E.J.Wilkins

22 Dec 2008 727 views
 
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photoblog image Mistletoe #3

Mistletoe #3


A closer view of a bunch of mistletoe growing in an apple tree in somebody's front garden.

The householders were kind enough to let me into their garden to take this picture as well as others of this little series which finishes on Christmas Eve.
.

Mistletoe #3


A closer view of a bunch of mistletoe growing in an apple tree in somebody's front garden.

The householders were kind enough to let me into their garden to take this picture as well as others of this little series which finishes on Christmas Eve.
.

comments (17)

  • Ada
  • United States
  • 22 Dec 2008, 00:35
were you alone? tongue....nice,
EJWilkins: Just me and my camera wink
LOL ... Eve only had an Apple, your going one better I see
EJWilkins: Clever comment Martin grin
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 22 Dec 2008, 01:43
I never see this in its true setting, Ellie, so this is a treat...to see what it really looks like. smile I'm guessing the owners could market it for a pretty penny??
EJWilkins: This little group of pictures is all about mistletoe, I've been quite careful with the winder views because of privacy and so on.
They can't sell it, because mistletoe is a protected plant, it can only be sold by commercial growers now. Doesn't mean it can't be stolen!
  • Alan
  • Southampton, on the sunny south coast of England
  • 22 Dec 2008, 07:24
Very seasonal, Ellie. Amazing that these just start as small seeds carried by the birds.
EJWilkins: A single seed will lead to several clusters of plants, close together. Where they're spread out on a tree it means there are separate 'infections' each from a new seed. I think my first picture gives an idea what I mean.
It's funny how I never really seem to see mistletoe around, but it must be!
EJWilkins: I'd think there'd be some around Worcester and towards Evesham, but you won't notice it while leaves are on the trees
Are these poisonous Ellie? I ask because I'm sure birds eat them with no ill effect
EJWilkins: Yes the whole plant is poisonous, as far as I know. Same as Yew berries it's used as a medicine in some countries, not in UK though, although it's being investigated as a cancer drug
  • blackdog
  • The White Room
  • 22 Dec 2008, 09:14
Do we know why it has an association with kissing at Christmas? I know that it is our only white berry, that its a poisonous parasite and that it probably ripens (?) around the winter solstice - but why do we feel impelled to kiss underneath it ?
EJWilkins: There's stuff about it here Mike http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A685091
* It is thought that mistletoe was first associated with kissing at the Greek festival of Saturnalia (a festival later adopted by the Romans), when it was thought to aid fertility.
* Mistletoe was considered a plant of peace in Scandinavia, enemies finding themselves underneath it growing in a forest would call a truce for the day.
* When a kiss is exchanged under mistletoe, a berry should be removed4. Once all the berries are gone, there should be no more kisses under that plant. If an unmarried woman is not kissed under the mistletoe, she will remain single for the rest of the year.
* If a couple in love kiss under the mistletoe, it is considered a promise to marry. In some countries, it is a prediction of happiness and longevity.
* In France, the kissing was saved for New Year's Day - Au gui l'An neuf - Mistletoe for the New Year.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 22 Dec 2008, 09:28
A wonderflul close-up! Yes, I have the same question like blackdog! Really a nice Christmas custom, but also a little dangerous as my English teacher Chris has warned!
EJWilkins: I'll give you the same link as I've given Mike
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A685091
All sorts of information there for you Philine smile
  • Tracy
  • Staffs England
  • 22 Dec 2008, 09:37
Wonderful Ellie, the lighting is spot on and thanks to the kind owner for letting you in to take the shotsmile
EJWilkins: I was surprised they were happy to let me wander round their garden with my camera, it was so kind of them. It was a glorious day, but that brought problems with lighting the off-white berries.
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 Dec 2008, 09:47
I see we are getting closer and closer - this looks like a bird's eye view!
Ingrid
EJWilkins: Not much closer because I hadn't got my longer lens with me, it was odd how the berries reflected light. I'm planning to go back again in the New Year, if the householder doesn't mind too much
I have seen mistletoe many times but never got that close to it. Fine shot Ellie.
EJWilkins: This was on an ordinary apple tree in somebody's garden, growing above head height though and surprisingly difficult to get even vaguely right
The only time I get this close to mistletoe these days is on the Christmas Eve market and then I'm usually alone. Cery nice and interesting close up Ellie.
EJWilkins: Apparently most of the mistletoe sold in this country comes from Brittany and Normandy, although there are some commercial growers here - Tenbury Wells is a good place to start (Bill told me)
Interesting shot, love how you filled the frame on this. Wonder if this was purposely grown. Beautiful colors and lighting.
EJWilkins: Hi John, the householder told me the mistletoe was in the tree when they moved into the house thirty plus years ago. I remember my Dad trying to get it to grow in our fruit trees, but he was unsuccessful. I know now the seed has to come from the same species of host tree - from apple to grow on apple, hawthorn for hawthorn, lime for lime and so on.
It's a fascinating evergreen plant, apparently classified as an aerial parasite.
I'm luck that this heavily infested tree is less than half a mile from where I live, so it was easy to try picture, but they were quite difficult to get right.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 22 Dec 2008, 17:09
They look like peeled litchi's. Good one.
EJWilkins: That's a good likeness, it's the same sort of creamy white whiteness - you know what I mean!
  • KB
  • Germany
  • 22 Dec 2008, 17:21
Great image with lovely colors
EJWilkins: Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment, I appreciate it. The pictures were harder to take than I'd expected, the light was good, but the berries tended to overexpose
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 22 Dec 2008, 18:20
Beautiful shot. So interesting. I understand it is highly toxic.
EJWilkins: Thanks Laurie. It is toxic, but I understand there's research into using it as a cancer drug, same as Yew. There's a bit more about it here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A685091
Nice continuation of the serie !

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camera E-400
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/400s
aperture f/8.0
sensitivity ISO200
focal length 42.0mm
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