A Sparkly Time of Year!
As late fall turns into winter, the browns and grays give such a peaceful texture to the landscape. You can see so much character in the trees; their structure, the unique ways their branches extend, the beauty of their bark. You can also see where birds built their nests and raised their young now that the leaves have fallen. Trees are such grand living beings. I'm thankful for them.
And I'm thankful for the sparkly holiday season! The beautiful spirit of giving and sharing is so alive!
On my walk this morning, I was thinking about gratitude - about what it truly means to be thankful. The word great-fullness came to mind. I know the correct way to spell grateful, but to me, great-full really describes the feeling of being thankful. It's a feeling that is overflowing, warm, generous, heartwarming. This is how I feel about our natural world; great-FULL.
On the subject of heartwarming, even the leaves, sparkling with frost, were sharing love. The heart-shaped cottonwood leaves blanketed the prairie grasses along the trail, preparing to decompose and nurture the soil over the winter in perfect timing for spring. Nature's rhythm and balance is exquisite.
The deer and blue jays were out playing and enjoying the morning, too!
The holiday season is here! How much fun!
The holiday season is a special time to remember all the wonderful for-purpose organizations out there doing such amazing work. Here are just a few of my favorites. These organizations are funding research to help endangered species and animals around the world, conserving land and aquatic systems, and raising awareness through education. If you'd like to learn more, click on the organization's name below. Giving Tuesday is right around the corner!
This morning's walk was such a great reminder of so much to be grateful for...
Family, friends, and our home...
the beautiful and abundant natural world!
I'd love to hear your inspiration...
What makes you feel grateful?
Please feel free to leave a comment below!
The Infinite Beauty of Color
Fall is in the air...
When the nights become cooler and the sun's angle begins to shift, it brings such a sense of calm well-being to our world. Summer's heat subsides and the transition to autumn's splendor begins...
It's a time to enjoy all the gorgeous fall colors while appreciating the abundance that nature provides with her unlimited gifts. Watching the leaves change, I wonder how many colors there actually are. I imagine the number is infinite. As an artist, color is one way I express my love for nature by mixing paint and letting it flow onto paper to create shapes and messages about the unity of life; about how we're all connected to the whole.
I'm so delighted you're here! Happy Fall!
Sneak Peek at New Work
My painting Home for Ridgway's Hawk is now complete!
Ridgway's hawks are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list with an estimated population of 300 birds left in the world. Dr. David Anderson is the director at The Peregrine Fund and he, along with other dedicated scientists, staff and volunteers are working to save these amazing birds with support from Morris Animal Foundation.
Ridgway's Hawks are now only found in isolated areas including Los Haitises National Park in the Dominican Republic, one of the bird's last strongholds due to habitat loss, human disturbance, and botfly infestation of nests. If you look closely, these beautiful islands are supporting the nest in my painting below as a symbol of how important this area is to the hawks.
I'm part of an international group of artists who is painting the most endangered bird species on IUCN's red list to bring awareness to conservation efforts. An exhibit, entitled Silent Skies, will be a collaborative super-mural mosaic displayed as the artistic centerpiece for the 27th International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver next September 2018.
Stay tuned! My next painting for this project will be the Amber Mountain Rock-thrush!
Hike to Maxwell Falls
Now I'd love to hear from you...
What does autumn bring for you? How do you enjoy nature during the gorgeous fall season?
Please leave a comment below!
Christmas in June?
During my walks on Cherry Creek Trail, I'm amazed at the summer magic all around!
Sunlight sparkles on the early morning dew and looks like tiny holiday lights on the grasses and plants along the trail.
The taller grasses have bright yellow ornaments hanging from them just like little Christmas trees.
Hooray! Summer's here!
Invasive plants can sometimes out compete their native neighbors and here is one plant in the West we can help weed from our natural areas. It's leafy spurge. You can volunteer with your local native plant society, county extension office, or conservation organization to help with invasive plant management. Let's help the natives thrive! Like the yellow pea!
Good-bye spurge! We have to make way for yellow pea and the rest of our native wildflowers!
On a recent visit to Evergreen, it was wonderful to see everyone out enjoying nature. There were families having picnics, kids playing in the water, people hiking. It brought a smile to my heart!
It's time to take a dip in the ocean, a nearby lake or river, or Bear Creek in Evergreen!
Have a beautiful summer! Now let's get out there and celebrate nature!
In love with the natural world, I'm inspired to show how species are connected to each other, to their ecosystem homes, and to people around the world. An eternal optimist, I bring into visual form the concept of biological diversity and what it means to be connected to the whole, to all of life. In our connection lies hope.