Thursday, September 22, 2011

Signs of Autumn in the Low Country

Spartina alterniflora
Here in the low country of South Carolina, our trees do not rush to change their leaves to the colors of orange, yellow, red, burgundy and purple we so love in Autumn. For that matter, Mother Nature doesn't abruptly turn the temperature down either!

Telltale signs that the hot, humid days of summer are finally going to come to a close revolve around the shortening of daylight, the observation of Hickory and Oak tree's bounty of fruit, Beautyberry and Sparkleberry bush's berry colors changing from green to magenta and black respectively, Devil's Walking Stick tree and Poke Weed fruit formation, and best of all, the color change of the cord grass in the salt marsh.

It seem's like just yesterday the smooth cord grass, Spartina alterniflora, turned it's beautiful, almost electric green. Over the last couple of weeks I've begun to note a plethora of greens and both raw and burnt sienna tones evolving. Altogether a feast for the eyes :)

Now that the Autumnal Equinox is upon us, what changes are you noticing in your neck of the woods?

In the above plein air sketch, I used Derwent watercolor pencils in an AquaBee Super Deluxe Sketchbook. It may have taken all of 10 minutes, but as I painted the below canvas in my studio, I could still feel the warm morning air and recall the smell of the pluff mud where the Great Egrets, Wood Storks and Ibis love to dine.

What's for Breakfast?