Green Leaves

With summer approaching, I wanted to share more of Kathryn Kolb's photography. Her images, available in both large and small format, are truly stunning works of art. The more you look at them, the more you see and feel. The Umbrella Magnolia is pictured above, taken in Tennessee. This tree's massive leaves and fragrant blooms make it one of my favorite trees to stumble upon in a Southern forest...

Using a Hasselblad medium format camera, Kathryn uses no filter or effects in her photography.  I'm completely mesmerized by Pecan leaves, taken in Kathryn's backyard. As she shared, "I looked up and thought they should be photographed." 

Both these images are of the Spicebush, taken in North Georgia and Virginia. Kathryn loved the vivid greens and pretty symmetry of the leaves. 

When you take photographs with Kathryn or study them alongside her, she's always talking about what works or doesn't work inside the frame. Math and science are always entailed- it's about leading the eye and utilizing the frame effectively. These lovely images, Spring Water Oak & Oak Through Dogwood most certainly, work. 

Dogwood leavesAmerican Chestnut and Late Sun are pictured above. It's always something special to come across an American Chestnut as it was a victim of chestnut blight that caused mass extinction of the trees in the early 1900's. The American Chestnuts you do see today are from ancient root systems that survived the disease. The American Chestnut Association is working to reintroduce a blight resistant American Chestnut to the eastern woodlands as we speak...

Sapelo Forest was taken on Sapelo Island, Georgia. Kathryn wanted to give a sense of what it was like to be in that forest. As she states, "it appears chaotic, but it really isn't." See all of her lovely work, which can complement so many types of home or business decor, here. 

***If you'd like to take a guided naturalist hike with Kathryn Kolb and Jessica Muhummad, which I highly recommend, they are offering a series of educational walks in parks and green spaces. The first of these will be at Stone Mountain just east of Atlanta, on May 19 from 10-12pm. Call Kathryn at 404.862.0118 or Jessica at 404.957.6204 for more details. Suggested donation, $15 per person. 


Photos: Kathryn Kolb   Content: Sweet Peach 


Leaves and Trees: Greenbrier

Growing up, my favorite story my mom read to me was Brer Rabbit. She created a great voice for the rabbit that always made me laugh. Brer rabbit lived in the South and would tell Brer Bear when captured, "Please don't throw me in the briar patch." Using reverse psychology, Brer Rabbit knew the dense thickets of vines would allow him to escape harm. In sweet memory of Brer Rabbit, today's Leaves and Trees feature is all about one of the most prevalent vines of the South, the Greenbrier. 

Large thickets of prickly thorns make up this vine often found in wooded areas. Besides offering protection for wildlife, the whole greenbrier vine is quite tasty. Rabbits and white tailed deer rely heavily on the greenbrier for sustenance. The sprouts of greenbrier are edible to humans with a bright, full bodied flavor. I love to eat them on my hikes with Kathryn (just be sure what you're eating.) If you steam the new growth sprouts, they call it 'po' folks asparagus' down South. This hearty vine can be used to make soups or 'Greenbrier Salad.' (that would be so fun on a menu) The root powder can make a mild jelly or be diluted in water for a cold drink. In fact it used to be the ingredient that added the licorice flavor in Sarsaparilla.  

Kathryn took this really wonderful photo above. The leaves are generally heart shaped but can also be laurel or oval shaped. One thing Kathryn really loves about the waxy leaves is what they offer in the colder months of the year. In the late fall and early winter, greenbrier leaves turn a vibrant red, yellow and green and when backlit, they appear to glow. In the gray and bland winter forest, you can count on greenbrier to offer a little sunshine.