Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fairy Rings and other such indulgences

 We live among giant redwoods. Within five minutes of walking, they surround us, towering far above. Or we can drive an hour into the mountains to a state park dedicated to their preservation. It was here that we sat in a small group along with a park ranger. After her rendition on the guitar of "Bats Eat Bugs, They Don't Eat People" we got down to the business of talking about the huge trees encircling us. She informed us that we were sitting in the middle of a Fairy Ring. A Fairy Ring? Can a family outing get any better than this?

Also referred to as a Family Circle, these tree formations occur when a redwood starts sprouting new trees, a method of asexual reproduction. When the central "parent" tree dies and eventually rots away, the only indication that it ever existed is a ring of giant redwoods, empty in the center.

I could easily get carried away in the symbolism of such a phenomenon - parents leaving behind a strong circle of children, interconnected by the source of their existence (perhaps in some families the only thing they have in common, but a strong binding nevertheless), providing support and shelter to each other.

My husband is not what most people might think of as a romantic. Perhaps it's because of his pragmatic skepticism that moments of starry-eyed romance are rare.  Yet from early on, certain aspects of nature have resonated with us as symbols of our family and relationship. I consider botanical symbolism our guilty indulgence, bordering on romantic. Because of his easy-going, no-nonsense way of going about life, I particularly enjoy coming across another bit of symbolism with him.

And so I used ink and watercolor to document this most recent discovery.

As if the term Fairy Ring wasn't reason enough.


  1. GORGEOUS!!! i want to buy that piece of art!!

  2. honestly, that picture is amazing. simple and potent. perfect.

  3. Can I get a print of that????

    It's beautiful- the symbolism, the drawing, and the reflection.

    Reminds me of the scripture that talks about how all things testify of God.

  4. I really, really, really love that! It's so beautiful!! I'm with Nadine - can I get a print? I would pay for it!

  5. It is gorgeous - on all levels.

  6. wow Jennie... This is gorgeous! Have I told you lately that I'm really sad I don't have any of your artwork? Also, I'm sad we didn't go see the redwoods while I was there. Good thing I'm coming back!

  7. Wow, thanks for all the positive feedback! I'll definitely have to consider making prints...

  8. i'm going to add again that i would pay for a print. let me know when i can buy it! i'm giving you 24 hours to respond :)