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After spending so much time with willows and learning how many kinds there are, I now realize that I see them around me all the time. Walking in and around the Point Reyes National Seashore, for example, as I’ve been doing for the past few days. Willows, willows, everywhere, and I never recognized them before because I didn’t realize they are so often large shrubs, with silhouettes that don’t resemble those of weeping willows at all. If I hazarded a guess about what these shrubs were at all, I would have said something related to olives (going purely by a glance at the leaves), but olives and willows aren’t even in the same order.

I can’t identify which willow species grow here around Point Reyes, but I’m pretty sure there are some trees of genus Salix, anyway. Maybe tomorrow I will remember to snap a few photos and check them in a field guide or iNaturalist.


I had a drawing teacher at the Educational Center for the Arts, Avner Moriah, who said that when you really, really wanted to get what you saw onto the paper, you would work so hard you would cry. I looked at the light on this leaf and thought, I would work on that until I cried if it would mean success. I didn’t quite cry, and I’m not sure I quite got it where I wanted it, but I may try again, because I love it so much.

Here’s the reference photo, from the blog Trees of Santa Cruz County by Peter Shaw.

And my drawing:

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