Friday, March 27, 2009


segue |ˈsegwā; ˈsā-|
verb ( segues , segued |ˈsegwād; ˈsā-|, segueing |ˈsegwā-i ng; ˈsā-|) [ intrans. ]

To move smoothly and unhesitatingly from one state, condition, situation, or element to another.

This is the name of one of my latest paintings. Those of you in the Southern Hemisphere will appreciate the vibrant colours, that you will soon be seeing in your own back yards. For us in more northern locales, it is a reminder of how far we've come, and all that we have to look forward to.

I am infinatley inspired by the richness of fall, saturated and spent, still warmed by the earth, preparing to settle in for some well earned rest and reflection.

This piece is a representation of the Black Cottonwood, a beautiful and diverse contributor to many eco systems.

Oil on Canvas
by Melissa March

The original and prints of this painting will be available this weekend (March 28 & 29) at the
Portobello West Market
located at the
Rocky Mountaineer Station
from 12-6pm

Look for it in my Etsy shop and on my website in the next few weeks!

Black Cottonwood
(Populus trichocarpa)

This tree was the first tree to have its entire DNA code sequenced, and it has shaken up what we understand about plant biology, and evolution.

In addition to answering specific questions about botany, this information has many industrial implications.

The tree has far less DNA in its cells than humans, but twice the number of genes. It was discovered that 93 of the genes are involved in making cellulose. Cellulose can be broken down into sugar, fermented into alcohol and distilled to produce bio-fuel. Making this information of particular interest.

The use of Bio-fuels has the potential to curb our reliance on oil imports, while reducing our eco-footprint.

Black Cottonwoods are hardy, fast growing, potentially large, straight trees which are easy to establish. This makes them useful in many ways beyond forestry and manufacturing.

They can be planted as windbreaks, shelterbelts, and screens along motorways, reducing noise, creating habitat, and increasing aesthetic value.

Cottonwoods are also effective soil stabilizers; their aggressive root systems make the species useful in the restoration of riparian areas. When used in this way, they provide protection for the aquatic environment, by providing shade and lowering water temperatures. The high nitrate uptake and extensive rooting of these trees also makes them useful for buffer or filter planting along streams in agricultural areas. This creates habitat for birds and small mammals, and reduces ungulate damage, increasing bank stability, and in turn improving aquatic habitat.

Hope to see you at the market! There will be deals!

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