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Adopt a Leaf or a Bud

Created by Elizabeth Wylde, Friends of the Fresh Pond Reservation, Cambridge, MA

Leaves and flowers have a dynamic life – if you have time to watch. Taking photographs over a period of time and making a movie is one way to begin to appreciate the stages leaves and flowers pass through. Elizabeth Wylde created a movie of the budburst of a Silver Maple – the first stage of a flower.

This movie was made using QuickTime Pro, which is the $30 extended version of the freely available Apple QuickTime. See the instructions to make such a movie.



Silver maple budburst - timelapse


  • Put a blank piece of cardboard, possibly white or light gray, behind the leaf to make it easier to see the leaf

  • Consider writing the date on the cardboard or adding the date to each picture using image processing software

  • Stand on the same side of the leaf to take pictures

  • Try to take pictures during the same time of day to keep the light angle as constant as possible

  • Mark your leaf with a colored piece of string gently wrapped around the stem.

Go To Adopt a Branch