Under the Casuarina Tree

Breeze blowing through the Casuarina tree

Breeze through the Casuarina - 2010

The casuarina tree is not a native to the island, and some consider it an invasive. They are tolerant of windswept places and this large example stands along a windswept beach. Its leaves/needles are long, so when the wind blows there is a gentle soothing sound and the small branches sway like little grass skirts. When the needles fall, they form a barrier to other plants, so there is no understory of brush or other plants where these trees stand.

This barren blanket of casuarina leaves overlaid with several large decaying branches became the setting for the picture below. It was not a conscious intention that caused the palettes of the two images to be so similar. Instead, it was the feeling of each and what seemed to work best to communicate what appealed to me about each scene. It’s odd how that works…

Skeletal Remains - 2010

24 Comments on “Under the Casuarina Tree

  1. There is something very soft and gentle about the first image. The suggestion of a strong under-structure is a nice contrast. The bits of dark brown are very interesting as well.

    The second image is striking. This suggests elements of aggressive placement, taking a stand by the new tree, even in “skeletal” terms.

    Again, very good work. I always enjoy visiting and look forward to more of your work.

  2. i can feel the breeze, and the colors are gorgeous. very painterly and expressive, both.

  3. Thank you, Melinda. It’s good to hear that you enjoy what you see! These trees are very soft-looking, like a long-needled pine but with extra long needles. They are such a contrast to the thorny scrub so common in the drier parts of the island. Interesting, the words you used about the the second one… “aggressive placement”. Yes, there is something aggressive about it.

  4. Hello, tipota. Sometimes on a hot summer day that cool breeze under the shade of this tree can feel pretty good. I think these must have been my colors the week I did these… favorites seem to change fairly regularly for me. Thanks!

  5. These are stunning! The colours, the soft edges. Love the! I’m delighted to have found your blog and look forward to following your progress!

  6. “When the needles fall, they form a barrier to other plants, so there is no understory of brush or other plants where these trees stand. ”

    That’s like me when the beer cans fall at the beach! There are no people even remotely close to me. hee hee!

  7. Very funny, planetross! But you are not alone. I think that layer of beer cans and other leftovers is how some folks maintain their “personal space”!

  8. Hey Don! glad to have a moment to see what you have been snapping!..Casaurina…I love that name! ….sounds musical….and your image of it sings of whispering island breezes……..ah man …I’ve got to come and visit you!!

  9. Who knew? The dust mop that I never use and which is not native to my landscape either is made from a ‘casuarina”! Seriously, I’ve never seen a plant with those colors!

  10. Looks more like a wig than a dust mop to me, Pat… but maybe that’s what you dust with. Ahem…
    Colors? Did you say colors? I think there was a lot of UV that day. It kind of blued things out.
    Thanks for breaking the cone of silence!!

  11. Love the palette in these images. The turquoise yellow green is so tropical. One really can feel the warm breezes and hear the rustle of the needles. Beautiful image. The bottom image makes me think of a steer skull on the desert. Maybe its the addition of the red/orange that is suggestive of a southwestern palette that is influencing my brain. I had to look up images of the Casuarina Tree and I like how your color choices add to the visual description.
    The images of the previous posting are so bold and (am I the only one that thinks this?) erotic. Exotically erotic or erotically exotic…hmmmm.
    I got a real chuckle from Planetross’s comments. Several images popped into my head…maybe a Farside cartoon.

  12. Oh my! Those colors are amazing. I thought the first photo was of my boa from my disco years.

  13. Catherine, I’m glad you like the color choices; they just seemed “right” for these. Maybe I had the same subconscious reaction to the second one, and that influenced my choice of “skeletal” for the title! As for the fruit images… I guess they are a little erotic, unintentional as that may be. After all, isn’t that the natural role of fruit? Just wait ’til planetross gets ahold of that idea!! Thanks so much!

  14. It’s funny how with a few clues altered, an image can seem so different to what it is. The top image looked like feathers to me and the bottom one looks a bit like a cow skull.

    As usual, I love the colours in your work.

    By the way, the casuarina is originally from Australia where it is usually seen growing along river banks, holding them together.

  15. Well, razzbuffnik, someone else thought it resembled her feather boa, so you are not alone. No I didn’t know the casuarina was from Australia… they certainly have spread far and wide. Thanks!!

  16. It’s interesting how one creative moment can lead to the next. The wind is one of my all time favorite things in life. The first piece I immeditly felt soothed. I remember the cool breezes coming down from the mountains in Hawaii the mix of warm air and cool curents. Such a nice memory. Thanks for stiring that. The colors and stregths of the second one are striking.

  17. What I like so much about your work Don is your use of color and texture and we get a lesson in plant physiology too. I didn’t know anything about the Casuarina tree.
    The contrast of buoyancy in the first photo to the solidity of the second one- same plant, is so striking.
    I did have to laugh at Carols’ comment -( I’ve got one in pink! )

  18. You girls and your boas, Bonnie. You are right, the feel of the two images is quite different, despite the siilarity in the colors. I first became aware of the casuarinas in the Bahamas. They are very common there. Lots of people called them casuarina “pines” because of the way the leaves resemble very long pine needles. Thanks for the comment!!

Leave a Comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: