Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Adventures at Cheraw

A substantial thunder storm saved us having to get up at the crack of dawn. Ranger Rick Smith advised me that just after dawn is a good time to view the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. I think, no, I know that's why I'm partial to raptors and wading birds. They keep my kind of hours :)

I had asked Rick if he thought we could take the golf cart on the nature trail to get to the nesting area. I really didn't want to tote my pack etc. very far. The words 'out of shape' apply....... A pensive look came over his face but then he said yes, that should be fine.

When the weather cleared we picked up the golf cart at the course and made our way to the nature trail.
We entered the trail and found it was indeed wide enough for the cart. That is, until we came upon a narrow wood plank bridge type structure that went over a not too deep depression. Hmmmmm. I really didn't want to turn back. Rob got out and walked ahead of the cart guiding me as I drove across the bridge. It wasn't real long. Perhaps 15 feet. It's just that the half the width of the golf cart tires hung off each side of the bridge! Very tricky as there was a bit of a bend to the bridge.

We made it over and off we went. Here are some images of the Longleaf Pines that these woodpeckers make nesting cavities in. They choose trees that are over 60 years old as there will be sufficient heartwood for a cavity free of sap. Plus, many mature trees are infected with red heart fungus that softens the heartwood - making it easier to excavate!
Trees marked with white bands have nesting cavities. Another neat tidbit is that the woodpeckers will scale the outer bark off the trees above and below the cavity entrance and chip many holes around the cavity. This creates a run of sap/resin around the hole and down the tree. The resin coats the tree and helps keep predators like Rat snakes from climbing the trees.

Didn't see one woodpecker! We did feel like midgets among the longleaf pines though :)

We headed back, wondering if we could navigate the 'bridge' again. This time Rob was driving, I got out to direct him.
Things were fine until about 3' from the end, then the right back tire slipped off the bridge. We tried swinging off the right front tire in hopes of a tilted escape but the ground was a tad too low............ Stuck and embarrassed!

We were rescued. The cart was fine. But, just to make us really laugh, the rescuers nudged a small tree with their cart when backing up and it fell on them! I couldn't resist the photo opp!

I finished off the afternoon back a Lake Juniper. This time I played with Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels on Yupo paper.

Monday at Cheraw

We arrived at Cheraw State Park around 2 p.m. on the 15th. It took a little over 3 hours, mostly on Rt. 95, then at exit 164, we headed west on Rt 52.

Living in Beaufort County, we really get an unrealistic view of South Carolina. Now I understand why our county is last on the state's list for school and other funding. We traveled through some towns that have been hit very hard in this down economy. Quite sobering.

The long drive to the park office had me itching to be unpacked and out exploring. The staff at the park rolled out the red carpet. This is my first experience as an Artist-in-Residence. I hope to have more opportunities, but I will tell you, the bar has been set!

Rob and I settled into cabin #8. That's our trusty mode of transport, compliments of the state park's golf club. We could pick up a cart each morning as early as 6 a.m., and then needed to return it by 8 p.m. Never did make it there at 6 a.m. but got pretty close a couple of days :)

Our cabin was cute. On the right side was a cement pad with a picnic table and grill that was sheltered by a live oak. The cabin had a screened porch with 2 rockers, inside we found a decent sized living/dining area that included a queen-size Murphy bed, a very small kitchen (I was so glad I made salads to take with us), a bedroom with twin beds and a mini, and I do mean mini, bathroom. All in all, we were very comfy and air conditioned.... satellite TV too!
We spent the evening down by Lake Juniper. Don't you just love that name? There are a small grouping of Cypress trees along the far shore. I understand that the head waters of Lake Juniper are loaded with Cypress.

For Tuesday, we planned to explore the Red-cockaded Woodpecker's nesting area. Stay tuned :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Packing for Cheraw

What to bring? So far, the Soltek Easel, various sized watercolor blocks, Aquabee Super Delux Sketchbooks, small Holbein watercolor travel set and a somewhat larger ArtBin case with palette filled with Holbein colors, Derwent and Faber Castel watercolor pencils, Derwent Pastel Pencils, Niji WaterBrushes, Micron pens, masking fluid, white artist tape, gator board, Carand'Ache neocolor II watersoluble wax pastels, hand-made journal filled with Arches CP and HP papers, Strathmore Imperial & Gemini CP, HP, and rough papers. plus some colored charcoal papers. Thought I'd experiment :)

Not seen are the acrylic supplies and a few canvases, camera's, my friends spotting scope and tripod. Next is the kitchen sink :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cheraw State Park Artist-in-Residence

On Monday, June 15th, Rob and I head for Cheraw State Park where I am honored to be their Artist-in-Residence for 1 week. There were 65 applicants, of which 10 artists were chosen.

