There’s exquisite beauty in agaves that are giving way to their off-spring
There’s something fascinating about how cactus age. For this agave, its ability to sustain upright leaves is fading. The cat’s claw imprints that outer leaves emboss on inner leaves have started to fade. The base of the leaves start to crumple but glow with rich colors of pinks and gold. young plants “pup” from the parent and pop up several feet away.
A former private home and grounds donated to the community by DIck and Jean Wilson
Recently a friend and I visited the wonderful Tohono Chul botanical garden for an afternoon of plein air painting. The grounds and buildings were donated to the community by the former owners. I can only imagine that this courtyard would have been a favorite sitting place to savor the coolness offered by the shade of the trees. A private space, perhaps shared with family and friends.
As the US Capitol fell to rioters wielding confederate flags, I was leaving the Tohono Chul botanical gardens in Tucson. Blissfully unaware of the momentous happenings across the country, I spotted a huge, aged cholla. Most of its limbs had been pruned away. A single withered green leaf basked in the sun, while a bleached paddle rose defiantly from a dead limb. A younger plant grew along side, sheltered by this wizened parent.
A metaphor perhaps….
I completed this watercolor at home from a photo taken on Dec 6, 2021. 11″ x 8″, 300lb rough cold pressed paper