Monday, May 9, 2016

En route to home via Art Barn in Indiana

Michael has a 3 day workshop at the http://www.artbarnin.com/ where he has taught every year for many years.  The founder of the Art Center recently passed away so we are missing her cheerful presence.  When we were in Santa Fe I took lots of photos so it is time for some new kaleidoscopes.  However, before I do the Santa Fe pictures, I am doing a few of the flowers and architecture I saw in Indiana and Illinois.

Bleeding Hearts

Bark and Fungus

More Bleeding Heart Flowers


Colorful leaves or Green, Green Green


My sister's Purple Front Door

White Trillium

Many Violets

Copper Sculpture

Grate and Flowers

Hostas and Yellow Tulip

Picket Fence and Purple Flowers

The New Puppy Thea(my sister's)




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Time Again to Migrate to Campobello Island, NB CANADA!

People seem to be fascinated by our migratory way of life.  We live on the Bay of Fundy 6 months of the year on Campoobello Island, NB near Lubec, Maine and 6 months in the desert/riparian Verde Valley Cornville, Arizona area near the Red Rocks of Sedona.  Michael paints and teaches in both places and without moving with the seasons to teach we would not make a living as artists so it is both necessary and enjoyable which is an uncommon combination.  This week we are packing up to begin the migration East and North.  We both hate hot weather so it is not coming too soon this year as we have had amazingly warm temperatures since early January.  In fact, we barely used the heat in our home all winter.  Of course it helps that we like it 58 degrees inside!  The thing I find hardest to leave is the landscape and my gardens.  So I took a few picturew this week to remind me that this is one of the best Springs of my gardening life.  We had jonny jump ups blooming all winter, only a little frost damage on my agaves, and my giant alium bulbs and my iris's are blooming or getting ready to bloom.  Also cholla cactuses and other cactuses are getting ready to bloom as well.  We have had wildflowers nearly all winter...  We stayed one week longer and with the early Spring and the extra days I am seeing lots more vegetation blooming than usual.  Enjoy the images below:

subtle agave

barrel  cactus replicated

jonny jump ups and cactus combo


orchid in my kitchen


daisy fleabane and my fence


green in Arizona or soon to be blooming irises
a red rose, the roses have been prolific this year


Giant alium and bee, I do my part to have flowers for the bees



Teddy Bear Cholla

Friday, March 11, 2016

Spring Wildflowers in Sedona

I just returned from a 5 day photographic expedition to Moab, Utah, my first vacation in years when I had no responsibilities!  Took lots of pictures of rocks, trees, amazing geological features like arches and spires, rock climbers, petroglyphs and even a pretty waterfall.  I have 1,300 plus photos to sort through, and obviously a few kaleidoscopes will be made!

In the meantime I took a hike in Sedona while Michael was trying out a new easel and I spotted lots of wildflowers blooming in Sedona.  Verbena, black footed daisies, indian paintbrush, basin bladderpod, london rocket and others.  The best source of information about the plants, trees and flowers of the Verde Valley is this web site:  http://www.naturesongs.com/vvplants/, I believe.  I know what these flowering plants are, do you!









Monday, February 22, 2016

Emerging from the Ground, Spring has Sprung in Northern Arizona

It has been an incredibly hot "spring" here.  Actually Spring doesn't officially come for another month, but the bulbs are blooming and the willows, lilacs and fruit trees are flowering and leafing out!

Here are a few beauties from my garden photographed on February 22nd, 2016! They do say that March, April, and May 2016 will be wetter because of the El Nino which usually also means cooler weather.  I expect there will be a snowstorm in Colorado when we pass though in early May.  We have been sleeping with the windows open for weeks now, how weird!
















Monday, January 4, 2016

Upsetting Tree Graffiti in Red Rock Country


I am actually standing in front of this ancient cottonwood tree and don't even reach area the branches split
We have spent quite a few years as seasonal residents of Red Rock Country and the Verde Valley where we enjoy a mild winter and beautiful natural areas. However, the past few years have seen an upsetting increased amount of jeeps, air traffic like helicopters, fast out of control mountain bikers, and ATV's in our national forest making it much more difficult to enjoy as hikers.

Yesterday we treated ourselves to an expensive hike in Red Rock State Park. It now costs $14 to enter each time for 2 people($7 per person as of January 1, 2016). This is supposed to be the "environmental park" in the area for wildlife and no dogs or motorized vehicles are allowed past the environmental center.

From the web site it states that "The mission of the park is to preserve the riparian habitat associated with Oak Creek; to serve as an environmental education facility; and to provide limited passive recreational opportunities, including birdwatching...." We were totally horrified to see what had happened to the park in the past year. There were quite a few places where people had definitely been making their own trails and there was horrible graffiti on some of the most beautiful sycamore trees done with a knife or in one case a pencil. The graffiti was dated '15 just to make sure we knew it was done this past year.... It made me sick and I wondered who would come into a park and deface trees like that. Is this part of the selfie generation's need to make their mark on everything...? Couldn't they just take a picture of the tree and do virtual graffiti using photoshop rather than wreck the tree forever for everyone else.










Thankfully the cottonwood trees seem to be unscathed since they have bark that does not yield to graffiti as easily.



Graffiti done by "bark beetle"?




kaleidoscopes done of above image







Some kaleidoscopes of unscathed sycamore bark...





original bark image below with its amazing colors