Monday, April 16, 2012

East Texas Flowering Dogwoods

I was fortunate to get to go to East Texas this spring. While the dogwoods were late blooming this year, there were a few trees in full bloom. When they are all in bloom it is magical, because the small understory tree becomes a bright elegant white tree that attracts your attention in the deep woods.

Flowering Dogwoods are understory trees that prefer the deep shade of the forest. Dogwoods occur from East Texas and Missouri all the way to Maine.  The red fruit ripens in the fall feeding squirrels, deer, and 28 bird species.  Unfortunately there is a powerful fungus threatening dogwoods, dogwood anthracnose, that is spreading rapidly throughout the range of dogwoods in the United States.  It kills the tree within  two to three years.  I hope that scientists are wrong who predict that there is little hope of saving flowering dogwood in the wild.

I was with a photographer friend, Nancy Damron.  Because they were not in full bloom, we had to pay attention to find dogwoods in bloom at the Davey Dogwood Park in Palestine, Texas. We were rewarded for our careful searching with several trees that were in bloom.

The blooms are delicate and to get all the details in the texture, I had to be careful not to overexpose them.

When you're photographing them, you keep going around and around the tree trying to see how many compositions you can find.

The light was never quite right to capture the entire bloom covered trees, but individual branches filled with the delicate blossoms.

While generally, I like to photograph flowers in shade, the gentle touch of the morning sun really made them sparkle.

No comments: