentaries I wouldn’t knowingly report anything that isn’t true, though I’ll admit some of the things I’ve written this year sound like they’re parodies. Such is the topsy-turvy woke world we’re increasingly being forced to live in. If I were a wealthy white supporter of an institution that behaved in the racist way the Art Institute of Chicago did, I’d stop donating. I’d even ask for the return of past donations.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2021 at 8:13 AM

  2. Bur Oak may have been the giant acorns I recently saw in Philly.

    automatic gardener

    October 21, 2021 at 8:00 AM

  3. You used the term “preternaturally” for the sky, and I think the acorn looks a bit “otherworldly,” like an alien creature.

    Robert Parker

    October 21, 2021 at 8:55 AM

    • I agree with the otherworldliness. The “alien creature” that occurred to me was the Medusa (a.k.a. Gorgon), but plenty of creatures from science fiction and horror movies would serve as well. Did a particular one occur to you?

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2021 at 9:10 AM

  4. Sometimes, I truly do feel as though my head is going to explode, and the story about the docents brought the feeling again. I try to remind myself that actions have consequences, and eventually some of those consequences may bring grief to institutions and individuals who promote such utter craziness. I certainly hope so.

    Your photo of the acorn brought memories of the famous bur oak trees in Council Grove, Kansas. I brought home a few of those acorns, and they’re still lurking around. I think the leaves of this oak are especially attractive, and your acorn is beautiful. Mine are a monochromatic brown at this point, but the hints of green in this one are pleasing.


    October 21, 2021 at 9:00 AM

    • “Utter craziness” strikes me as a good characterization. Unfortunately, incidents like this one have become so common that I could probably report one every day.

      Only occasionally do I come across bur oaks. This is probably the best picture of one of its acorns I’ve ever taken. I didn’t know there’s a famous bur oak group in Council Grove, Kansas. So much the better that you brought home some souvenirs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2021 at 5:25 PM

  5. The dark background for the acorn almost totally hides the stem and so allows the viewer to admire your shot in complete isolation.

    Peter Klopp

    October 21, 2021 at 9:40 AM

  6. The details on the bur are amazing! Wonderfully done!


    October 21, 2021 at 10:21 AM

  7. Big trees, big acorns, big leaves. I’ve never been hit on the head by a Burr acorn, but a Red oak got me once and that was painful enough!


    October 21, 2021 at 1:24 PM

  8. I’ve not seen a Bur Oak nor any of one’s acorns but that is the coolest acorn I’ve ever seen vicariously.

    Steve Gingold

    October 22, 2021 at 3:14 PM

  9. Nice acorn portrait … lots of personality!


    November 5, 2021 at 1:03 PM

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