It may be spring, but in my neck of the woods, Mother Nature takes one springy step forward and then two frosty steps back. A crocus or two have emerged, but nothing much that’s green has appeared yet. In the swamp however, the migratory birds are back, and all of our bird population is busy with checking out mates and real estate.
All of the photos I’m bombarding you with, were captured yesterday or just a few days prior.
A tribute to a sweet little wild bunny.
When she was quite small, she managed not only to survive four curious cats, a trip through the kitty door (which seriously scraped the fur and skin off her back), a harrowing escape through the living room, then out the front door. Weeks later, she took up residence in our front yard. She was clearly the same little rabbit, because of the reverse mohawk on her back, which (we were relieved to see), healed very nicely. She seemed familiar with us, the frantic humans from the house who expedited her getaway. On several occasions, she allowed us to approach, and was so relaxed in our presence, that she settled down a couple of feet away and bathed like a cat,taking time to thoroughly groom.
We haven’t seen her for a while. We’re hoping that she is safe, and is more wary of the dangers of cats and cars and humans. Hoping even more, that her curious and trusting nature didn’t lead her into another disaster, like a suburban Peter Rabbit.
We’ll be watching out for her this winter, ready with some extra bunny nutrition to help her through the coming snow storms. Ironically however, it would be better if she didn’t return. Better if her survival instincts took her a few blocks over to the river,where it’s a little more wild and a possibly a little bit safer.
The grackles are back in impressive numbers. I’m constantly mesmerized by their iridescence and shrewd behavior. One particular grackle inspired this watercolor. He puffed up in the cool breezes, holding firm his territory and warning his rivals to stay clear.
This lovely box turtle newly emerged from hibernation, crawled away from his winter home, still sleepy.
A tiny painted turtle having a look around.
A frog just up from the mud.
Lots of mating activity.
A snack after mating.
One of the resident nesting pair of geese, enjoying a little time away from nest sitting duties.
Right now in northern NJ, USA, baby snakes are plentiful. Most of our slitherers give birth late summer or early fall. Here we have an eastern ribbon snake and a couple of northern water snakes. These shots were taken within the last couple weeks. I’ve seen many more lately, but they’re just too quick for me to snap!
This guy is sporting a brille, or an eye cap. Looks like he may be ready to molt.
Last post you met the beautiful little guy who unlike his friends, returned to the same leaf, directly in front of me, and posed. To be sure I got his best side, here are two more. Enough now, I promise:)
The last in my three-part SPRING uplift;)
I forget every year how intoxicating spring really is. I’m grateful for another one.
Nothing says spring like a couple of handsome frogs. Happy spring!
Walking through a forest in February is ordinarily a study in black and white values. The gray is consuming. The eye yearns for relief.
Fortunately, these puddles beckoned me over to admire them. I have not enhanced their colors. They are what they were when they called.
Yes, unadulterated scum, drifting on streams in a park near my home. What is it? I have no idea. I am however, fascinated with the textures and patterns and colors it creates. A terrible beauty.
One day of travel from NJ through PA to Ohio, USA. To quell boredom on long journeys, I often ride with my camera in my lap (in the passenger seat of course), and shoot at will. I miss a lot of great shots, but catch a few interesting sights. This ride presented all kinds of weather, temperatures and conditions, occurring in just one day.
My potatoes do love me. The reverse has always been true, but today as I reached down into a bag of especially fine tubers (organic of course), my secret message tumbled forth.
I adore my potatoes and now I am assured that the feeling is mutual.
For those of you who do not know, NJ, USA was hit with a scary, freakish pre-Halloween snow storm. Power and internet service is just coming back after five days. While this was not a tragic event, it caused (among other things), the slashing of thousands of limbs from hundreds of trees, still sporting lush green leaves.
During the storm, my family and I slowly turned our heads to one another, then causiously moved from window to window to reluctently view the damage after each erie snap of a giant tree limb crashed onto the roof or to the ground.
When the snow finally stopped, my husband and I ventured out our back door. The brunt of the snowy wet rampage took half of our huge maple tree. Snow already melting, the scene looked like this.
It was strangely reminisent of a documentary we watched a couple of nights before the snow, called Radioactive Wolves. This time however, the damage was nature’s doing. She had wierdly reclaimed and rearragned our patio, yard and neighbor’s yard. It was kind of morosly beautitful, especially the startling find of new buds clinging to the carpet of branches, twigs, snow and splingered limbs layering our patio. Naturally these buds won’t survive, but like the wolves, I hope our maple will find a way.
It’s been a tough few weeks. Hoping these times are as short- lived as a maudlin chalk drawing just before the rain.
This morning while hoping and waiting for the clouds to lift, a hummingbird surprised us on the front porch, buzzing it’s wings persistently in pouring rain.
VERY soon now, Portrait of a Girl and Her Art will be available in hardcover, paperback and PDF .
I’m working on additional electronic formats.
Very soon I’ll have purchase info ready for one step clicking.
Portrait of a Girl and Her Art already has a dedicated blog where art tips, exciting interviews with young artists, and submissions of art by young artists will keep the inspiration momentum flowing! Please visit soon.
A little different approach here, but this piece is also inspired by Microcosmos. The color in the film is glorious, but I wanted to concentrate on one element at a time, so I went with black and white. The textures take over here. I’ve allowed the tree to define the texture. I made a rubbing with a charcoal pencil over the stone blocks that make up my patio. The result is the grungy almost embossed feel of the trees juxtaposed with the flat smooth insects. More to come.