Morella cerifera, the bayberry tree, is distinguished by its small waxy blue berries that come out in winter. In my case, I saw a bunch about three weeks ago in Jockeys Ridge State Park in Nags Head, North Carolina. I took a photograph of them because I thought they looked so weird (figure 1).

Figure 1. Morella cerifera fruit. Jockeys Ridge State Park, Nags Head, N.C. Photo: author.

Weird factoid. My mother, in the late 1930s or early 40s, made a bayberry candle as an art project in grammar school in Los Angeles. The candle, reduced to a stub by ceremonial Christmas burnings, used to have pride of place in my grandmother’s curio cabinet (with the Hummels) during my childhood. Because it was burning down to a stub, the Christmas habit of lighting it came to an end about the time I was a child. I’ve seen neither candle nor holder for decades: I suspect my mom dumped them in one of her relentless purges as she got older. This was her right, though there was some genuine interest in a one-off, hand-made family artifact. Ironically, I do still have two of my grandmother’s valueless Hummels.

Nikon Z 7ii with Nikkor Z 24-200 mm f/4-6.3 lens.

Figure 1. 48 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/50 s.

Edited with Apple Photos.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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