The South Carolina State Park Service offers this program to painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, weavers and other artists that they may capture the natural and hisotorical resources of the parks. Applications are available from mid June and must be postmarked no later than October 31st. You can obtain information by calling 864-638-5353 or email; oconeestatepark-at-scprt-dot-com.

Last year, artists had 10 parks to choose from. While most were upstate, my top three picks (Cheraw, Givhans Ferry and Poinsett) offered the opportunity to further my current low country theme.

I'm especially excited that I was awarded Cheraw, as it is home to the rare Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Picoides borealis. I first saw them while studying to become a Master Naturalist. They are found in mature longleaf pine savannas and live in colonies. They will only nest in longleaf pines that are 60 plus years old, as the trees, at that age, are soft inside and make good nesting cavities. Consequently, the lack of longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, savannahs has really dwindled their population. You can click on the link to read more about these trees from an earlier post.

Cheraw is also home to cypress wetland. Another favorite. The trees remind me of dancing ladies with big hoop skirts :)

The photographs are courtesy of Cheraw State Park's website. Other links are below:
Trail Map for Cheraw State Park
Mountain Bike Trail
Cheraw State Park Map

I've been soooooo looking forward to this get-away! Gotta run, need to take my time packing my gear, as I surely don't want to forget anything :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Trip to the Mail Box.....

Sometimes, this student of nature, just can't stick with her well- intentioned daily 'to do' list. But, how often do you run across a brave anole, that could give a rip about you being a zillion times bigger than he is, and just continues hunting bugs 2 inches from your toes? I ask you!?!

He was even good enough to stick around while I dropped the mail off in the house and grabbed my sketching supplies! There I was, sitting on the concrete driveway, trying to capture the essence of this lizard. I'd talk to him (yes, it's a male - he flashed his substantial throat fan, bobbed his head and did push-ups during this territorial dispute. They also display their throat fan during courtship.... no, I wasn't wearing my lizard outfit! Sorry, couldn't resist sick nature humor!)

This whole sketching exercise lasted 5 - 10 minutes. He moved far to quickly to stick with pencil and pen. Out came the waterbrush and travel set of watercolors. I'd load the waterbrush up with color and try to capture his body in one stroke. The legs were a bit problematic; he didn't seem to get the concept of the word 'stay!'

Of course, I had the best observations of the anole on my initial trip to the mail box. I think it's time to purchase a very small moleskin sketchbook to keep in my pocket!

Today, June 8th, is the inaugural World Ocean Day!

I just discovered that last year the United Nations General Assembly declared that beginning today, World Ocean Day is to always be celebrated on June 8th!

Katherine Tyrrell, a very talented artist and information guru has posted an intensive, interesting blog post regarding World Ocean Day, that will knock your socks off. Please, please take a look. This year's theme is Our Oceans, Our Responsibility.

Thank you, Katherine, for all your research!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's that time!

For the last week I've been noticing the Beauty-berry shrubs, Callicarpa americana L., are sporting their tiny flowers :) Hopefully, this summer, we'll have enough rain so the wonderfully, beautiful Beauty-berries will mature! Can you tell their one of my favorites?

By the by, we had a great time at Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge for our nature journaling field trip. We did such a righteous meander along the path to Ibis Pond that we ran out of time to sketch there! Too bad, as Ibis Pond was teaming with activity. Ibis, of course, black-crowned night herons (adult & juvi) Tri-colored Herons, Little Blue Herons, Great Egrets......... on and on. So many birds, so little time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge Field Trip

Tomorrow, I lead past nature journaling workshop participants on a field trip to Pinckney Island. I love these 'refresher' field trips.

Workshops are a great way to introduce the joys and techniques of journaling but, they are also intense and a lot of information is consumed.

Field trips give workshop graduates a chance to utilize skills learned and get a refresher course on techniques through demonstrations. Plus, it's good for the soul being with like minds :)

The weather promises to be toasty. We will meander and sketch our way to Ibis Pond. I can't wait. Is it tomorrow yet?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cat's Claw?

Let's switch for a minute to the Southwest. My sister sent this organic sculptural ensemble from Arizona. We have always referred to the individual piece as Cat's claw. However, when I googled the plant name today, I couldn't find any images that matched the dried fruit(?). Everything referred to the thorns on the Cat Claw plant, acacia greggii.

That's our Dudley, being his nosey little self.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Sweetbay Celebration

A few Saturday's ago, I wandered down the tree line in back of the house to the multi-trunked Sweetbay, Magnolia virginiana L., in hopes that there were still fresh blooms to paint. I had my watercolor sketchbook, travel set of holbein watercolors and my NIJI waterbrush. No campstool. No pencil. I just wanted to paint! The 'ol girl is getting bolder. I also think the yearning to create an acrylic painting is surfacing, thus the desire to just lay down the paint and not fuss with drawing and wc washes.

The first image is my 30 minute wc sketch. The second image I created from a digital photo displayed on my computer monitor. I started with wc pencils but finished up with Caran D'arch Neocolor II watersoluble wax pastels. I have a small set of ten. Interesting little guys. They have a painterly feel to them. Almost like acrylics in stick form.

The rest of the Sweetbay studies utilize General's sketch and wash pencil. I did them back in 2007 when I first discovered this beauty of a tree.

These trees can reach 60' but, my tree book, Native Trees of the Southeast, says they can also be a large shrub, especially in the northern parts of its range (NC, VA, DE). My little tree (I get quite posesive when I discover a specimen) is interesting in that it has 22 branches/trunks. It either wants to be a shrub or perhaps it used to have a single trunk and was cut down. Often times, if the roots live, many saplings will sprout from the remaining trunk.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day at the Beach

Highlights of the day; a good sized pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphin swam by not too far off shore, but what really made my heart soar was watching children collecting Starfish in shallow pools left behind by the receding tide and bringing them down to the ocean to throw them into deep water. I couldn't contain my joy.... I made sure I thanked each child for helping these animals live and for being such a friend to nature.

Nature programs in schools are working!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mississippi Kite and Fast Sketching Techniques

I saw my first Mississippi Kite, Ictinia mississippiensis, in April of 2008. Of course, I was walking the dogs which made identifying any field marks near to impossible, given the distance between us and the perched bird. Yes, luckily it was perched in a dead tree that was at the edge of a small patch of woods. I would always see it at the beginning of our walks but by the time I made it home for the bins, birdie was long gone. Finally I was able to get a good view of this beautifully colored raptor. The next thrill was watching 2 of them soar and dive.

I enjoyed the kites all summer long. When we returned from our trip to NY in August, I was quite dismayed to see that the kite's favorite dead tree was no longer standing! There is was again..... the big disappointment that comes from not taking time to sketch from nature when I had the chance.

But, joy of joys, the kites returned again this spring and....... I saw them perched in a dead tree that I can see from my back yard!!!! Woo Hoo!

On May 2nd, I went on strike and spent the morning watching 2 kites preen in the tree and then soar joyfully around the wooded and open areas. Such contentment is felt by being bold enough to ignore deadlines and listen to the call of nature. I was a crazy woman, playing catch up, for the next day but I had a smile on my face :)

When I finished my sketches I realized that Mississippi Kites have the perfect plumage coloring a 'fast sketch' palette. David Rankin wrote a book entitled "Fast Sketching Techniques" that is filled with great ideas on how to quickly capture the essence of your subject. On page 25 he illustrates limited sketching values - just like the little square I have at the bottom my sketchbook page. White, light gray, medium gray and black. It's amazing what you can achieve with this palette. Definetely a good read!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bloomin' Wetlands

My favorite boardwalk trail through the wetlands is blooming away. Pickerelweed, Pontederia cordata, is a favorite of mine. Are the flowers blue or purple or both? Something I pondered for quite awhile before doing this painting.

When I first started walking this trail, 3 years ago, Pickerelweed was the dominate plant. It now makes a splash of color here and there. Lizard's tail, Saururus cernuus, has taken over. I'm currently working on a watercolor sketch but, it's making me crazy. There are so many leaves intermingled with the blooms that the design of light's and darks is becoming tedious.

