Monday, April 16, 2018

just two cheerful snaps

 A White-throated Sparrow, perched in the sugar maple sapling just outside my window. I saw the first flash of yellow last week and have been hoping to get a decent photograph ever since. Today, this little bird provided several.

This fragile stem has been rooting in water after a recent horrible mishap involving a very large potted begonia and a windowsill. This morning I was surprised by the sudden appearance of a perfect flower.

I hope your week is off to a pleasant start.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

saturday snaps

Lately, there's been so much this.
If it's not raining, I try to comb cashmere for two hours in the morning
and one or two hours in the afternoon.

Today, though, being Saturday, there was no morning combing. I needed that time to gather up rubbish and recycling from the barns and the house and take it to the dump.

This afternoon I could have combed, as it was overcast but not raining. But Piper deserved some quality time with a person not too pooped to be good company.
We headed for the woods.

Funny thing: you know how a dog will jump up when the car keys jingle? Well today, Piper didn't wait for that. She jumped up when she saw me put a sketchbook and paints and brushes in a little pile.

We spent nearly two hours wandering around.
Trying to keep our feet dry. (Mostly me.)
Smelling things. (Mostly Piper.)

It was perfect light for soaking up colors.
Striped Maple buds looked almost black next to the deep green stems:

A single partridgeberry:

Color and texture:
I generally take many photographs of bark.

So today I also tried painting some bark.
Red oak, hemlock, and black birch:

Before I could add a fourth species, the sky suddenly grew darker and the temperature dropped. So Piper and I packed up and headed briskly out, just making it home in time to cover the hay. It was a very good couple of hours.

Piper had a grand time, even during the few minutes that I was painting. We have reached an agreement about how close a dog's head should be to a watercolor.

This close:


Sunday, April 8, 2018

a sketchy week in review

Early in the week, so much snow had melted in the woods that the partridgeberry was visible again. So refreshing to see that occasional glint of red on the forest floor!

Then, it snowed and hailed and rained and snowed.

There were thunderstorms. Gusting winds.
Branches came down.
The power went out twice in 12 hours.

Then we had a sunny day!

On the sunny day, I took a break from combing goats. Although it was still cold and windy, I dusted off my sketching chair and headed to the woods with Piper.

We walked in, then Piper trotted around while I set up my chair, unpacked my watercolor pencils, got settled in and started to work.

But...Piper was so excited to be out in the woods, she kept coming back to me, dropping her head - thud! - onto my sketchbook, and looking up at me, grinning. Seeing her so happy made me happy, too, so I put the sketchbook away and brought out the treats instead.

Outdoor sketching can wait.
I still have lots of photographs to work with.

And nighttime sketching is good.
The trickiest part is staying awake.

I don't know where this weekend went,
but I hope you all had a good one!


Friday, April 6, 2018

now you see it

now you don't!

If you happened to see the horrendous comment that was up for a couple of hours recently, my apologies. Very few slip through the net, and in fact, there's been a remarkably low level of ugliness on this blog over the years.

My guests are just The Nicest People!

So this may have been a one-off. If it becomes a recurrent thing, I will have to implement "administrator approval" for comments, as do many of you on your own blogs. We'll see.

Further seediness:

Attention Tess, Winner of Seeds: I have no way of contacting you directly! Please send me your mailing address and choice of seed - Winter or Summer squash. If I don't hear from you by Saturday, a full week after the drawing, I will assume you have also won a trip to Tahiti - hey, congrats!!! - and are going there instead of planting a garden this year.

Also in Seed world: here's the link to Tipper's giveaway in case you missed it. Ends tomorrow, 7 April.


Are we ready for the weekend?

Let's hope for a little less of this:

and a lot more of this: