October 14, 2012

Strange tales of sun, sports, and assymetry

When I downloaded this image from my camera I thought, "No one will believe this is real." But it is.

Quercus alba

I used the camera's digital zoom for a close shot of the sun hitting and shining through White Oak leaves near the canopy of a large, old Oak tree. I did crop the photo a bit. But I didn't adjust the exposure or tint in any way. It shows how, on a sunny day and at certain angles, Oak leaves are every bit as vibrant as Maple leaves.

Quercus alba leaves and trunk

The shot above is a different one--without zoom--of the same leaves and the tree at a greater distance to show that it really did happen.

Morning sun shining through Cercis canadensis foliage

Many of our trees' leaves have fallen or blown off with the wind and rain. But not before I snapped a few images showing the effects of strange light angles, mutations, and pigment imbalances.

Uneven sunlight effects on Syringa meyeri

The Dwarf Korean Lilac bush had a diagonal line running through the middle of its foliage. I'm guessing the reason was that one side was shaded by the house, while the other was exposed to more sun throughout the day. Weird, but fascinating, isn't it?

Mixed hues on Berberis thunbergii

The same kind of thing happened with the Pygmy Barberry. Part of this might be due to stress: The rust-colored leaves are near the driveway.

Forsythia 'Courtasol' frost-nipped?

Perhaps frost nipped the tops of the Dwarf Forsythia, yielding uneven foliage coloration?

Variegated foliage on Dendranthema grandiflora

I don't know why the leaves on some of my Mums are discolored while their neighbors are still green--stress, maybe?

Dendranthema grandiflora "sport"

If you clicked on this post for sports coverage based on the headline, this flower is all I have to offer. Sorry about that. I've been wondering why some of my Mums changed from yellow to pink. Research brought me to this webpage describing this phenomenon: "Sports: Plant Mutations."

Several other links I came across while researching this post effectively explain the science of foliage coloration and autumn plant changes:


It's fascinating stuff about the chemical and biological changes that take place in "simple" leaves.


Switching gears a bit, I'm honored that Jason and Judy at Gardinacity nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger award. To accept the award, I'm supposed to name seven interesting facts about myself. "Interesting" is a subjective thing, but here goes:

1. I nearly died as an infant. I forget if it was because of a bad case of pneumonia or my allergy to penicillin.
2. I'm distantly related to former Pres. Millard Fillmore and TV journalist Tom Brokaw.
3. My maternal grandmother was a Baptist preacher when female clergy were uncommon.
4. My paternal English great-grandfather and his family had planned to sail for and resettle in Australia, but got on a ship to America instead.
5. I have strong digestive reactions to Cantaloupe, Broccoli, and Avocado, but I don't know why. All were favorites before I figured out which foods were triggers.
6. Favorite food: BLT, but only with fresh garden Tomatoes and Lettuce.
7. Favorite classical piece: Symphony No. 2 in D major, by Jean Sibelius.

I'm supposed to nominate others for this award. As my blogroll is down because of warnings on the Web about sidebar spam, I nominate all bloggers who are my favorites on Blotanical. The blogroll will be back up soon--with even more wonderful blogs listed!

Thanks for the honor, Jason and Judy!

(I'm linking in with Pam's Foliage Follow-Up with this post. Thanks for hosting, Pam!)

32 comments:

  1. I have had my sidebar blogroll down for months due to glitches and figure I will set up a Blogroll page this winter....well deserved award Beth...I love how the pigmentation in leaves in autumn is uneven....it creates more fascination and beauty...love the post especially the first photo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Donna! Yeah, the oddities are more fascinating to me than the perfectly groomed and plucked flowers. I know what you mean--I have a lot of blog maintenance to keep me busy for months!

      Delete
  2. Lovely shots, the detail is just amazing...

    Oh those fall colors.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jen! I could stare at the details for hours on end--either in nature or in photos. For me, it's kind of like spending time at an art gallery. Relaxing and stimulating at the same time.

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous photos! I am fascinated by fall foliage and all its variations, and I love the way the right light can turn colored leaves into something that resembles stained glass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Deb. The brilliance of fall foliage is sometimes hard to believe, and hard to capture. I love the stained-glass effect!

      Delete
  4. I love the light of the sun in autumn. It seems to give us a different view, and those leaves prove that the light is magical at this time of year. What a wonderful shot! Congratulations on your award...well-deserved! It is always so interesting to learn more about people, and I am so glad you survived your death scare as a child. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too! Thanks, Michelle. We all have interesting stories! I think it would be fun sometime to interview a bunch of people and do a compilation of stories.