Common cattails, Typha latifolia, will eventually choke this entire area. Here's an image from this winter showing the cattail invasion.

They're now very green and close to 9' in height. Wading birds are finding it tougher
and tougher to find open water for fishing. Every now and then I'll see a Great Egret poking around in small pools. There have been a couple of Green Herons foraging in the last couple of weeks and two Woodducks will sometimes flush from the cattails. The decaying trees are supplying Pileated Woodpeckers with food. It surprises me that the small Downy Woodpecker makes so much more noise than the Pileated when pecking at trees!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kildeer Family Encounter

Over the last month, Rob and I have been noticing a pair of Kildeer hanging out in the same spot close the curb on a road we frequent. Could it be they are nesting? It would be just like Kildeer to nest in this precarious spot - traffic all around. Mind you, the road is in our neighborhood and the speed limit is 25 but still........

Well, last night we hit pay dirt and almost hatchlings! Two little ones were in the street!!!!! Mom and Dad were on the grass calling to their babies. Luckily we were poking along in the golf cart. I asked Rob to turn the cart around and go back and we're glad we did as we were able to urge the little ones out of the street just before a car came along.
We saw them again tonight, sorry for the blurry picture - I had dogs on my lap. There was one adult and one hatchling next to the road. We heard the other adult but couldn't see it.

Back in June of 2005, we had another close encounter with a Kildeer family. We were living in a small neighborhood on the shores of a lake in western NY. One afternoon, while walking the dogs, I was startled to see a Kildeer laying in the gravel driveway of my neighbors boat garage. Most of our neighbors were summer residents. This neighbor fell into that category and were due to arrive mid-June. The inactivity on their property must have been inviting to the Kildeer.
The nest was about 15 feet in front of the garage and if you looked at it head on, it was positioned between the garage doors.

My nature journal notes were made on June 17th. I had estimated chicks to hatch in 1 1/2 to 2 weeks but was concerned that the nest may be abandoned as our neighbors were there to take the boat out of the garage. I was able to warn them about the nest. The kildeer couple let Charlie know who owned the driveway. One bird tried to lead him away from the nest with the broken wing ploy but, when Charlie kept on toward the garage door, the nesting bird went after him. Somehow they all must have made peace as the next day the boat came out and when I went to check on the nest, a kildeer was roosting.

Not many days after that chaos we had torrential rains. The nesting vigil kept up. These were strong hearted birds! It's a good thing as Kildeer populations have shown significant decline linked to agricultural and other land use changes. I was hoping I could see the little ones when they hatched. Kildeer hatchlings are precocial - which means they have heavy down and are soon mobile, often requiring little direct parental care. I so wanted to observe and sketch the little ones.

The first hatchling arrived on July 4th and I saw the second on the 5th. On the 6th I saw a total of 4 puff balls with legs almost as long as the adults. Tooooo cute! What a wonder nature is. The kildeer family moved on quickly. Summer 'lakers' were there in force.

I thanked Mother Nature for healthy babies and great timing as the following weekend the gravel driveway was to be used by caterers for the neighbors lawn party.

I'm still looking for a good home for this little 6" x 6" watercolor on clayboard. I can't believe no one's grabbed it up yet. But, I will surely miss it when it does sell. I've told the above story to many a soul who's walked into my show booth :)

I have recently found this photo journal entitled To Raise a Kildeer. It's worth a look!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Beard-tongue or ?

For the last couple of weeks this wonderful plant has been blooming along our roadsides. Always in large groups, it's such a pretty blur of lavender blue to see when driving. The problem is stopping to pick a sample as there are four lanes of 50 - 60 mph traffic! Finally, I discovered some on a quite side road and stopped to pick a sample.

I brought it home, put it in water and went to my wildflower books. It has a square stem. The flower arrangement is more similar to the Beard-tongue, Penstemon australis Small but, there is no mention of a square stem. The Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana has similar flowers, but the arrangement is all wrong. However, the Obedient Plant does have a square stem.

One of these days the answer will present itself. That's another bit of fun I have with journaling.

Other wildflower notes:
The Crimson Clover, Trifolium incarnatum, made quite a show this spring. The medians on Rt. 170 and Rt. 278 were breath taking. Large swaths of Common Toadflax, Nuttallanthus canadensis, created a beautiful light wash of lavender. A single plant is almost unnoticeable as the flowers are so delicate. I've photos of both the clover and toadflax to enter into my journal. Just waiting for the time.....

