Leaves of cedar elm and Chinese tallow, combined with the bright red berries of yaupon, glow in the late, low afternoon sunlight, their panoply of color providing the backdrop for a young tree branch — perhaps American beech.
The effect is as pleasing as any stained glass window: a perfect complement to nature’s sanctuary.
60 thoughts on “Nature’s Sanctuary”
Nature’s Sanctuary…that says it all.
Sometimes the right phrase suggests itself.
The sharp backlit green leaves with its dimmer background of blurred fall colors offers wonderful seasonal contrast. Looks fit for Thanksgiving!! How grand!!
I like the missing and nibbled leaves on the foreground branch, too. Someone already was sampling the table fare, don’t you think?
Oh yes, too true!! When photographing plants in the wild it is not like those perfectly painted specimens as there are nibbles, webs, decay and odd fluff sometimes. But, yeah its food; its life and we are blessed for it!!
Well photographed and described
I was so pleased to capture all of the colors in one image, Derrick, and in a way entirely as delightful as a larger scale landscape.
The lighting on this is to die for. It’s beautiful!
It is beautiful. I thought first of stained glass, but then I realized the image would make a fabulous Christmas card, with a somewhat unusual Christmas tree, and seasonal lights in the background.
Hail, backlighting: it was the way to go.
I believe I’ve seen this plant and haven’t known what it is.
Hail, backlighting, indeed. You certainly used the technique to good effect in your own post today. It was interesting to see your two views of the senna pods; they’re roughly analgous to my photo of the red Chinese tallow tree and these leaves, at least in terms of using the light in different ways.
I’m not at all skilled when it comes to tree identification, but I’m pretty sure about this ID. I used this visual key, which has been very helpful from time to time.
Ditto that on the backlighting.
This is gorgeous — and I think you might be right about it being a beech limb. I seem to recognize the leaf shape from my early days in school. I don’t guess kids make collections of actual leaves anymore though, do they?
Some of them do — thank goodness. When I remember my own childhood leaf collections, I still can feel the texture of the elm leaves, and the beautiful colors of the maples. Did you press leaves between sheets of waxed paper with an iron? We’d do that, cut around the leaves, and then hang them in our school windows.
We did, too! Brings back fond memories (and I’m convinced we learned trees better than today’s kids because our collections involved ALL our senses!)
It is indeed a gorgeous picture – a study in composition.
There’s nothing quite like taking the time to compose an image like this on a day that’s warm, sunny, and not too breezy. It’s a wonderful excuse to linger in the ‘sanctuary.’
You write as well as you photograph, Linda, Bravo!!
Why, thank you, GP. When nature produces something as lovely as this, she deserves a few good words for her efforts, and I do my best.
Wow! What gorgeous color.
They are fabulous, aren’t they? Here’s something interesting: if you look past the branch in the foreground, the dark branches separating the patches of color reminded me of this technique you used in some of your paintings.
A perfect word!
Thank you, rethy. Our season of color may be short and unpredictable, but when it appears, it can be wonderful.
Agreed, Linda. Great shot. And I agree with your commenters noting how it goes with the season. –Curt
Looking at the photo, I remembered the line attributed to Camus: “Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.” It certainly applies here, and I was so pleased to see this little bouquet.
I like it. Now I have a new way to think about fall.
Beautifully captured and some great Autumn colour. What a wonderful time of the year for photography.
While you’re harvesting blueberries, I’m beginning to see red, yellow, and orange berries all around. Granted, some are disappearing as fast as the greedy little birds can manage, but you know something about that! As long as they last, the color is wonderful — like the leaves.
Very pretty find with all the colors. Yes It does almost look like stained glass. The twig or shoot or branch is quite lovely. I like this photo a lot.
I’m still not entirely sure the branch is beech, although American beech shows up very near this spot on the USDA and BONAP maps. In any event, I found this article that will be of interest to you. It quotes Doug Tallamy, who says that the tree supports up to a hundred species of moths and butterflies — amazing, really. The whole article is fascinating — the tree is more than just pretty colors!
Oh my thank you, I will go to the site in few minutes. Thank you for the info, Linda.
…and as luminescent as a stained-glass window through which the sun’s rays fall…
And just like a stained glass window, the colors of the leaves require light for the full beauty to be revealed.
And not truly possible to see until chlorophyll production stops; ) A wonderful capture Linda!
Thanks, Deb. Even here in town, more trees — including some natives — are putting on rich, lovely color. We’ve had another ‘cold’ spell, and though it was nothing compared to what most people are experiencing now, it was enough. I predict more loveliness.
Looking forward to your observations
Don’t hold your breath. I’m moving in a week, and a lot is getting put on hold just now while I pack and etc.
Ha, lol. In that case, you have my sympathy (and no worries, I can definitely wait).
Given your love of color, this is perfect for you. It certainly was a splendid sight.
You know as much about nature as sanctuary as anyone, Terry. Thanks for stopping by!
Nature has an incredible abundance of little gifts to give to just you and nobody else, just because you happened to be in just the right place at just the right time — but it’s one of those you have to be there. So many people don’t have the option, opportunity, need or want to be there, and they miss so much. The green of those leaves is so luminous.
In truth, even people who take the opportunity to be “there” aren’t always there. They may be visiting physically, but their inattention is breathtaking. Of course, learning to see what’s around us takes some time, but those who drive through refuges at 30 miles an hour without ever stopping aren’t going to see much.
I do love the green of those leaves, and the damage, too. Like so many things, perfection can be in the eye of the beholder, and I think those leaves are perfect.
They have such a fabulous structure Linda (and would make a wonderful impression in clay!
Those toothy little edges are especially wonderful!
Exactly! I always allow a minimum offset of 3/8-1/2” to preserve the ‘live edge’ of the plant materials.
At first glance I thought the photo showed a bird taking off. It is the cedar elm taking off instead.
It does have that strong, onward-and-upward feel, doesn’t it? They say that certain colors energize. It’s easy to imagine it being energized by all those glorious autumn colors surrounding it, and deciding it’s time to ‘branch out.’
There’s something magical about backlit leaves. It’s almost like a Chinese lantern, lit with the best of the afternoon’s light.
What a wonderful comparison. I always enjoy the tiny details backlighting reveals, like the fuzz on a stem, but the glow it can produce is equally wonderful. Autumn certain is the season when the lowered sun and vibrant colors combine to good effect.
I consider this effect a translucency, because the leaves are allowing light through, but not detailed shapes (like transparency), the backlight makes them glow. How nice!
It’s that translucency that makes old china so beautiful. Being able to hold a dinner plate up to the light and see it glow isn’t quite as dramatic as seeing these leaves, but it’s the same phenomenon. It’s always amused me, just a bit, that so many cosmetic companies turn to “translucency” to describe the effect of their products. They know that people like the effect.
You, or I suppose the foliage, catches the light beautifully. On my visits south during winter I have admired the plenitude of Yaupon Holly berries.
For the longest time, I didn’t realize that yaupon berries can be orange or yellow as well as red. They really are beautiful, although I confess I have an equal or greater fondness for possumhaw (Ilex decidua). Those bare, berry-laden branches are gorgeous.
By the way — you are exactly right. It should be Bloggers’ — with that plural possessive.
Love the colour palette in this photo Linda. A wonderful stained glass effect!
Can you have a look at the third photo here and let me know what you think, please? https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2511438
Very beautiful color, Linda, and that light! The arcing shapes of the leaves and their clear, clean veins give the image a very positive feeling, too.
It was a beautiful day, and even though this was taken mid-day, when I usually have trouble with harsh light, the trees in the background helped to create a pleasing background.