I love the colorful bark of arbutus trees. Known also as Madrone or Madrona tree, it is Canada's only native broadleaved evergreen tree. It is found along the coast of the Pacific Northwest usually growing only within 3 miles of the ocean. In summer, the reddish bark sheds its skin like a snake, peeling in thin flakes to reveal new yellow-green bark beneath. In this photo, I used a macro lens to create a close-up abstract of color and patterns. I noticed that in the warm light of a sunset, arbutus trees have an intense orange/red glow.
Although its colorful bark is the most visual feature, the arbutus tree has other interesting characteristics. They can reach over one hundred feet in height and live to be 500 years old. In spring, the trees are covered in white blossoms which are an important source of honey for local beekeepers. In the fall, the blossoms have changed to orange fruits that feed birds and deer. In Madrid, Spain, the fruit is distilled into a sweet, fruity liqueur. Arbutus is also a good fuelwood since it burns hot and long.
Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, Saltspring Island, abstracts, arbutus, nature, tree bark, trees
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