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The natives called it “tree beard” – the epiphytes that drape from bald cypress and live oak, an iconic symbol of the southern states. French settlers called it “Spanish beard” after the hirsute Spanish conquistadors. (The French pride themselves on their haute couture even in the wilderness.) As the year winds down toward the winter solstice, the water tupelo and bald cypress lose their leaves. Only the Spanish moss remains like some dark foliage in a mythic landscape.

But for a few weeks before the millpond loses its leaves, when days lose their summer heat and nights become brisk, the tupelo turns scarlet and bald cypress the color of rust and banked flame. In those few weeks it’s like standing at the foot of Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall when the setting sun in February illuminates the falling water. It’s like padding beneath a firefall.


Print Quality

Our archival quality images are printed on Moab Exhibition paper using Canon Lucia inks, providing lustrous reproducttions with a board color gamut that resists aging. For more information on the technology used, see our page on print quality.

The images on this site have been highly compressed to speed page loading. Some artifacts from the process may be visible but the image files used for printing are high resolution.

Sound Rivers

Five percent of the profits from all sales on this site are donated to Sound Rivers, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the quality of rivers on the Carolina coastal plain.



Spanish moss and fall colors decorate the limbs of bald cypress and water tupelo on the bank of Merchants Millpond, NC.

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18"x12" Print, 24"x16" Print, 30"x20" Print, 36"x24" Print


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