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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things from my yard


Things from my yard, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

There is never a shortage of subject matter in nature! These found items represent microcosms of life and activity.

The oak branch and acorn are from a live oak tree (Quercus virginiana) - food and shelter to squirrels, birds, and insects, not to mention support for various lichens and mosses.

The passionvine (Passiflora suberosa) is a native that is continually popping up in my yard; it's a larval food for butterflies in our area such as the Gulf Fritillary and the Julia. I'm pretty sure songbirds eat the berries, and maybe some other critters, too.

Slash pine needles are everywhere on the ground. Each winter the pine trees seem to shed quite a few. I see them turning up in fallen bird's nests, such as this nest I sketched after a pouring rain knocked it down.

I'm not sure if anything eats the necklace pod (Sophora tomentosa) seeds, but I know that bees and butterflies love the nectar from it's bright yellow pea-like flowers.

Lately, it seems that mourning dove feathers are becoming a common occurrence. Are they molting this time of year? Maybe we just have more moving into the area, or perhaps the neighbor cat has been busy.

Fossil shells are fairly common in Florida. This one probably arrived in a load of fill, but it perfectly symbolizes the fact that our part of Florida was once an underwater ecosystem.

I picked these up at first just to draw them as interesting objects in themselves, but somehow the process of drawing and reflection opened up a whole new world. I think I could explore my entire yard and still not fully understand the little worlds within!

You can click on the image above to view it larger on my Flickr photostream.