March 3rd, 2014
My next painting to begin will be of Salamanders. Here is the work in progress, before painting:
I draw them in my sketchbook, then scan them in, use photoshop to lay them out, print, and transfer to watercolor paper. Now, the best part! To begin painting!
March 2nd, 2014
Welcome, March! There is some slight sadness in knowing that it will be getting warmer, but Spring is my favorite season, and I am surrounded by signs of it’s approach.
February 28th, 2014
I had been anxious to get out to the Orlando Wetlands since it reopened on February 1st (as it closes during the Winter), and I finally made it out there a couple weeks ago. It is always exciting to see what birds have arrived while it’s closed.
My first stop was to the cypress in the back to see the Vermilion Flycatcher, an adorable little red bird. It didn’t come close, so it was a tiny speck on a distant tree…
The sun was going down as I walked back towards the front. Most the action was in the cell up front. (The Orlando Wetlands is used for water treatment, and it is made up of cells divided by berms.) It was nice to see so many birds, such Black Skimmers and Roseate Spoonbills, this far from the coast.
February 18th, 2014
One of the most interesting spots for a hike is Lyonia Preserve. It is a sanctuary for the Florida Scrub Jay, a most beautiful and friendly bird. Just a few minutes down the trail, and the birds are already popping in to say hello.
The scrub habitat is also pretty interesting. It is dry, sandy, and prone to wildfires. I love how different it is from most trails. Very sunny, but perfect on a cool Winter day.
February 16th, 2014
I first painted Totoro napping, now I have painted Totoro playing music (with dust bunnies coming to hear)!
I don’t know when I will get around to it, but I would eventually love to paint the Totoro’s growing plants, and also flying with the umbrella. For anyone not familiar with Totoro, it is one of the best movies EVER, by the great Hayao Miyazaki, and the full title of the movie is My Neighbor Totoro. The Totoro’s are the guardians of the forest. It is a sweet story for young and old, and something I have watched countless times.
I was curious what to call the different Totoro’s… the internet informs me that the big gray one is called Oh-Totoro, the small blue one is Chu-Totoro, and the smallest little white one is Chibi-Totoro.
February 16th, 2014
Taken at the Black Hammock Wilderness Area…
No photos of birds captured, but there were four Red-Shouldered Hawks dueling it out, a pair of Pilated Woodpeckers hammering at trees, and a Barred Owl hooting in the distance.
February 5th, 2014
All the cold winter days of January mean the manatees flock to the warmer waters of Blue Springs. On the day I went there were over 300 manatees in the springs. There was also a 30+ minute wait time just to get in the park to see them! It was well worth the wait as the manatees were actively playing in the water, and just beneath the docks, right under your feet. You could not ask for better viewing.
February 3rd, 2014
I went to Western North Carolina a few weeks ago. When I arrived, snow was melting on the ground and it did not snow again until the day after I left. Although I missed the snow it had a feeling and appearance of Winter that you do not get in Florida. Since returning to Florida it has been cold in our terms, but a couple days ago there was a quick shift to the mid-80s, just as the groundhog announced a longer Winter. Shame Florida does not have groundhogs, I would love more Winter!
January 8th, 2014
Here are a few more plaques I painted. I just scanned in the front so you can’t see the actual plaque here, but they are pretty sweet ready to hang little wooden plaques painted glossy white and in this shield/badge shape. They are for sale at $40 and I will also use these darling owl faces on pins and necklaces in the future.
January 7th, 2014
And my first hike of 2014 goes to one of my favorite places in Florida, Tosohatchee WMA. It is a huge area with numerous trails and one of the most promising spots to see really wild nature in Florida.