Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mushroom Monday

Epic Oyster Mushrooms on a log. Found Hiking Lost Valley near the Buffalo River, AR.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lúnasa


The beginning of August marks the old Irish Gaelic festival day of Lúnasa, halfway between summer solstice & autumn equinox, marking the beginning of harvest time and the turn from summer to winter. (In Irish, the word for August is Lúnasa.) It is a time to honor the sun, for Lúnasa (or Lughnasadh) is named for Lugh, the old Irish god of the Sun. It's a time to gather the first harvests, to light a bonfire in thanks for your blessings, bake a pie with freshly gathered blueberries, for matchmaking and hand-fasting, for pilgrimages to holy wells and sacred trees. Here Lúnasa arrived on a cool front, one I was aching for, a blessed foreshadowing of Autumn and all her finery. Happy Harvest to come. 

You can read more about Lúnasa and Irish customs at:
yourirish.com
Ireland Calling
Irish Central

Monday, July 31, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

British Isles #23: The Great Glen to Glencoe



The large and deep fault line carves itself across the Scottish Highlands, from Inverness on the east to Fort William in the west. They call this The Great Glen and in the valleys lie many lakes including the infamous Loch Ness, as well as Loch Lochy and Loch Linnhe. Mountains rise above both sides. Needless to say, this is a stunning landscape and scenic drive. The A82 stretches from Inverness to Fort William, following the glen as you drive along nearly each lake. 

About a half hour from Fort William sits this architectural wonder: the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Atop of these arches, travels the West Highland Railway (or perhaps you've seen it carrying the Hogwarts Express). This is an easy site to get to with parking just off the A830 and short walk through a bit of woods and along a stream (or a "burn" in Scots).  It is massive, impressive and built over 100 years ago (1897). Definitely worth a stop if you are in the vicinity. You can travel the West Highland Railway which surely journeys through some spectacular scenery. Perhaps one day I'll venture back and hop aboard. (FYI Highly recommend Clan Macduff Hotel in Ft. William, situated across the loch - splurge for a loch view balcony).




From Fort William we continued southwest on the A82 through Glencoe and past several evocative Mountains including Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Britain. It was moody and overcast, with intermittent rain and fog along this most scenic of drives but it didn't spoil the scenery. Being in a rainy mountainous area, there were waterfalls aplenty - some very near the road or a short hill walk away, dozens of white water ribbons adorned the mountainsides. Quite breathtaking, sublime and humbling. Don't miss Glencoe if you are Scotland. 





Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Mighty Fortress

Don't forget, I'm doing a giveaway over at Emerald Post Blog, Just leave a comment on any Anatomy of a Castle Post to enter. Read more about it here: Castle Giveaway

Fortress Block Print $11
Inspired by the magic and majesty of castles and my journeys through darkened corridors and up spiral staircases to the tops of turrets, this hand carved and hand pressed Fortress Block Print was featured in the Castle Edition of Emerald Post. You can still get one in the July Issue of Emerald Post HERE or the Fortress Print individually HERE. You can have your castle printed on black, ivory, or and old page from The Death of King Arthur. 

Below are the contents of the July issue of Emerald Post: a 5x7 Notecard & Envelope featuring Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland, the 5x7 Fortress Block Print, and 5 Polaroid inspired photos nestled into a tiny envelope.

July Castle Edition - $15

Friday, July 21, 2017

Anatomy of a Castle:
Blog Series & Giveaway

Chepstow Castle, Wales, UK
On my companion blog for Emerald Post I am embarking on a blog series exploring the "Anatomy of a Castle" to compliment the July Issue of Emerald Post. Please hop over to www.emerald-post.blogspot.com to journey with me back in time to the Medieval Castles of the Celtic Isles. And to make the journey even sweeter I'm hosting a giveaway! Leaving a comment on any or all "Anatomy of a Castle" Posts enters you into a drawing to win a 5x7 Castle Photo of Your Choice (from the Anatomy of a Castle Blog Series) plus a few other goodies. You'll be entered once for each blog post that you comment upon (but leave as many comments as you wish) and a winner will be chosen randomly after the blog series closes (likely in a few weeks). So come journey with me and comment away. Thanks!

Descending the spiral staircase

British Isles #22: Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle sits on the edge of the notorious Loch Ness home of the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie for short.  There isn't much left of the castle but it is picturesque and serene. As far as other castle and ruins go, this one pales in comparison. But we were in the area, and it was on our Heritage Pass so we stopped. It was off season so it wasn't busy and the lake was fog covered and beautiful. Had it been summer we would have definitely avoided this place. As a rule, we generally opt to skip the most touristy attractions such as Blarney Castle in Ireland which we've still not seen. Where you visit is obviously a personal preference. Stonehenge also is very well known and visited by tourists but I've been twice (in the off season, mind you) and enjoyed it quite a bit, I thought it was worth the price/crowds. I usually weigh costs and convenience of getting somewhere when deciding where or where not to go.






Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Toadstool Tuesday

Since the summer heat and some gracious July rain have graced my woods with a plethora of fungi - I'm breaking into the other days of the week to share these awesome mushrooms, hence Toadstool Tuesday.  I just loved this one. Found it one evening when the light was almost gone and the next morning it had opened into the loveliest parasol (as big as my hand!). I think it is a blusher mushroom, amanita rubescens, and this species is popping up all over my forest currently. The quick nature of mushrooms to pop up, to shapeshift, to disappear give them such an air of magic, it is no wonder they are players in so many stories, myths, & legends.

About 8:30 pm

Around 9 am the next morning

A look under the cap

Can you spy the blushing beauty? What about an Indigo Milky?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mushroom Monday

A medley of mushrooms found throughout Missouri woods with a little summer rain.

Boletes




Edible Chanterelle

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer of Stones

This June, I featured ancient stone monuments over at Emerald Post. These ancient stones are scattered all across the Celtic Isles, some are known worldwide, like Stonehenge, some just stand humbly among sheep in a farmer's field. Any drive across the landscape and you will see ancient stones of one sort or another. My watercolor painting below journeys through the landscape stopping at different types of monuments from different eras: Dolmen, Stone Circles, Standing Stones, Clochan/Beehive Huts, Cashels & High Crosses. And the other contents of June's Emerald Post explore these monuments even further. Below is a gathering of June's contents (still available over HERE) and an offering of stones from across these isles.

History in Stone Watercolor Print - Available HERE


Castlerigg Stone Circle, Lake District, England

Beehive Stone Huts on Island of Skellig Michael, Kerry, Ireland

Trethevy Quoit, Cornwall, England

Exterior of Passage Tombs at Knowth, Boyne Valley, Ireland

Neolithic Art Carvings at Newgrange, Boyne Valley, Ireland

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mushroom Monday

Sunlit Shrooms - My favorite edibles: Indigo Milkys and Chanterelles

Monday, June 19, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summer Sights

Self Heal - edible & medicinal, can be used for a tea


Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot)

Larkspur