Tag Archives: magnolia

The Southern Spring Show


Good morning Everyone!

I thought I would mark the return from Spring Break here at our house by showing you the latest set of four paintings I have finished.  I call the series the “Southern Spring Show.”  They are done in oil, and as you will see at the end, are meant to comprise a single piece of art, although each of the four can also stand individually.  It took me about nine months to do these (remember, I only get to spend an hour or two each week, if that, working on them though, so that’s not quite as long as it sounds!)

The Dogwood:

Dogwood take 2

The Camellia:

cropped camellia scan

The Magnolia:

cropped but full magnolia

The Azalea:

azalea scan

The Complete, Framed “Southern Spring Show”:

The Whole Thing

Have a great day!

Nancy

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Bark


Good morning/evening  Everyone!

When we are in grade school, somewhere along the line we learn that if you are going to draw a tree, it is going to have a brown trunk and a green top.  My basic trees in kindergarten up looked something like this:

Tree

Basic Tree

When I wanted to get fancy, I would add branches to the top of the tree, and a hole such as a bird might like to nest in.

Fancy Tree

More Fancy Tree

The truth about trees, as is often the case, is much more wonderful in real life.

Take bark, for instance. The next time you have a minute and you are going by a stand of trees, take a minute to stop and look just at the bark on the trees. Notice how each type of tree bark has its own color and shape and patterns. Notice how almost none of them are the true brown that we used in grade school – the marvelous variations of gray and brown and shades in between is unlimited!

While I am by no means a botanist or an arborist, I do recognize a few kinds of trees, so I though I would share photographs of their bark with you, just to get you started.

Oak tree bark

Oak Tree Bark

This beautiful oak tree was right outside our camper this weekend at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama. Here is a photograph of the tree with me looking up that is just too pretty not to share.

Oak Tree

Oak Tree

Dogwood tree bark

Dogwood Tree Bark

In the spring, the beautiful dogwoods grace Southern woods and yards with unique, four-petaled white flowers. Here is a picture of one dogwood tree’s bark last weekend.

pine tree bark

Pine Tree Bark (on the left)

Pine trees also abound in the South.

Crepe Myrtle Bark

Crepe Myrtle Bark: Photograph taken and shown on colorlandscapes.wordpress.com

Very few flowers on trees survive the hot, humid Southern summer, but the crepe myrtle is one of the few that do. (I’m not entirely sure if the crepe myrtle is a tree or shrub, but it definitely has wood in its trunk!) It’s bark is very smooth, and a sort of tan color.

Magnolia Trunk

Magnolia

One of the other trees that bear summer flowers is the stately magnolia tree, the grande dame of Southern flora. (You just can’t quite say “magnolia tree” without putting “stately” in front of it. I tried, without success.)

From five trees, we have five different kinds of bark.  This level of texture is something we don’t often take the time to really view and admire, but sometime this week or weekend, take just a few minutes to do so.  The sense of wonder and admiration at the variety and abundance of nature’s giants will be well worth your time.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Mimosas and Magnolias: Trees That Get Around


Hi Everyone!

It’s been awhile since I took a minute to speak about the flowering trees and shrubs in season in Alabama, and although in Alabama we have felt like summer started a while ago, we still have a few last flowering trees making an appearance, including mimosas and magnolias. 

I always thought of the mimosa tree as being from South Africa for some reason, but it is native to Asia and the Middle East.  It was introduced into the United States in 1745, and grown as an ornamental plant throughout the 18th century.  It grows prolifically, usually at the edge of woods that are facing open clearings or water.  The USDA classifies mimosa as an invasive species.

I am torn as to whether I like the mimosa tree, and its flowers.  The foliage is delicate and fern like. 

Leaves of the Mimosa Tree

However, the flowers sometimes remind me of that shade of pink I think of as “pepto-bismol” pink.  A close-up look reminds me how delicate the flowers are, but sometimes it also reminds me of a Phyllis Diller haircut.  I’ll let you judge for yourself in the following pictures.

Mimosa Flowers 1

Mimosa Flowers 2

Mimosa Flowers 3

Noxious weed, or pretty flower?  You decide!

The next tree is the stately magnolia.  I like magnolias.  They get around:  their natural range is east and southeast Asia, eastern North America, Central America, the West Indies and South America!  When you see a magnolia, no matter how hot it is at that moment, you feel just a little bit cooler.  The foliage is a smooth dark green, and the white flowers are unsurpassed.  I have even, in years past, picked up a few silk magnolia flowers at Christmas time to place on the Christmas tree and they were stunning.  Since the magnolias appeared before bees did, their flowers are designed to be pollinated by beetles, and therefore are more hardy than other flowers.  I found a pretty specimen out in the City Sportplex, by Kayla’s day camp, and got a chance to take some pictures.

Magnolia Tree

I walked underneath it and looked up towards the foliage, something I had never done before:

Although this tree was not in full flower, there were some blooms.  This flower was about mid-way up the tree and as I snapped the picture, the sun came out from behind the clouds, making the leaves and the flower luminous.

Magnolia Flower 1

The other bloom I could reach with my camera (I forgot my regular camera, so was using my cell phone instead) was both closer to the ground and further along in its opening, so I photographed it at different magnifications and angles.

I wasn’t able to find a bloom in full flower on this tree, but rest assured that once the petals are completely open, the flower is equally as spectacular.

Do you have flowering trees where you are this time of the year and if so, which are your favorites?  I would love to hear from you.

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy