When I think of tall grass prairie, I think of dense ranks of tall plants, all reaching straight up to the sun. And often, that is exactly what you will see. However toward the end of the season I have noticed that some perfectly sturdy plants sort of flop over. My theory is that this is how they assure their seed falls as far from them as possible. It is a way to colonize new ground, and over time, it is how a population of plants could shift north to cope with global warming. Incidentally I learned recently that sea creatures and even freshwater fish are on the move, shifting to the north. Fishermen are starting to notice that the fish they are used to seeing at their favorite fishing hole are not necessarily there anymore! But I digress.
When I saw this particular compass plant stretching out, I was struck by how graceful it was. I painted it on a short but very wide canvas to emphasize the strong horizontal, and threw in some splotches of color that would be new england asters to balance out all that yellow, and that seemed to lift the mood of the piece which was looking a little somber.
I have compass plant growing in my garden, along with a few others in its family. It works well in the back of a bed, and the birds and butterflies love it. Just know that at the end of the season things can begin to look a little untidy!
Now I’m hearing Miranda Esmonde- White saying, “Rrreeaaaach!” so I’m off to do my exercises….