Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Winter Floods in the Verde Valley, Arizona

People think of Arizona as the desert and it is usually sunny, but when it rains, it can really rain and in the Verde Valley that means flooding.  We have had quite a few days of rain so the creeks and rivers have risen.  This morning I took a picture of ducks in a tree above Oak Creek who are probably confused as to why the placid creek has become a torrent of muddy water and fast moving logs and other debris!

In our community we have two creeks, Oak and Spring Creeks which went way beyond their banks in the past few days.  Our hiking trails are flooded and even walking bridges have been relocated by the powerful rushing rivers!  It is a good reminder of how powerful water can be.

The following series were created from photos taken this morning.  Happy Holidays to All!  There is a surprising amount of color in nature for such a dreary rainy day.  Red or pinkish soils, brown water, green grasses, and many other colors shine through the kaleidoscopes!

ducks on a tree

The turtle made of debris

Above the flood waters

the poor bridge

floodwaters and winter's lack of foliage

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Last Day Of Summer, Autumnal Equinox and Spectacular Spider Webs and next summer's vacation planning!

Maybe soon I will be able to close my windows and seal in for winter.  It has been really nice this late summer season with just a hint of the coming season.  As usual, this is the season for mushrooms and spider webs and the hint of Fall color.  However, in this area, the leaves are not that spectacular as compared with other New England areas I have lived in partly because of all the evergreen like spruces, but also the few maples do not blaze with color.   The most colorful thing is the berries on the ash trees!

I believe it is because the night time temperatures are moderated by the ocean breezes so the leaves do not have to go out in short blaze of color, but have an extended dying off period.  The first frost happens usually in October on Campobello Island which is really late for the 45th parallel!  Our garden is just beginning to bear some green beans!

I will post a few spiderweb kaleidoscopes for my last one of my summer season here in Lubec, Maine and Campobello Island, NB.  There is an international border between the towns here, but it feels like one town as the services and amenities complement each other and we own property in both!  I make my escape to another country nearly every day!

It is not too early to begin thinking about summer 2017!  We are taking reservations for our artists retreat vacation rental in Lubec, Maine for summer 2017 now.

Water views, walk to beach and waterfront restaurants.  Make your own artistic retreat, musical or painting,  or join us in a plein air workshop.  $500 for 5 nights, contact me!  Great for SummerKeys students.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Last Days of Summer at the 45th Parallel

Here at the 45th parallel, summer ends pretty early.  The day lilies and sunflowers have pretty much ended their summer bloom, and we are being treated to a good mushroom season.  It is now a season of changing leaves, heavy morning dew, extravagant spider webs, fog and fading vegetation and one of my favorite seasons.

smiling birdhouses

family in fog

johnny jump ups one of the first and last flowers of the season

spectacular mushroom "flower"

mushroom and lichen.  Mushrooms have an amazing diversity of color and shape

my red and yellow sunflowers against our red barn.  I try to grow these every year, but these year only a few germinated, but the ones that did provided spectacular blooms.

a new variety of echevaria with pretty flowers captured here  

My smokebush!

smokebush and sunflower

spider web

spider web...great design!

When the spectacle of Fall is nearly over, we begin our trek south and west to Arizona stopping briefly in Wilmington, NC so Michael can teach a workshop, in Georgia so Michael can celebrate a decade birthday with his family, then briefly to NM and then on to AZ where Michael begins the Sedona Plein Air Festival less than 24 hours after we arrive.  It will be a very busy October!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Colorful Flower Kaleidoscopes and Beautiful Lubec, Maine

The heat of summer has descended.  This is not my favorite time of year as I enjoy Spring and Fall much more, but there are beautiful colorful blooms in my garden now.  Especially hydrangeas, daylillies, hostas, astilbe, and fireweed.  An amazing range of color in these kaleidoscopes!  I also caught some beautiful evening light on some of the Lubec Landmark buildings the other evening so I will do kaleidoscopes of some buildings which sit in the tidal waters as well for this posting.

Now for the buildings!

Friday, July 15, 2016


My theme lately is changes.  The flowers blooming change weekly within the framework that our lives are always changing.  Our 16 year old dog is beginning to age, with reduced vision, hearing and some loss of mobility, but she stays cheerful and willing to try to do anything we suggest.  We do not plan to replace her, nor could we if we wished, so we are trying to spend significant time with her this summer.

We have 2 historic houses up for sale, one in Lubec Lubec Home for Sale and one on Campobello Island Campobello Island home for sale, and hope to be moving into my parent's barn by the end of the summer. (Both have sold) If all goes well, we will have seasonal studios in the barn and no retail studios next year so we can just work on our projects.  As Michael moves toward retirement without a pension or any serious savings, we will be downsizing our lives to the bare bones and he will be reducing his teaching schedule after the next 2 years.  The first step is the move to the barn which belongs to my parents, then we may at some point go to living in a vehicle like a small rv which would still allow us to do some travelling which is a major interest of mine and something I hope to do in the future!

Tomorrow, July 16, 2016 and next Saturday July 23, 2016 we will be participating in a studio tour in Lubec, Maine.  Come see us:

Mint and Barn

Monkshood and Lawn

Fringed Pink Poppies and More Traditional Red Poppies

Seaglass in the Garden

Yellow Yarrow in Full Bloom

Sunday, June 19, 2016

More flowers on Campobello Island--lupine, poppies, lilacs, ranunculus and so on

We are preparing our house for sale so have been getting the gardens tidied up.  Met with a realtor yesterday so that process is beginning... SOLD!

Amazing Poppies

The garden path sphere

Lilacs still blooming...  
The weather has been cool until now and so the spring bloom has gone on and on...

Lupines appear to be exploding!

The old Homestead at 822 Route 774 Campobello Island, NB

One of my seaglass windows

Columbine in Purple