Continuing my Print-of-the-Month series, and as the autumn season is approaching, the image I picked for October, 2019 (shown below) is titled, Canyon Elders. It is part of a portfolio titled, Arboreal Stories: Cottonwoods.
If you’d like to purchase this print at the discounted Print-of-the-Month rate, you may still sign up until October 1st.
Please note: After October 1st, this print will no longer be available at the discounted rate (although it will still be available to purchase at the full price). Watch this blog for the next Print-of-the-Month announcement in early October.
Cottonwoods are likely my favorite trees. They are ubiquitous to the southwestern deserts, always indicating the proximity of water. This particular species, Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii), is found in pretty much any riparian habitat in the Colorado Plateau. It is a tenacious tree, growing to impressive sizes. In canyons prone to flooding and other inclement conditions, these trees grow twisted and gnarled, holding on to their perches with enormous root systems. In time, each tree becomes an entire ecosystem, providing home and food for various insects, such as june bugs and sphinx moth caterpillars, as well as nesting space for birds. In older days, cottonwood bark was used by natives to weave sandals and other items. In autumn, these trees put on dazzling displays of color as their leathery leaves turn the shade of ripe lemons.
Like other trees in the poplar family, cottonwoods can clone themselves and grow new trees out of existing root systems. These two old giants likely are genetically-identical twins.