Japanese Honeysuckle is blooming as is Coral (wooodbine), Lonicera sempervirens. I've a sample in the refrigerator waiting for me to complete the journal page I started. Also on that page will be clipping from the flowering Sparkleberry, Vaccinium arboreum. I found both when walking on a trail along side the Okatie River. The leaf, just before the Coral Honeysuckle's flowers, is amazing. How does nature come up with these designs?

The last two weeks I've enjoyed breezes filled with the scent of Tulip Tree flowers, Liriodendon tulipifera. And, yesterday I noticed the Sweet Bay, Magnolia virginica, is starting to bloom.

So, basically, I need to clone myself, as working for a living is really putting a dent in my journaling time :) Oh, did I mention the field of Sourgrass (wild sorrel), Rumex hastatulus with the back drop of flowering dogwoods? That photograph may have to be used to create a painting.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

See you in September...... well maybe October

My favorite constellation, Orion, was just above the tree line this evening. By next week it will be gone from my view of the night sky. Farewell for now Orion. I will miss our evening visits.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Common Nighthawks are back!

Last evening I heard the familiar frog like call of the Common Nighthawk and looked up just in time to see one performing its aeronautical flying display. I hope they are staying in our neighborhood and not just passing through.

This morning I saw a brave Mockingbird take on a Red-shouldered Hawk. The hawk flew in low over neighborhood houses and landed on a porch roof. It was surveying the ground below. A Mockingbird kept dive bombing the hawk. The hawk ducked but otherwise kept on with its backyard survey.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Live Earth Day!

In celebration of Earth Day and the one year anniversary of this blog, I've created a limited edition, concertina book to celebrate trees.

It is dedicated to those trees whose lives are hanging in the balance due to over-development of the landscape, and to all nature lovers who are taking a stand to protect these fragile, but strong wonders we call trees.

Tree Songs is a collection of my nature journal watercolor sketches accompanied by literary quotations from notable naturalists and authors celebrating the beauty and wonder of trees. It's constructed from 140# Watercolor Paper for the cover with 24 premium recycled, text weight pages; all of which have been printed on a 7-color Epson Stylus Photo 2200 printer. The layout was designed in PhotoShop. (what an education that was!)

I wanted to create a piece of art to remind folks how fragile the beauty and the low country environment is. Trees are disappearing daily. Lost and gone forever. Everything in the environment is so connected. That fact seems to get lost with the flurry to make money through development. When researching possible quotes for this book, I came upon a dandy "Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money". ~Cree Indian Proverb
. While I chose quotes to celebrate the love of trees for this book, the Cree Indian Proverb hangs with me. We have smart people among us. Wise souls that see the errors of mankind's waste. My prayer is that all peoples will realize it's up to us to care for our Earth from acorn to zebra and all in between.

Right now, my artist proof of TreeSongs is on display at the bookmakers festival at the ARTworks gallery in Beaufort. I will be there Saturday from 10 - 5 with many other authors and artisans to celebrate our love for books and the written word. Please click on the link in the right sidebar for more information.

I'd hoped to have the first book, in the limited edition of 15, completed and photographed in time for this post but not........ these visuals will be added next week. I will be donating 15% of the net proceeds from sales to the Audubon Society.

Please take time today to look at what's around you. Please make an effort to go "green"

I thank you!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A long wait to finish....

Last year during the Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament, at the Harbour Town Golf Links, I began this sketch of the Live Oaks that separate the 13th and 14th holes.

It was a lovely Carolina day with plenty of blue sky, sun and temps in the 70's. I can't remember the reason we had to depart but can guess it was time to head home and walk the dogs. Every now and then, over the last year, I'd look at this sketch and wonder if I'd get the opportunity to finish it. Would the day we picked to go to the tournament in 2009 have the same lovely weather? Would I be able to arrive at my vantage point at the right time of day? I decided to leave it to faith that all would work out.

I'm a happy camper :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Verizon Heritage - One way to dress up a journal page

It's Heritage time once again on Hilton Head Island. One of our favorite things to do each year is make the pilgrimage to the Sea Pines Harbour Town Golf Links and watch PGA Tour players navigate their way down narrow fairways and hit their golf balls onto the small greens. Far too narrow a course for Phil and Tiger. Boo has decided to claim this course as his own.... at least for two years but, Davis Love is still Lord and Master of the Links with 5 wins :)

All the times that Rob and I have attended the tournament, we've not had the chance to watch the opening ceremonies. Our schedules didn't allow us to attend the official tournament this year but, we were able to purchase passes for opening day and the practice rounds.

