Saturday, September 22, 2012

Virginia Creeper Redux

Everyone can agree that the Virginia Creeper's 
Latin name is parthenocissus quinquefolia
but how it got the name "creeper' is another matter.
Fortunately, given this vine's habit of creeping across the ground
and up, across, and through trees, the mystery is easily solved.

This week another mystery about the vine was solved for me.
I had read before that the Virginia Creeper produces berries in the fall, 
but I had not recalled ever seeing any, 
despite the prevalence of Virginia Creeper around our house. 
So I googled Virginia Creeper berries and what did I find?
A photo very similar to one I had taken at the Dismal Swamp 
only a couple of weeks before:

I had to laugh at my complete lack of awareness.
 I can't imagine how I failed to make that connection before, but there it was. 
So now I have another reason that I like Virginia Creeper so much:
its beautiful blue berries on those lipstick red stems.

I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard a suite of Chopin's nocturnes. 
When my favorite one came on, Nocturne No. 2,
I thought its chords evoked the vining, trailing habit
of the Virginia Creeper as it meanders and weaves its way through the forest.

This is a link to pianist Yundi Li performing Chopin's Nocturne No. 2.
It's one of the most beautiful compositions for piano I've ever heard:

If you enjoy Still Waters: Notes from a Virginia Shire,
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