When I started out in photography and searching the swampy wooded areas near my home, I found this great plant called a Skunk Cabbage. That’s a perfect name for this plant because if you rub the leaves with your fingers, the smell left on your fingers will remind you of a skunk, not good.
I’ve found that the large leaves have great deep veined patterns that make for really nice backgrounds and also good as abstracts.
The plants totally engulfs a swampy area in the woods, so much that when the leaves are fully grown you can no longer see the ground beneath them. This was shot in early spring so they are not quite fully grown yet.
I mentioned they make great abstracts, and when you backlight one of the leaves with the sun, this is what you get. Look how the veins pop.
I also mentioned that the leaves make great backgrounds for other subjects, and I have used them many times for that purpose. This is one of my favorites using the Skunk Cabbage for a background.
One year in the late fall I was walking through an area that earlier had thousand of Skunk Cabbage plants, and I was surprised that the ground was not clutter in the large leaves of the Skunk Cabbage. We see leaves from trees lying all over the ground but no evidences that the Skunk Cabbage were ever there. I was quite puzzled by this, so did a little research online and found that these large leaves actually melt or disintegrate away, and leave absolutely no trace. What a cool plant. Here we are in mid August and the leaves are starting to die off.
Here are a few of the leaves that are slowly melting away to nothing. If you live near wooded swampy areas, see if you can find the Skunk Cabbage plants.
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