Shaggy Birch Pyramid

I love to photograph trees, but in general they aren’t easy subjects. While they do stay still, unlike a young dog, trees are so large that it’s difficult to get a pleasing composition.

Sometimes I enjoy snuggling right up to a tree, hoping nobody is watching. I’ll point the camera up the trunk and try to get some foreshortened shots, creating a visual illusion that the tree is a pyramidal vegetative structure, a towering cone of lignin coated by bark.

Here are some shots of a creek-side river birch (Betula nigra), our only local representative of that mainly northern genus.

River birch isn’t as beautiful as the northern white and yellow birches, but the curling bark does have a nice palette of colors.

Here’s a close-up of that bark. I don’t know what the red tones are — its either a fungus or vines, most likely Virginia Creeper or poison ivy. I’ll take a look today, as the tree is at one of my favorite stopping points.



1 Comment

Filed under Natural History, Photos, Quincy

One response to “Shaggy Birch Pyramid

  1. bev

    Interesting! In appearance, it looks rather like Black Cherry, which is abundant on my property in Nova Scotia. I like to photograph trees from close to the trunk too. I set the camera into close-up mode and then take shots. Neat effect. Wondered about the red too. Does remind me of Poison Oak leaves in late autumn.

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