Arrox(no scientific name has yet been given)


'No tree stands alone' is a popular saying; we may take it to mean that trees are often found in forests, but a more insightful explanation is that trees are part of ecosystems, which certainly holds for the 'arrox/reed' swamp ecosystem. Arroxes (sometimes 'arroces' are typical swamp trees, evidenced by their multiple roots that can anchor the tree in soil in which other trees might simply slump or keel over. Here we see a few such trees from fairly close up, and a glance at the surrounding vegetation indicates that this is the cool season, when water levels are fairly low. Arroxes do not grow well if their roots are completely submerged all year round, sou they grow best in slightly elevated places.

This image focuses a bit more on the reed community of this ecosystem as it appears in winter (note that in these temperate zones it will not get really cold in winter). The reeds are made up of various species, with the 'starburst' and 'screwflower' as the most conspicuous ones.


And here is an animation of the same swamp (640x360 pixels). Clicking on the image should open a suitable viewer on your computer. The file is a wmv file. You will see that there is animal life here, in addition to the plants.

For maximal contrast, let's jump to mid-summer. Now, the water tables have risen considerably and it is much warmer. The arroxes now stand with their roots in water, and the flowing water is also a livelier place than the stagnant winter pools. Notice that the typical mixed reed community found on lower levels is now dormant beneath the surface. Instead, we see some redweeds that have taken their place.


Imaging tips
Drama! That's what this imaginer went for, with the stark contrast between the almost black silhouettes in the foreground and the patches of light further into the view. The balloon seeds are nicely backlit, providing just the right amount of mystery, as well as a way to break the monotony of an otherwise overly dark image. A winner!
Zippon 32D. F=6.7, Ts=0.003, additional volumetrics.