New and old Live Oak leaves in late spring.
It all started with oaks. Some time ago, I sketched a favorite tree and wrote about oaks as akeystone species, and why fallen leaves are important to their habitat. I’m much more aware of leaf cycles now. In my neighborhood and beyond, live oaks dropped their tired leaves this spring and new leaves emerged, bright and sassy. As we move into summer they’re turning a darker, more sedate color. Deciding on the actual color of live oak leaves is a challenge for me – as a whole, tree foliage seems to be a muted dark olive at times; other times there is a hint of blue in the green. Up close they vary. Besides enjoying the puzzle of how to accurately sketch leaf colors, I’m looking at fallen leaves and all the bits and pieces that make up the leaf litter under trees.
For example, birds forage for insects and worms and other edibles among decaying leaves. For many birds, this is their primary source of food. Just think of the larger life forms that depend on birds for their diet and so on up the food chain – and it all starts with plants and their litter.
University of FL/IFAS blog, an interesting read on the value of leaf litter in Florida:
Things that go squirm in the night... a 3 minute video from ChooseNatives.org:
Aquabee sketchbook, 6x9”
.7 mm mechanical pencil
Pitt Pen, Sepia F and Micron Pigma, black 01
Mondeluz watercolor pencils
Niji waterbrush, Medium