Windfall 1. Crape myrtle and Spanish moss

With several days of freezing temperatures and brisk winds from the north last week, many things were blown from, or out of, neighborhood trees and shrubs. I decided to document some of the windfall that I pick up on long walks in one of my nature journals. Here is the first installment – sketches of dried crape myrtle buds (not a native species, but thrives here) and Spanish moss with its seed capsules:

spanish moss

Crape myrtle buds and Spanish moss, pen and watercolor

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9 Responses to Windfall 1. Crape myrtle and Spanish moss

  1. steffi suhr says:

    Ooooooh lovely!

    (I read “crap myrtle” at first and was a bit startled.)
    Is it watercolours or coloured pencils + water?

    • KristiV says:

      Heh! Maybe I should use the alternate spelling?? 😀

      I used actual watercolors for this one – I have a set from a class I took in grad school, which I think will last forever. Sometimes I have to use jewelry pliers to get the caps off the tubes, though.

  2. Frank says:


    I love the 3D-ness of the photo, the way the paper curves and crinkles. It leaps off the screen.

  3. Jenny says:

    These are beautiful – thanks for sharing. It’s been amazingly windy here in London, with the wind howling at the windows in a way that makes me expect Heathcliff tapping at the glass at any moment. Unfortunately the windfall in our garden so far is just rubbish and a number of things from the clotheslines of the balconies above.

  4. KristiV says:

    Thanks, Frank and Jenny! The wind has switched around so that it’s out of the west now, and I had to weight down the journal pages with stones to take the photo this morning.

    I get a lot of rubbish in my front yard when it’s windy; my neighbor and I have wedge-shaped lots on a sort of half cul-de-sac, and the trash blows up against the fences between our houses. Mostly McDonald’s drinks cups and lids, ugh. A friend and I tried yelling “Heathcliff!” up on the moors near Haworth once, and we were no match for the wind.

  5. Heather says:

    I don’t think I have ever seen Spanish moss seeding before. I thought it was some kind of lichen or something. Is it actually a plant?

    That’s the fun part about moving – not TOO foreign a locale – but learning the new flora and fauna, slowly, and putting it in relationship to the old list. Then again, that’s NOT the fun part about learning to garden: you have all these wrong reflexes. Like this is the wrong part of the world to add limestone to your soil, for example, unlike New England.

    So I presume that meant that Heathcliff never showed up for you. Or maybe he felt like he wouldn’t want to choose.

    Wait until you come to this part of the world and experience the mistral. We haven’t been having a lot of it this winter, but in the preceding months, we learned why our house perched on the clifftop is called “Singing breeze”.

    • KristiV says:

      Spanish moss, in spite of its name, is an epiphyte flowering plant in the bromeliad family. The seed capsules make it look even more alien than usual, I think. The main thing I’ve learned about gardening in the Texas Hill Country is that it should only be attempted in raised beds. That strategy has been pretty successful for me, so I’m adding two new beds to the backyard this year. I’m lucky that I have a plentiful source of composted horse manure for this endeavor.

      My parents were in France last October/early November, and they said that the mistral was not bad during that period -they’d heard lots of stories about it.

  6. Stephen says:

    Speaking of wind – has anyone in the London area seen the green plastic cover from our BBQ…?

    Lovely drawings Kristi!

  7. cromercrox says:

    It’s been very windy here in Cromer, but, hey, it’s often windy here in Cromer. A few things are getting blown about – including the clouds, which have on occasion parted to reveal a big bright yellow disk. I am not sure what this is. I don’t think it’s the cover from Stephen’s BBQ or underwear from Jenny’s upstairs neighbours, biut people are welcome to come here and look for themselves.

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