Florida scrub land is endangered, rare and beautiful land on a sandy ridge. Since we just had three weeks of rain and many trails are flooded, I headed to Lyonia Preserve, nice dry scrub, and home to many families of friendly Florida Scrub Jay.
It is June, now officially Summer, and HOT. But all the critters are out! You will see a lot of amazing things at this time of year. I have been pushing myself to go out and haven’t regretted one moment.
Last month I was busy creating some very specific things for people.
The first piece was for my friend that I just visited in Colorado. I wanted to thank her with a painting, so I did this piece of her three dogs:
That is the second time I have painted pets/dogs. It takes a lot of concentration and looking at photos on instagram! ha! But true…
The second piece is a tattoo design of a Calliope Hummingbird. This is the fifth tattoo design I’ve done, but surprisingly the first bird! I am always super super honored that people want to put my art on their bodies.
The third piece is a bear, holding a chipmunk, with a Northern Cardinal (female) on it’s shoulder. This piece represents “The Roberts Family”. And, I think, absolutely adorable. I was really happy to paint this because I love the idea!
If anyone is interested in a commissions, you can e-mail me at email@example.com or send an etsy conversation.
Although I did no true “birding” in Colorado, I am constantly looking and listening for birds. I saw many birds that are common there, but still new and exciting for me. I did some little paintings to remember the birds that I saw.
Mountain Bluebird (male):
Mountain Bluebird (female):
Western Scrub Jay:
Magpie is another one I saw often… I still need to paint one of them. They are very cool birds.
Here are the last of the photos from my Colorado trip.
Helen Hunt Falls:
Prairie Dogs, with “Prairie Pups”:
Red Rocks, as seen from Dinosaur Ridge:
Buffalo (Bison), with babies:
Colorado is full of wonder, and totally different from my dear Florida. Can’t wait to go back!
Stumbled upon some great art by accident in Colorado.
While visiting and drinking from the magical springs of Manitou Springs, we walked by the gallery of Terry Miller. I LOVE her colorful animals, they are cute and so original. I brought home two prints of Buffalo to frame and hang at home, can’t wait to get them up! Here is a beautiful mural outside the gallery:
And here is a photo from inside the gallery of Terry Miller at work!
Then, as we headed out to Helen Hunt Falls in Colorado Springs, we drove by this amazing wind sculpture…
It turns out to be the work of Starr Kempf. He is now deceased, it is the sad tale of a troubled artist. This was his home, and the yard is full of amazing sculptures that tower over the home and all move in the wind!!
They are all exactly my style. I am so impressed! Definitely worth a visit. I wish his work was all over the world, it is really beautiful. I was very sorry to learn that some of his work is no longer even assembled. While visiting, and not knowing he had died, I thought the pieces laying on the ground were works in progress. The story of his death and what followed are very unfortunate. I hope those pieces can go back up some day.
Here is an interesting video about Starr Kempf.
Garden of the Gods. Amazing place! Lands of swallows, dwelling in the rocks. It’s quite a wonder. I wish I could have photographed the swallows, but it’s too hard, even though they’re flying right by your head- it’s so fast you just hear the “woosh” as they go by.
I did get this photo of a Blue Gray Gnatcatcher. They were everywhere, as well as Western Scrub Jays, Spotted Towhees, and Magpies. Also saw some deer resting in the shade of a tree.
Here are some photos from our journey to State Forest State Park in Colorado to search for Moose. We did not find any, but we did see many signs of them- Moose tracks, poop, and damage to trees. Beautiful place. Weather in the 70s, but lots of snow and a gorgeous iced over lake with slushy edges.
Beaver mound and dam:
After visiting Capulin Volcano (see previous post) in New Mexico we headed back to Colorado and to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
We went to see the stars at night, and it was incredible. I wish I could have taken photos of that beauty but you have to see it in person! It was dark but we could hear the water rushing and knew the river from snow melt was at the dunes and I was so excited to go back the next morning. We also saw Elk while driving out there at night! They are huge and a little scary. I never did see Elk during the day.
The next day when we returned to the Sand Dunes it was the most perfect day, not too hot or cold and just a little wind. We did sand boarding (or more like sledding for me) with sand boards rented in town. I highly recommend this activity!
On the way out of Sand Dunes you pass by Zapata Falls, so we decided to to check it out. Who knew it would be so stunning. When you to get the “falls” at the end of the trail there you see a river. You walk through the river and through this crevice…
And then, you find the beautiful Zapata Falls!! FROZEN! So cool! You can’t tell the scale and awe from the photo, but it’s seriously awesome.
Also, Pronghorn “Antelope” seen from the road all over the place.