Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Mahogany or West Indies Mahogany is a tree that’s used widely for landscaping in our area. The tree shown was planted about five years ago as a sapling in our industrial area, and its about 25 feet high now. This is the mahogany that was used for furniture and cabinet making, although related species from Honduras, Africa, and New Zealand are used now (I had to research this for a recent cabinetry estimate!). Mahogany was found and logged out of old Florida from tropical hammocks near the Keys.

Last evening I watched as the storm clouds moved in and strong winds loosed the remaining brown leaves as a cool front moved over us. I saved two seedpods, and they’re slowly opening up. I’ve always wanted to document the process, and hopefully I won’t get too sidetracked to finish the series…

This tree has the most wonderful reddish bronze new growth coming out; the leaves are tiny at this point, only ¼ inch long. Otherwise, it looks like it can’t make up its mind about what to wear. There is a fully matured group of green leaflets on the west side of the tree and old dejected seedpods here and there. I don’t know if the leaves persisted from last year and stayed green while the other leaves turned brown and dropped, or if they are new over-achievers. For a young tree, this one has rough scars and a bit of a ratty look. This may not be the prettiest tree on the block right now, but the alien-like seedpods and the new growth are enough for me to enjoy sketching it!


  1. Wow! Botanically excellent! Interesting pods --- we had gorgeous Phillipine mahogany paneling in our old Art & Crafts bungalow.

  2. There's so much character in those seed pods! Lovely sketchbook page.

  3. Inspired simile - "can't make up its mind what to wear"!

  4. Hello all,

    I am a new comer to computer technology. Could you please let me know what technologies and software you all use to convert a hand drawn picture into a digital picture like the one we see now

    Thank you
    Ro Perera


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