Friday, October 24, 2014

Tiny tots


All sorts of spring flowers in our garden are coming out right on schedule, and the tiny ones Pammy and I have been looking closely to spot have finally made their appearance. They're so small that if you stand back a few feet you can't see them. You have to get up close … very close.

Spanish moss, or Tillandsia usneoides.

This enormous log photobombing my Spanish moss pic is
the tip of a toothpick. It illustrates nicely how small these
Spanish moss flowers are.
The flowers form at foliage junctions.

Though small, they're perfectly formed, complete with a
little yellow centre of pollen. Haven't exactly seen the
bees making a beeline for the Spanish Moss yet, though.
Just in case you're not familiar with Spanish
moss, it's that bromeliad which is also known
as old man's beard, for an obvious reason.
It's an 'air plant' that is not a parasite on its
host plant. Instead, it gets all its nutrients
from the air and rain. Here's it's thriving, hanging
off the branches of our Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream'.

Pammy loves this plant, and has done several paintings of both the plant and the flower. And so, to finish off our little celebration of this little cutie, here are two of Pammy's Spanish moss flower paintings, one a lovely little portrait of the flower itself, and the second (one of my favourites) an imagined microscope-eye's view of the foliage, where yet again Pam has created something which seems abstract at first glance yet is also realistic – it's one of the themes in her painting which I enjoy the most.

'The Reality', © Pamela Horsnell 2013

'Living and Breathing', © Pamela Horsnell 2013