Faded glory

While shooting artĀ for an article about bee research, there appeared this gem, tucked away in a tangle of giant ragweeds, passion vines, morning glories and johnson grass, on an old farm road in Lonoke County, Arkansas.

Faded red truck.
Faded, but still beautiful. This Mack truck is being reclaimed by nature.

Graceful grapes

I love the shape of grape leaves — deeply lobed, with lovely curves and points and essential to the beautiful fruit they will eventually help create. They are especially beautiful in their youth — blushing, satiny and untouched by disfiguring phylloxera or other pests.

Grapevine tendril
CURVACEOUS — Young tendril curves on itself.
Young grape leaves.
LEAFING OUT — Young grape leaves along the ground.

Black and white

This morning’s walk turned up plenty of texture.

two halves of a hickory nut
Aging hickory nut halves embedded in a crack in the concrete road.
vines wrapped around a pine tree
Vines wrap around a pine tree trunk.
wild grass seed heads
Grass seed heads wave in the early autumn breeze.
Outer shell of hickory nut.
A husk is all that's left after the squirrel has a snack.


Last year, there was so much rain, none of the grape vines twined around the trees was pollinated. No grapes. Anywhere. This year, there were grapes, but the hot dry summer caused many to become raisins on the vine — which is why it was so surprising to see these plump muscadines ripening.

Muscadines are a hardy grape and often wind up in jellies and wine.

Muscadines on the vine
Muscadines ripen in late summer in the Ouachita forest.