Weekly Photo Challenge – Layers / Travel Theme – Short

“Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”

Carl Sandburg

This week Sara has challenged us to illustrate “layers”, while Ailsa has asked us to represent “short”.  Having now settled back into life here in coastal South Carolina, I’ve chosen our lovely autumn sweetgrass to address both challenges.  Building layer upon layer, its delicate stems meld together to form a lush, if short-lived, burst of bushy color.



“She would want to recall him in the air, between layers of cloud.” 

Colum McCann

Sweetgrass, or Muhlenbergia filipes by its formal name, is a dainty, willowy plant that arrives in mid-to-late September and lasts into early November.  While our northern friends enjoy the lush reds, golds and browns of fall, here in South Carolina we take pleasure in the arrival of the purple and pink  sweetgrass as it bends and curves in the breeze.  Occasionally we too get a short burst of fall color, against which the sweetgrass is especially vivid.



“Wake and dream, blinking, while layers within layers, none better, none worse, unravel and knit up before us.”

Jay Woodman

Sweetgrass is difficult to photograph because the slightest breeze will move it quite dramatically – so a creative photographer might choose something a bit more abstract to show its beauty 🙂



Layer by layer, art strips life bare.”

Robert Musil

Best of all, the fall color here on Kiawah does NOT mean snow and ice are on the way!  Our beautiful, sunny autumn days will lead us to winter weather which, while chilly and often brisk, is still milder than most, and is thankfully blessedly short.


92 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Layers / Travel Theme – Short

  1. Pingback: Seasonal Scenery – Weekly Photo Challenge | Travels and Trifles

  2. This Muhlenbergia filipes had me going for a minute because I suddenly thought there’s another species as pretty as Muhlenbergia capillaris. From what I’ve found online, though, botanists now classify M. filipes as a variety of M. capillaris. By coincidence, the week before your post I was photographing some pink muhly in Arkansas:


    It’s so much fun to play with, photographically, and I see from Wikipedia that the filipes variety has historical significance in coastal South Carolina.

    • Thanks Steven, yes it’s a big favorite down here and so gorgeous in the fall when it blooms. Thanks for stopping by!

      Sent from my iPad

    • Thanks Randall. A bit difficult to be inspired in the backyard after a month of travel but always good to be home 🙂

      Sent from my iPad

  3. Oh isn’t that lovely … such a haziness of warmth flowing through the grasses Tina … I’m thinking soft mohair wool in your ‘Sweetgrass abstract’ image …

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    • Thanks Ron! I have just a few because the prices have so gone through the roof they are virtually unaffordable. Have you seen the museum-quality pieces at the airport? They’re glorious!!

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  7. I think one day I would love to see the purple and pink sweetgrass of South Carolina. Thank you for sharing your autumn season. I enjoyed your photos. Also, love the subtitle of your blog – “expressing thought through photography” – how beautifully put! Kind regards.

  8. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers | Memory Catcher

  9. I LOVE these…and I think that u have captured them perfectly!! I have just learned something new
    about the beautiful sweetgrass…THANK U!!! I also ADORE the opening quote that u chose by Carl S….really quite brilliant!!!

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    • Thanks Seonaid! Who would have thought there really IS pink/purple grass?! We had a professional photographer in to do a lecture/shoot last and he was amazed by it, had never seen it even though he’s from the next state. It’s quite the sight in full bloom.

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