Saturday, April 5, 2014

Of whelks and snowflakes from Sapelo Island

I recently took a weekend trip to Sapelo Island, one of my favorite places in Georgia.  I was busy most of the trip working on a Friends of the Marine Institute project, but since I had taken my watercolor traveling kit with me, I did find time to sketch some Knobbed whelks (Busycon carica) that were on the window sill at the cottage we stayed in.  Outside the window in the background is a row of Snowflakes.

Snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) are a bulb in the amaryllis family.  Their arching sprays of five to seven blooms appear in mid to late spring.  The dangling white flowers resemble small white bells with small green spots at the end of each of the six tepals.  In the south, Snowflakes are considered an heirloom plants and passed down from generation to the next.  It was introduced to Gardens in the Eastern United States by the first European settlers.  The bulbs are tough, surviving late frost and snow as well as deer and chipmunks.  The Snowflakes in my garden always remind me of spring on Sapelo Island.  This sketch to the right is a close up of Snowflake flowers blooming in my garden.