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Tag Archives: American Bittersweet

What makes it possible to get good photographs of a subject is knowing the subject. In this case the American Bittersweet plant. In the middle of October, when the leaves are down. I start looking for bittersweet in wooded areas. It’s easier to see at this time but it is not best time to photograph it because it is just a round, orange berry at this point. Later in the fall, when it is cold the berries burst open creating a bright orange flower like display.

I usually have a good idea where I can find it but things change from year to year. One year I found a great patch of it close to the ground but the next year it was gone because the power company came in and cleared all of the brush out under the power lines. In other cases it died off or climbed high enough in the trees to make it difficult to photograph. Once I find it I know where to go when conditions are right.

I usually like to photograph Bittersweet under a couple of conditions. Bright blue sky which really makes the berries stand out. This is the condition that is a little easier to find even in November which tends to be a little on the cloudy side.

The second condition is when the Bittersweet is covered with snow or ice. It is rare to find just the right conditions. Ice usually doesn’t last very long and it makes it difficult to get to the berries if it is really icy out. Fresh snow is a little easier to find but you need snow that will stick to the berries and branches. This usually means a wet snow or snow with no winds blowing. This past weekend conditions were just right for photographing the Bittersweet in the snow. We had about six inches of wet snow which was clinging to just about everything.

More Bittersweet shots can be found on my webpage.