Magnolia fuzz

The magnolia, a common sight throught the southern United States, is one of the most wonderfully strange trees that I know of.  Originating at around 95 million years ago, the plant is a true survivor.  The immense, fragrant, white flowers attract pollinating insects to keep them reproducing.  I can attest to how quickly they spread and grow by how they sprout up in my yard all the time!

This is a close-up of one of the “fruits” or seed-pods that I most often see as the spent, brown husks that fall to the ground.  You can see in this macro view, that they start off looking like a peach.  There is fuzz on the outside covering and it is colored in reds and yellows.  I assume this is again, a strategy to attract birds and insects to come get the seeds and spread these around.  Obviously, from the age of this line of plants, they have been very successful in this strategy for continuation of the species.  For this, I am glad!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 – 1/3 sec – ISO 200

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Magnolia seed pod

Not much fall color in Atlanta except for a few spots like these magnolia seeds

I went out in my backyard yesterday thinking that I could pick out some leaves with fall color.  To my disappointment, the leaves were part green, part brown and looking pretty pitiful.  There is a little color out there but it has been so dry in Atlanta that the trees are really stressed.  I did come across a few magnolia trees that were offering up some seeds to keep the species going.

It is not too surprising that the magnolia is still looking pretty good while other trees are wilting.  The magnolia family – Magnoliaceae, dates back 95 million years.  It is very interesting to look at this ancient plant which has many features that are quite different from the flowers and house plants that we are used to.  In this image, you can see the fuzzy covering on the seed pod and the brilliant red of the seeds.

Maybe I will make a trip up to the mountains to look for some good color.  I don’t think we’re going to see much in the city this year.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/11 – 2 sec – ISO 200

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