Friday, September 2, 2011

Fencerows and Wildflowers

This is a continuation of my recent photo shoot along some of the country roads near Vicksburg. My first story featured a visit with some delightful Jerusalem Donkeys that were grazing near the frontage road along I-20, between Vicksburg and Jackson. If you would like to read that post, you can click on the link.

After I left the donkeys, my attention was drawn to the colorful fencerows which were covered by tangled masses of Trumpet Vines and all kinds of wild berry vines. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you would like to get a closer look ...

The colorful red and gold leaves reminded me that Fall is just around the corner.

I enjoy photographing trumpet vines, and always find something new and interesting about them.

I love the way the sun filtered through the petals of the large trumpet in the center of this picture ...

The sunlight was filtering through the leaves on this row of trees, too, and I did a double take as I passed by them.

There was no traffic coming, so I backed up and captured them quickly with my camera.

I pulled off the road to photograph the next fencerow. I'm not sure what the name of this plant is, but I think it's pretty.

I love the way the little tendrils curl around the stem ...

Just down the road a bit, I noticed this big guy enjoying a quiet moment in the midday shade.

I tried to get him to look at the camera, but he didn't even flinch, and rudely put me on ignore.

One of the things I love most about my photo shoots is that I almost always learn something new about the subjects I capture in my pictures, and my "fencerow" shoot was no exception.

This time I learned what these large green pods are ...

When I showed my pictures to my husband, he said he thought they were Maypops, so I checked Google images and, sure enough, I found pictures that confirmed he was right — they were, indeed, Maypop seed pods.

I was glad I had picked a couple and brought them home with me so I could see what was inside them.

And here is what I found when I cut them open:

Seeds inside the green pod ...

Seeds inside the dried pod ...

According to Wikipedia, Maypop (also known as Purple Passionflower, Wild Apricot Vine, and Wild Passion Vine) is a fast growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems. The Maypop has large, intricate flowers and is a common wildflower in the southern United States, found mostly in thickets, near riverbanks, and near unmowed pastures, roadsides, and railroads. It is the Tennessee State Wildflower.

The flowers are large and showy, and normally bloom in July. Here is a picture I found on the Internet of a Maypop bloom:

[Photographer: Norman G. Flaigg]

I wish I had known about Maypop vines in July — I would have loved capturing pictures of some of those gorgeous blooms.

I hope you enjoyed taking this little adventure with me. Perhaps you can get out this holiday weekend and explore the changing season for yourself. There is definitely a change in the air here in Mississippi ... and it's a good one!


racheld said...

So reminiscent of the lazy Sunday-afternoon drives of my childhood---we had a black, blocky Dodge pickup, and lots of times I was allowed to sit in the back as we rode thos old country-backroads, with the reddish dust settling on my face and arms and clothes. We'd go deeper and deeper onto the little side-roads---sometimes almost huntin' trails, and sometimes ending up at Aint Winna's house, or the Martins, whose flowin' well was a marvel for miles around.

And when I saw the trumpets---I've ALWAYS thought that THEY were the Maypops. Daddy would yell back out the driver's window, gesturing toward something on one side or other, and call out the names, and somehow, I thought it was the orange ones.

I've even looked at our own fences, thinking there might be some vestige of the "fruit" that he remembered.

And for you to do them both in one day, one group of photos---that's some kind of come-full-circle somehow, with my remembrance connecting with what IS in one moment. Amazing.

You've taught me more about My Place than I learned when I was there.


Richard Cottrell said...

Ms. South, I so enjoyed your trip and I am so grateful I got to go along. looks like you part of the woods is very simullar to ours here in Missouri. I have never seen the big green pods. I think they would be fun in arrangements. I have a passion for fence rows all grown up and in the fall they become beautiful. My father had a passion to try and keep them clean. I guess a clean fence is OK,but give me the grown up ones any day. I sure do enjoy your journeys. Thanks, Richard from My Old Historic House.

Deb said...

awesome photos...I love these type of photo shoots...