‘Cottonwood Spray’

Oil on Canvas 18″ X 14″


This spray of Cottonwood sparkles out
from the wall of conifers it nestles within.
Flaring like a burst of fireworks.
Feel the joyful energy radiating outward, demanding our attention,
calling out to us to notice it,
to appreciate its beauty as it dances in the breeze
…“Look at me!”

This is a Black Cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa)
which grows to 130 feet tall but rarely reaches 200 years old.
It is the fastest growing tree in this Inland Temperate Rainforest.

Its seeds produce cottony fluff which First Nations people used for bedding.
In the Spring its red buds are thick with sticky resin called ‘Balm of Gilead’
which gives off a heavenly scent and makes a wonderful healing salve for the skin.

Its wood makes high grade pulp for quality paper.


~Barbara Brown, from upcoming Volume II, SYLVAN REFLECTIONS, Wanderings, Paintings & Ponderings From the Forest