      Delete
  5. congrats on the award - well deserved. Interesting facts - I love BLT and Sibelius too! Re the rest of the post - fascinating observations about effects of light on colour, and uneven and irregular fading leaf colours. I must look out for this next autumn. And fantastic photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I have cravings for BLTs this time of year, but I rarely fix them or order them when the Tomatoes aren't fresh.

      Delete
  6. I really enjoyed looking at all the foliage - especially that beautiful oak shot! Wow! Truly during this time of year the foliage is just as interesting - more so, even - than any bloom. I enjoyed reading the different facts about you. Your history seems so very interesting, and I bet you have a lot of stories to pass down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Holley! Oh, I don't know, we all have interesting facts and stories to share. Yes, the foliage is incredible and sometimes hard to believe unless you actually see it.

      Delete
  7. Here's another possible sports angle: some of the plants are Cardinals fans!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! You are good at puns! I like that one!

      Delete
  8. Congrats on the award! Tom Brokaw? Guess that explains a lot. I've also had some strange color patterns in my garden which I've chalked up to stress fromt heat and drought. Hope you got lots of rain over the weekend. I think we're both still in a drought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen. Yep, proud he's my cousin ;-). We had constant rain this past weekend. Yahoo! And more is on the way later this week. I'm so happy. I'll have to check if we've made a significant dent in the 10-inch deficit. The rain is so wonderful before the winter hits.

      Delete
  9. Love the beautiful oak leaves! You have an excellent eye. They're up so high they would have been easy to overlook. I am also very allergic to penicillin and have a few historical figures in my lineage. :o) I have lots of favorite foods but love a tasty BLT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tammy! I think I did overlook them until I started blogging. It's so easy to just go about the day walking in a straight line and only noticing what's in front of my nose. ;-) But it's more gratifying to be more observant. I want to hear about your famous relatives!

      Delete
  10. Congratulations on your award! Beautiful pictures, I love the autumn colours, they make so lovely photos :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Helene! I really should have taken more, but then I kind of felt like simply enjoying the colors instead of spending this brief time of beauty behind a camera. Last year our autumn lasted a little longer.

      Delete
  11. Beautiful photos, Beth! I've read articles about why the leaves change, but it's still just an amazing miracle to me. Your photos prove even more that science can't always explain everything. I thought that with this summer's drought the trees wouldn't be as colorful, but the fall color here has been as beautiful as ever.

    Congratulations on your award and hooray for your rain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rose. I know--science can go only so far to explain why these things happen. Autumn foliage changes seem like miracles to me, too, especially when the light hits the leaves at the perfect angle! It's hard to believe, even when you actually see it!

      Delete
  12. The leaves are changing like in your first image up here too. The weather has them confused I think. Nice photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they're confused, too. I'm hoping they'll make it through the winter OK after being stressed all summer. Thanks, Donna.

      Delete
  13. It is fascinating how and why foliage changes colour. I was surprised when we first moved to Italy that oak leaves turn brown but stay on the trees during winter just like beech tree leaves do in the UK. Obviously an effect of the climate but I never thought about it like this before. I post about foliage on the 22nd of the month, do link this post in. Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christina: I will link in today. Thanks for the reminder! Yeah, the Oak trees/leaves are fascinating. I think I take them for granted...or I have in the past. There are so many leaves to rake this time of year!

      Delete
  14. I wonder if the discoloration is due to the stress of the past summer? A lot of leaves around here just curled up & turned brown. Not enough water by far. It makes for interesting photos for sure tho. The oak leaves are fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think stress is to blame for some of this. Our Oaks seem to be holding up OK--probably partly because I watered them, but mostly because they're native and have adapted to great fluctuations in temperatures and precipitation.

      Delete
  15. I love a good leaf sighting. My husband was right next to me when I captured a shot of a red red maple leaf, but even he could hardly believe the color that showed up after the click. Sometimes we just have to slow down enough to really see, don't we? Beautiful blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Emily! Yes, I agree...slowing down and observing nature yields incredible rewards, even when we don't have our cameras along. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  16. Your fall foliage is absolutely stunning, like stained glass. Thanks for sharing it for Foliage Follow-Up. When you've got it, flaunt it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I enjoyed your fall foliage photos. Lovely! I've noticed that some of my plants look different from others of the same kind, too.

    I also enjoyed reading the things about you. We have something in common we didn't know about. I had pneumonia when I was a few months old, and there was a day my parents were told to get to the hospital, because I may not make it.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by!

(Your comment might not appear right away. PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.)