Fire Pulling off the Line

Little St. Simons Island, Georgia
February 18, 2014
Oil on paper
6 x 7.5 in. (15.2 x 19.1 cm)

Private collection

Prescribed fire is an important tool for keeping Little St. Simon’s globally rare grasslands from being shaded out by wax myrtles and other woody plants. Species that use these grasslands, such as chuck-will’s-widow, painted bunting, island glass lizard, eastern kingsnake, and eastern diamondback rattlesnake, depend on it.

I had the opportunity to paint on location during one such burn in early 2014. The fire behavior was fascinating, burning hot in dense patches of muhly grass and broomsedge, then dying away beneath adjacent dog fennel and flat-topped goldenrod. In this view, ignitors have just lit the grassy edge of the unit. The hot, colorful effects lasted only a few minutes, so I painted very quickly, moving on to the next site after about 20 minutes.

The site depicted is on Bass Creek Road, 200 feet from Beach Road. Google Maps: (31.2521, -81.28088)

Exhibition History

Publication History