New Moon Challenge: Shrub Twig Moon

Photo of Purple Chokeberry (Aronia floribunda)

My current moon challenge has been to find, photograph, and sketch the twigs of at least 15 shrubs. While I was already familiar with the 17 species I ended up choosing, there were a few I couldn't confidently identify in their winter form at the start of the challenge. Studying them closely in order to sketch their white season features has resulted in stronger field identification skills. I think next winter I'll repeat the challenge with 15 different shrub species.

Here's a list and below is a gallery of photos of the shrubs I got to know better this moon, 14 of whom I've featured on this blog:

American Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta)
Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Gray Dogwood (Swida racemosa)
Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)
Maleberry (Lyonia ligustrina)
Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)
Purple Chokeberry (Aronia floribunda)
Rhodora (Rhododendron canadense)
Sheep American-laurel (Kalmia angustifolia)
Silky Dogwood (Swida amomum)
Small Bayberry (Morella caroliniensis)
Smooth Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum)
Speckled Alder (Alnus incana)
Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina)
Sweetgale (Myrica gale)
Withe-rod (Viburnum nudum)

If you embark on a shrub challenge of your own, whether during the white or green season, I recommend consulting The Shrub Identification Book (1963) by George W. Symonds and the Peterson Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs (1973) by George Petrides. These and other helpful titles can be accessed through many public libraries. For updated scientific names, I recommend Go Botany. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

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