For the 2500th Botany Photo of the Day entry, I thought I’d return to a favourite species, vine maple. Acer circinatum has the most number of individual entries on BPotD, which you can revisit by clicking on the Sapindaceae tag above (or just follow the link). I’ve updated the previous entries for vine maple, which now means I’m done 17.5% of that monumental task overall.
This photograph was taken during our recent expedition to southwest Oregon and northwest California. A high-pressure system trapped the smoke and ash from the large forest fires in California and nearby states, lowering air quality everywhere we traveled. No relief was to be had seaside, where one would expect breezes from the ocean to provide some respite. One small positive of the smoke was that it provided diffuse light for photographs, akin to fog.
The activities of collecting didn’t give me “quiet photographic time” that often. This was one occasion where I was able to spend time composing and waiting for breezes to settle, while my traveling companions went for a short hike to observe the redwoods (no permit here, so no collecting–just enjoying). The coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in the background were easily more than 3m (10ft.) in diameter, though their relative size is diminished with the telephoto lens. That’s why I included a small portion of one on the left side of the image, to better give a sense of the scale between the redwoods and the vine maple.
The mosses dressing the maple are, I think, Antitrichia curtipendula (aka hanging wing-moss)–but bryologist readers can please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m basing that assumption on the fact that Antitrichia curtipendula is an effective secondary epiphytic colonizer of vine maples as they age.
Acer circinatum is native from southwestern British Columbia to northwestern California, where it occupies “wet to mesic closed and open forests and streamsides in the lowland and montane zones”.