colonies

  colonies 
  oil on canvas l 44"x60" l march 2010  l  contact artist for price   
   (click image to return to gallery)   
 
  colonies 
   (click image to return to gallery)   
  

This and the following works take the overall direction of the previous few to its logical conclusion.  In At the Aloes the island is defined almost entirely by its vegetation; here, the plants are maximally distinct from their surroundings, essentially synonymous with the islands supporting them.  The islands lack identity except as "colonies" of yuccas, which I conceive as basically rising from the ocean.

 

Yuccas and salt marsh, Laguna Atascosa (my photo)

Yuccas and salt marsh, Laguna Atascosa (my photo)

The yuccas were photographed in Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in South Texas, just a few miles north of the mouth of the Rio Grande.  Along with clumps of prickly pear cacti, they grow on "islands" of raised ground, often ridge-like, surrounded by salt marsh and presumably flooded during certain episodes of high-tide.   Just to the east is the open water of the Intracoastal Waterway, which divides South Padre Island from the mainland. 

The landscape is both otherwordly and serene, definitely one of the most fascinating places I've visited in the continental United States.  (While, like in previous situations, I would have found the experience even more intoxicating had the "islands" actually been surrounded by water, this is one of few times when it almost didn't matter.)  I basically stumbled upon the place, surprised that I had never come across images before (or seen any mention of 10-foot tall yuccas in anything I had read about the park); apparently the refuge is best-known for its birdlife.    

Darren

Yuccas with the Intracoastal Waterway behind, Laguna Atascosa (my photo)

Yuccas with the Intracoastal Waterway behind, Laguna Atascosa (my photo)

More yuccas (my photo)

More yuccas (my photo)