In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.”
― W.B. Yeats, The Collected Poems
During the killer summer heat here in Texas one bit of beauty that survives are the bright colors of the Crape (or Crepe) Myrtle trees, blooming on the warmest of days.
They also have these amazing limbs, covered in smooth bark.
This winter, the ice storm showed another side of their beauty, glowing like crystal in the faint sunlight filtering through the clouds.
I never get tired of looking at the Crape Myrtle trees here in Texas. They are the Texas State Shrub (I’m sure you were wondering what the Texas State Shrub Was). They are about the only plant that blooms in the killer desert burning summer heat… and in the winter the bare branches make beautiful patterns (If you don’t do like so many folks do and cut the crap out of them – that bugs the hell out of me).
At the Dallas Arboretum there is the Crape Myrtle Allee (sometimes it’s Crepe Myrtle – I’m not sure which is preferred) which I’ve photographed here and here. An incredibly cool long massing of mature trees, a cool tunnel in summer – a tangled tube in winter.
But I like the shape of the individual trees too. The bark peels off and leaves the wood looking almost like skin, the branches twist and turn, and multiply into a thick, fractal towering forest of twigs.
They are so ubiquitous, it’s easy to take them for granted. You have to stop every now and then and simply look at the things.
And maybe take a picture.
I remember when I first went to the Dallas Arboretum a couple decades ago – one place that I enjoyed and remember was a double row of Crepe Myrtle trees with a walkway running between. Now, after all this time, the trees have grown together overhead, forming a long, dark, mysterious tunnel.
During my writing group’s trip to the Dallas Arboretum to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit I set up my tripod in the Crepe Myrtle Allee with my camera facing the Dallas Star sculpture down at the end. Here are a couple of HDR three-exposure shots I came up with.
For a larger and more detailed version of this photo – go to the Flickr Page
For a larger and more detailed version of this photo – Go to the Flickr Page