Monday, February 26, 2007

More Beech Tree photos - Light of the Woods

Early Sunday morning I went out looking for beeches in locations I had previously mentally noted. It was cold out and many of the small beeches were quickly loosing their leaves. I did find two stands that looked promising and took these photos.

One is of a small tree about 12 feet tall amongst taller mixed trees. The other is a detail of the trunk of a larger tree probably about 8-10" in diameter. I love the smooth gray trunk and how it sets off the very light tan colored leaves. There are variations in the color of the leaves, some which are very light as in the detail photo which I prefer and some darker, almost like oak leaves though not a dark.

It seems the more I look, even in small patches of trees, I can usually see a beech or two tucked in amongst the older growth.


Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

I was reading in the Wikipedia entry that beeches like to be understory trees... which surprised me because my neighbor has a beautiful huge beech tree in his backyard.

I noticed yesterday that his still has the light-colored leaves on it as well and was going to photograph it, but you know what? It doesn't look nearly as good as these trees you photographed. I think that seeing the light-colored leaves against the darkness of other trees is much prettier than seeing them against a backdrop of light-colored winter sky.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

I only know the name Beech from books, so your posts are very interesting to me, Ki. For some reason, the name always conjured up an enormous tree. Maybe I'd better go to Wikipedia like BlackswampGirl...
Annie at the Transplantable Rose

8:07 PM  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

I like the light and dark contrast, too....must be the artist in you that enables you to see it and then share it.


12:04 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Kim and Annie,
The beeches do grow very tall, 60-100 feet. The largest I have seen are about 50 to 60 feet. I guess the older the forest the more beeches it contains as they tolerate the low light conditions when young which would severely stunt other trees and they grow tall to eventually shade the lower growing trees. The beeches around here produce a fair amount of seedlings as even the smallest wooded parcel seems to have at least one beech. I've taken photos of mainly the small ones since they stand out in the grove of trees.

Kim and Gotta Garden,
I found that beeches are difficult to photograph. Somehow what you see and the resultant photo doesn't always jibe. Being in the dark woods helps a lot in trying to get the contrasting elements to work. The overcast days also helped. But I took a lot of photos and picked the best - my usual way of photographing something as my skills are not up to my vision. Ansel Adams I'm not.

7:16 AM  
Blogger phempton said...

Yes these are beautiful trees and an old one has a certain stoic quality. The smooth bark and limbless trunk going up about 20 feet makes me smile.

I think that this tree is under used as an urban tree, at least out on the west coast.


Patrick - I Heart Gardening

8:33 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Patrick,
The trees' bark always reminds me of elephant hide. An easy way to spot the tree. Most of the planted beech here are the European Fagus sylvatica, beautiful too. Thanks for stopping by.

6:33 AM  

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