Monday's weather wasn't very promising. With golf umbrella and chairs in tow, we walked down 10, made the turn up 16 and headed for 18 to watch the ceremony at noon. We had a little time to frolic at the 18th tee and watched some players come through - well, Rob watched, I couldn't resist the view out over the marsh to the Calibogue Sound. It was cloudy and dreary. The wind cold. But, as I opened my sketchbook and began to sketch the scene before me, weather and people melted away. I knew I had to work fast so we could get a good seat in the stands along the 18th green. I was able to get the basics down to finish the sketch later.

Once in the stands, the different angle of view over the beach, marsh and sound called to me once more. I had a good half hour to work. Later, after the opening ceremony finished, spectators to my left and behind me in the stands commented to me how they enjoyed watching the scene take shape on my journal page. I was surprised as I so tune everything out that I had no idea I had my own group of spectators! Not to mention, I was not at all thrilled with my attempts to capture the scene. I would have to wait to tweak this sketch when we returned on Wednesday for the Pro AM.

We arrived around 10 a.m. on Wednesday and made our way around the course to our favorite holes where we can easily watch a number of holes at once. One such location is where #2 green, #3 tee, #6 green and # 7 tee are bunched together. Food and restrooms are also there :) My only request for the day was to make it over to holes 13 and 14 around 2 p.m. so I could finish last years sketch of some wonderful live oaks that separate the two fairways. Meanwhile, I worked on Monday's two sketches - they were pretty weak and needed a lot more pigment. I was sitting near the #3 tee box, feverishly working away. Rob was bouncing between holes, happy as a clam. The weather was perfect. Cool in the a.m. but sunny all day with afternoon temps in the low 70's.

When I finished tweaking my sketches, I was still unhappy with the outcome. Hmmmmm, how can I make this page more memorable? Well, it was PRO AM day, and the golfers were signing autographs...... Then along came Brandt Snedeker to the #3 tee box. He's so all American with an "Opie" like quality. "Oh, Brandt, would you sign my journal page for me?" That was pretty easy! Then along came Boo. That was a must!

It was time to head toward 13 and 14. Along the way we happened upon Chris DiMarco teeing off on 11. I waited on the side line next to another woman who admitted she'd wait for Chris all day long........ Good choice! Later in the day, after I finished last years sketch of the live oaks, we moved to 16. There we waited for Tom Lehman for the finishing touch to my page.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Workshops and Anniversary Preview

Spring is popping all around and so are my workshops. Attendance is down but that's just the way things are right now. I know I feel honored when folks choose to spend their hard earned dollars on my artwork and workshops. Thank you!

It feels like, at least blog wise, that I've fallen off the earth (my favorite expression when I'm so busy that communication with friends and family and blog suffers). Outside of preparing '08 income tax, my time has been filled with make-up workshops for the Sun City Art Club, a workshop I held at Jarvis Creek Park on Hilton Head Island, prep for the Nature Journaling Expanded Workshop, at the ever so lovely Spring Island, that I'm currently teaching and.... the design and completion of a project to celebrate Earth Day and this blog's 1 year anniversary. Here's a peak at one image......

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Walk

Rob and I took advantage of the glorious day and took the golf cart up to the golf course. He chose to hit golf balls at the range, I took a walk along the boardwalk trail with journal, camera and bins in tote. My quest was to draw the Highbush Blueberry I'd seen when walking the dogs the other day.

Luckily, I discovered a few more Blueberry bushes along the way, as the flowers on the one I had in mind were already spent. One cannot dawdle when it comes to drawing nature! As I headed back, I came upon Sweetgum flowers. I'd never seen them before. A new fascination has been born :)

My journal entry does them no justice so here is a photo along with one of the Highbush Blueberry.

Walking back, I was quite pleased with my discovery. But wait.... the day was not done blessing my nature walk! Along came a Red-shouldered Hawk that landed in a tree near the boardwalk. Just as I finished a quick sketch it flew off. I followed it then looked back at the tree. Another hawk! Woo Hoo! I'm an extra happy camper now :)