A Sycamore can be spotted miles away during the winter months with ease because the crown of the tree is mostly stark white. Their leaves are massive, shaped roughly like a maple leaf. After they drop in autumn you'll find them curled up like a baby ready for winter's sleep, and they're a beautiful chocolate brown that is soft, almost like velvet.This particular Sycamore tree is located in a pretty little side yard of our local community college. I signed up for a couple of classes - one on digital photography, the other on Photoshop CS3. Being self-taught I recognize fully that I need to fill in the blanks and round out the edges of my knowledge. Last week we took some new-found skills outside and played in the courtyard. There, in the setting sun was this glorious, glowing Sycamore just waiting for me.
Sycamore trees have a fascinating way of exposing their beauty. Yes, their trunks are stunning, especially in autumn with a cobalt blue sky behind them. The shot, above, was taken during an autumn run to a local nursery and you can see how striking the trunk of the Sycamore is as compared to the other trees. Sycamore tree roots have the same characteristics as the rest of the tree. Rising above the ground in various and sundry fascinating patterns are these tree roots. These roots are no doubt the bane of some grounds maintenance guy, but for a photographer this is sheer heaven.
This is one of my favorite shots - and I haven't even turned it in to teacher yet. These exposed roots are just like the tree itself, with a trunk and branches. Reading about Sycamores on Wikipedia, I learned that every tree's bark must expand as the tree grows, but Shagbark Hickory, some maples and the Sycamore are examples of those who exhibit that process more openly than others. Apparently, it is due to the rigid texture of their bark which lacks the necessary component to expand that creates the shagginess.
It's nice learning about tree structures and the like, but basically the draw for me is the outward personality and character of a Sycamore. They're different, and they glow in the sunset and are such fun to photograph.