Sunday, September 19, 2010

Their Hearts are Bursting - Linda C. Miller

Photo Linda C. Miller, copyright 2010

This painting started last fall when my husband took photos of these “bolder than bold” orange fruits at the annual Estuaries Day event at York River State Park.  This flora is most commonly known as "Hearts a Bursting".  Its other common name is the "Strawberry Bush."

That October, I found a specimen on the Greensprings Trail and sketched its branches and took a number of photos with the leaves already turned to their transparent white and the fruit still holding on while its casing was drying out.  After making my initial drawing, I realized that I had missed a few details and went back to the “trail” to study the plant more closely.

With the new drawing transferred onto watercolor paper, this piece sat for a few months while I worked on three paintings for the "Nature Illustrated" exhibit this past spring.  I am so glad that I waited.  Over the last six months, I have been visiting, recording and painting this wonderful native’s life cycle from bud to fruit!

Watercolor on 300lb HP Paper, 2010
Specimen: Williamsburg
Size: 15 inches high x 16 inches wide

Fun Facts

Also known as…..wahoo, bursting heart, fish wood, burning bush, hearts-a-burstin-love, brook euonymus.

Strawberry bush is Native and occurs throughout much of the Eastern United States

Strawberry bush grows in deciduous woods, sandy thickets, swamps, woodlands, shady edges, ravines, and streamsides.

The seed is a strong laxative!

Strawberry bush may be considered an important indicator of deer presence because it virtually disappears in areas overstocked with deer.

Have a great day in nature and be on the look out for these blazing fruits for they are a bursting in September and October!
Artist, Naturalist and Instructor
Williamsburg, Virginia

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