Yard in Fog
Fog is an infrequent occurrence around here. When I see fog, I grab my camera and head outside to take pictures. Fog lends an air of mystery to a picture without my having to try.
It has a way of lightening and softening the background of a picture so that the subject in the forground becomes the focus without much competition from a busy background. This little dwarf Japanese maple tree is usually barely noticeable during the winter months without its green canopy of lacey leaves.
It was still a tricky picture to take because the slope of the yard goes one way and the trees lean one way or the other, with none in view being truly vertical. So, when trying to level the camera, my eyes were trying to tell me to align the horizontal with either the slope of the yard or the vertical with the taller trees.
This charming little bush, with its contorted branches, is a Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick and is classified as a shrub or tree. This one is only about three feet tall and still too small for anyone to seriously consider it a tree. Like many plants it has several common names- Corkscrew Hazel, Contorted Filbert, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick and a botanical name- Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’.
I wondered who Harry Lauder was to have a shrub/tree named after him. From my internet search, I discovered that he is an interesting an person. He was a coal miner who sang while he worked and later became a professional singer and the first British artiste to sell a million records and he was often seen with a crooked walking stick. To listen to these early recordings of Harry Lauder, use the link Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project in the sidebar.
In all three of these pictures, the Hickory tree shows up either in the background or in this case as the subject. It has a dramatic lean of its trunk towards the house with most of its limbs counterbalancing by leaning the opposite direction. It has the shortest leafing season of all the trees in the yard by being the first to lose its leaves in autumn and the last to leaf out in spring. Some years we have a bumper crop of nuts from the tree and sometimes none.