Pignut hickory (Carya glabra) native tree in spring leaf flush; Meadow Garden, Longwood Garden, Pennsylvania
Pignut hickory (Carya glabra) native tree in spring leaf flush, Longwood Garden, the Meadow Garden.

I stood beneath the Pignut Hickory tree (Carya glabra) atop a hill at Longwood Garden’s Meadow Garden, transfixed by a mesmerizing pattern of leaves unfolding.  Tiny parachutes opening in front of my eyes.  Soon this fleeting moment would be lost, replaced by a shade tree in the timeline of spring.

I wanted to live in the glow, study it, work up an image that could pull out the detail within the pattern.  The wild zigzag of branches seemed to have a pattern – if only I could frame up a composition that contained the frenzy.

Pignut hickory (Carya glabra) native tree in spring leaf flush; Meadow Garden, Longwood Garden, Pennsylvania

I often ask my photography student to ‘fill the frame’, to treat the four edges of the camera viewfinder as a canvas.  What fun I had myself holding the camera to my eye as I slowly moved under the tree, changing lenses, changing the canvas.

Quite suddenly it locked in, elements in balance.

Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) native tree in spring leaf flush silhouette against sky; Meadow Garden, Longwood Garden, Pennsylvania
Leaves unfolding on Pignut hickory tree (Carya glabra).

I wonder where this will go now.  I am back at the computer using Topaz Lab PhotoShop plugin filters to rework the photograph into a sketch.  A moment remembered, its interpretation still evolving….

Before and After Slider

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