Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Want of Water

Water. The source of all life on Earth, while gracious in its giving, is not always fair in its sharing. As some are flooded with its fortune, others are desiccated in its denial.  (But not the Nile)

"Vying for Vertical Growth: The Tall Tale of the Bromeliad."  Billbergia sp. 2011. Watercolor on Board.

Bathed in liquid life, the bromeliad is in a class all its own. In striving to become closer to its dihydrogenously oxygenated deity, it has forsaken the familiar forest floor and lives a nomadic existence up in the canopies of the jungle. It throws its green arms open wide to welcome the near constant rain. And what the bromeliad receives, it likes to pay forward; the water it retains in its cup of tightly-weaved waxy leaves acts as a micropond way up high for arboreal amphibians and arthropods to lay their eggs in. Safe and secure swathed in the fortified fronds, tenacious tadpoles and irresistible mosquito larvae grow big and strong.  Then metamorphosize to grow big and strong all over again. 

"A Stickler For Dunes: Carrying Capacity Of A Crotchety Cactus." Parodia mammulosa. 2011. Watercolor on Board.

In stark contrast to the jungle's decadent display of liquid lavishness, the desert is of the more humble tumbleweed type.  The charismatic cactus is the star of stark & starved soils. It is a sad sort of succulent, forever trapped in sway to the withholding ways of water. Expanding and contracting like an accordion, the cactus plays its melancholy tunes of the water blues.  Yet in times of plenty, cacti celebrate the bounty of water with symbols of beauty - unleashing bold yet delicate flowers upon the landscape, canvassing the country in rich sights, smells, and styles.

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