Saturday, May 23, 2015

May Marvels

Wild Hyacinth
Baby Bluebird

Sunset over Barn

Redbud leaf in tea


Dragonfly - I can't find the species
Hazy Late Afternoon

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Actias Luna

This is my second sighting of the Luna Moth, actias luna, one of the largest moths in North America with a wingspan of nearly 5 inches. Really amazing to see such a creature.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fruits of Summer

Recently completed mini-canvas painting; sealed watercolor on canvas.
Just as the wild strawberries are ripening.

Summer Taking Flight

Friday, May 8, 2015

            Tiny = Happy

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April Field Notes: Mushrooms

April was a slow, meditative walk through the woods, with my eyes down and roaming in search of that little (or large if I'm lucky), perfectly camouflaged morsel - the Morel mushroom. This morel season was pretty successful but not legendary. I have heard and seen pictures of the most epic harvests of morels. Oh to be so lucky!

I spy with my little eye: look how perfectly it blends in!

This year I even found a false morel, pictured below. Don't eat these guys, the are poisonous. For me the difference is obvious but the real giveaway is that a false morel is not hollow and an edible morel is hollow when cut lengthwise.

False Morel

Inside of false morel.
I have also been finding Devil's Urn, below, in my woods especially on downed tree logs. I think they should rather be called Elfin Cap, it's much less sinister. These are not edible. They look really spectacular and if you run your finger inside them and wait a second or two and magical little swirl of spores spirals out of them. I think there is a story hiding inside them.  

A fitting hat for any woodland sprite, gnome, elf or fairy don't you think?

Here was my favorite morel creation. A pizza on a toasted flour tortilla. First I sauteed some chopped onion in butter until tender, then I added a little cream and salt and pepper - just enough cream to make a paste like sauce. I smeared this on an already toasted tortilla. On top of this I added my sliced morel mushrooms, some cheese (whatever you like but I added garlic cheddar & mozzarella). I also added a thinly sliced tomato and a drizzle of olive oil. I baked at 350 for around 10 minutes. You want the mushrooms to get cooked thoroughly. You could sautee mushrooms first as well. YUM!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

April Field Notes: Wildflowers

Shooting Star - many blooms smell of grape

Blooms of Shooting Star

Blue False Indigo - probably my favorite woodland wildflower

Blue False Indigo

Hoary Puccoon

Yellow Star Grass

Shining Blue Star, view from above

Wild Hyacinth

Fire Pink

Rue Anemone (or False Rue Anemone - they are so close) was very widespread in my woods this year. 

Yellow Star Grass

Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy May Day

watercolor on paper

Last week I filled a bottle with fresh water from our spring, toted watercolor paints, brushes and paper with me into the woods, scouted out a flat shady spot and used my spring water to paint. I wanted to paint postcards to send to my niece and nephew for May Day. Above is a Green Man, spirit of the woods, and below is a May Queen that turned into more of a woodland sprite. In other parts of the world, particularly in the British Isles, a procession is held on May Day and is led by a May Queen and Green Man in celebration of the beginning of summer. Here are some links to read more about the May Day customs:

Another product of forest painting, this time with a favorite quote.