Archive for the ‘Nature’ category

Spring Garden

May 11, 2015

Many of my bulbs and early Spring perennials are up.

After we had our old aspen with all the crown galls removed last year, my husband bought several bags of bulbs on sale in the fall and planted them under our birch trees. The foliage behind and in front of them are spirea bushes.


My lovely Fragrant Snowball (Viburnum carlesii) is now flowering and scenting up the garden. It doesn’t have the greatest foliage but as a cheery burst of scent in early summer it is a treasure.


Some lovely bulbs by the garage. These are much shorter than the regular daffodils we have in the front and back gardens.


This is by our front porch, and is a mixture of muscari or Grape Hyacinth, cowslips, primroses, and violets with a beautiful hosta.


It’s nice to get out and take photos of my favourite plants, and say “Hello” to them again.




Artsy Cards for Eye Candy and Rumination

November 16, 2014

I keep saying this, but this is definitely the end of the Christmas books as I am over budget. Fortunately, as the new and used books roll in via the post, they will keep on giving throughout next year. I am going to learn and do a lot of new things, which I like.

I have an animal deck with art by Sue Lion, but she has two others, one with mythology and one with nature and some wonderful trees. There are those of us who love trees and like a suitable picture. If you’re interested in a nice present for someone, try Sue’s lovely art and words. She has different gifts and ways to display and use her artwork.

She refers to these as “Affirmation Cards” but I refer to them as “art cards.” Same diff. Both images are © Sue Lion. This is the nature-based EartHeart deck:


And the beautiful Magic & Myth deck:


I stumbled across Beverly King’s interpretation of the Buddhist Lojong slogans. She arranged and photographed some delightful nature-inspired images and has a booklet too. I managed to get a copy but she is down to one copy and hopefully will be re-printing the deck if you are interested. Image © 2014 Beverly King.


Bev also cites some relevant books. Oh no not that, I am nothing without a relevant book. So I bought one by Norman Fischer called Training in Compassion which is a commentary on the Lojong sayings. I felt that was geared more toward Westerners and I have several Pema Chodron books I bought recently so wanted a different commentary than hers.


Good thoughts and images: a good focus, is always a fine thing.



The Snake at the Window

September 12, 2013

The spouse took these pictures when he was out with the dogs.

This garter snake apparently wants to make sure we cleaned our windows properly. It meets his standards! We often get snakes in this area of the house because the water spigot is near there and they like the coolness. Apart from that we tend to let the grass get longer because it’s against the wall.



Ah, the ubiquitous dandelion leaves, just the spot to hide from that man with the camera.





The Hoppity Spider, Eating Mosquitoes

July 16, 2013

We have several large windows in our sunporch which seem to have resident “hoppity spiders” as I call them. Thinking that this nomenclature was embarrassing for a person to use, I tried to take a picture of one of the hoppities and thus identify it by browsing sites related to Ontario insects.

Good luck to me. I tried this before with a spider and narrowed it down to an orb weaver but couldn’t get an exact species.

Here is Hoppity eating a dead mosquito on the micro window screen above the kitchen sink. If I get earwigs or flies in the house I just close the windows and let the hoppities eat them. For this reason I let these particular spiders be as they are helpful. Usually I have an agreement with spiders that if they come in the house they have to die. Except for these guys.


I need to wash these screens, the camera macro never lies.

Hoppity is about 7 mm long, so he’s a small fellow. I can’t see his eye arrangement but he’s black. It could be a type of Phidippus which is a genus of jumping spiders in the family Salticidae but he doesn’t have red or other colours on him. We have a larger hoppity with stripes too, and I can’t identify him either. There are about 44 species of jumping spider in Ontario.

For me, spider identification is hopeless. It must require years of study and a special brain chip or something.

I’ll just hoppity along then.


A New Moth in the Garden

June 9, 2013

Actually I found this moth on my kitchen ceiling. He is a tiny fellow, only about an inch at the widest tip of the wingspan. I took a picture standing on the floor so I could identify him.


Bingo! It is the Small Magpie Moth (Eurrhypara hortulata) and is native in northeastern North America, where I am in Ontario. They apparently feed on nettles, and I was just about to rip the nettles out of my front garden. I guess I might rethink that.

Such a beautiful, compact, yet pretty moth. My husband climbed a ladder to capture him in a container and then set him free in the garden, where I’m sure he is quite happily having a spot of nettle after his ordeal.





In the Realm of Eye Candy and Inspiration

March 25, 2013

I had previously bought Danny Gregory’s book An Illustrated Life which is about artists and their sketchbooks and a book I find myself browsing through monthly to uplift and inspire me. He has a new one called An Illustrated Journey which is much the same thing, only specifically about visual travel journals. I’ve had it on my wish list since last year and I thought it would do me good so I ordered it.


I, who don’t travel, thought this was something I could apply to travelling in my mind. I have a favourite quote by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that I’ve had pinned to my cork board down here for a decade at least:

From whatever place I write you will expect that part of my ‘Travels’ will consist of excursions in my own mind.

Just so.

While ordering this, to get free shipping I finally bought the DVD of the excellent move Topsy-Turvy which is about Gilbert and Sullivan and the writing and performing of The Mikado. We have seen it before when I ordered it on an inter-library loan, but it is wonderful and I want to see it again and have it in my collection.


And then I got to missing my sketchbook and thinking about all the great birds we have here and took a chance and ordered a book called Drawing Birds with Colored Pencils by Kaaren Poole.


It gives me hope during a bad stretch while I wait for my back and jaw to stop hurting after a dental visit. I am limited in my time spent drawing due to chronic tendinitis, but I need some hope right now.

Really, the only way to draw something and learn techniques is to draw, but I do find this sort of thing inspiring.


Beetles Anyone?

November 13, 2012

I was browsing my Dorling Kindersley book on Insects, and I kept wanting to draw some of the spectacular beetle species.

I hauled out one of my notebooks and was looking at the page I did with Spring flowers which degenerated into leaf doodles on the border. I had drawn a circle on the facing page in order to draw a mandala but now I think I’d like to do strange, polka-dotted and striped beetles in fantastic colours for a bit of fun.

It’s an idea. And below the sketchbook you can see several matchbook notebooks cut and glued and ready to sew together. That was an idea too.

I don’t know, anyone else out there fascinated by beetles and circles?