Saturday, April 12, 2014
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Spring is here -- lots of rain, temperature fluctuations--warm, cool, hot--and of course, the yellows, pinks and purples that seem to mark the season.Throughout my property, bright yellow globes greet me.
Yep, the dandelion has roared its way into spring.
Despite the persistence of these plants and how they often crowd out other flora, I have to marvel at their usefulness - as a vegetable, coffee substitute, wine, vitamins -- as well as an early food source for bees and other pollinating insects. Dandelions provide cover and color to those areas of my property that have not yet established more tender flowers and they help stabilize the soil. And their golden glow mirrors the sunshine adding cheer to the day ...
My only wish is that they were far more 'prudent' in their exuberant proliferation ....!!
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Spring has finally arrived with warmest temperatures yet ... yesterday we reach 85F! Whew! From Arctic blast to the Sahara in a week!
I've only seen the foliage for spring daisies ... which means these cheerful flowers won't be here for a number of weeks.
Still, I wanted to celebrate the return of warm weather, getting out in the garden, the scent of Winter Daphne throughout my property, and the magic of sunshine ....
Sunday, March 30, 2014
It's been a week of more conflicting weather - sunshine, rain, grey skies, cold, warm ... still, spring advances in visuals - blooming Bradford Pears, Ornamental cherries, Forsythia, Spirea, dandelions, chickweed, henbit, daffodils, and in Raleigh - the first tulips. I can't get into my garden yet .. and my seedlings now have grown as tall as my youngest grandson ..! This week promises warmer, steadier seasonal weather -- fingers crossed!
While spring takes its sweet time to settle in, I review my image collection and use spring and summer photos from last year to paint my dreams.
There is a small pond nearby that I pass frequently on trips to town. Two almost entwined trees seem to stand as sentinels by the roadside .. and as I drive by, I note seasonal changes through the various stages of vegetation along its edges.
Today, the trees remain leafless and the grasses a mix of dull umbers .. but last year -- this is what I saw ....
So I paint -- to remember - to honor -- to wish ....
What a marvelous tool for transformation ......
Have a great Sunday!
Sunday, March 23, 2014
11" x 14" Watercolor
After a few days of ice, the Vernal Equinox brought several delightful days of warm weather and sunshine -- Bradford pears burst into bloom as did forsythia, more daffodils, aguga , and those hardy dandelions!! And as far as I could tell, almost everyone was outdoors in the throes of spring fever! (and especially with a bit of cold weather and a dash of snow in the forecast for this week ...sigh).
But it was in this joyous state of spring celebration, that I was richly inspired by a particular photograph from my friend, John Harding. John lives on the North Carolina coast and shares his AWESOME photography with us each day. For some most jaw-dropping photographs see his flickr stream here: www.flickr.com/photos/tisdale53).
My husband and I have been to Duck, NC several times to celebrate anniversaries, and we were always charmed by the views, the people, and the community. So John's photograph of this beautiful place: www.flickr.com/photos/tisdale53/13217879454/ combined with the onset of spring -- really had me doing my own small celebration.
With John's permission and grateful appreciation, I am posting my interpretation of his photograph ... Thank you again, John, for your kindness and especially for adding to delightful memories!
Thursday, March 20, 2014
10" x 14" Watercolor
We are finally supposed to see the sun today -- a most welcome sight !! And a warm up for a few days. The trees have quickened and throughout the woodlands the maples are showing wonderful crimson. In town (a bit warmer apparently than where I live), there are hints of Bradford pears and blackcherry trees trying to bloom. I see buds on my forsythia and quince -- but merely hints. I know it won't be too much longer before spring really settles in ... and til then (and with another wintry mix in the forecast next week), I'll have to celebrate the new season with paint and paper.
Still, each warm day, each new bud, each new day filled with sunshine is a celebration following a most difficult winter.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
The fickle nature of the season has me in short sleeves one day, down parka the next -- it's as though Mother Nature is reluctant to give up Winter and concede to Spring. Was able to work in the garden earlier this week, and now we're due for another slow flurry ..! Dizzying changes!
Still, driving yesterday yielded large swathes of color as woodland trees break buds to give all the greys a touch of magenta, emerald and gold ... filling us with hope that spring will come soon.
In the words of Hal Borland "Sundial of the Seasons:"
March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice.....She has whims and winning ways. She's exasperating, lovable, a terror-on-wheels, too young to be reasoned with, too old to be spanked...
"March is rain drenching as June and cold as January. It is mud and slush and the first green grass down along the brook...
"March is pussy willows..hepatica...arbutus. Sometimes it is anemones and bloodroot blossoms and even brave daffodils. March is a sleet storm pelting out of the north the day after you find the first violet bud...
"March is the gardener impatient to garden; it is the winter-weary sunseeker impatient for a case of Spring fever. March is February with a smile and April with a sniffle. March is a problem child with a twinkle in its eye."
I couldn't have said it better!