Monday, August 31, 2009

Peony Buds II

6 x 8
oil on canvas

"Concision in art is a necessity as well as an elegance; a man who is concise makes you think, a verbose man bores you." -Manet

Today I cleaned out all the bluebird houses. Here is the tally:

tree swallow nests - 6
wren nests - 3
mice currently living in - 2
broken - 3
bluebirds - 0

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rain over Lake Pepin

8 x 8
oil on canvas

I painted this in June when I went to stay at my sister's house down by Lake Pepin. There is a beautiful piece of bluff land which has been put in a land trust so everyone can enjoy it, and that's my destination whenever I'm visiting. It was drizzling as I hoisted my backpack and trudged out a couple miles to this view that I wanted to paint. I sat on the ground tucked under a red cedar right at the edge of a cliff looking across at the next bluff and the lake. A magical place.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prairie photos and video

The prairie is in its third growing season this summer.  After a couple of agonizing years of mowing, spraying, battling thistle,  disturbing birds, and watching nothing but weeds come up, we are now enjoying!   Long morning walks with the bugs and birds, listening to the grasses whisper.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another bad swift video

Another swift going down.  This one can be seen at the very end.  
Sorry the quality is so bad, they were done using my itsy bitsy digital camera.
There will be another swift-sit the weekend of September 11-13, for more info. check out 

chimney swift

Last weekend my sister and I participated in a Chimney Swift count that is happening throughout Minnesota.  We had to sit for a half hour before and after sunset and watch and count how many swifts went down the chimney.  This Chimney is on the abandoned house that sits in the middle of our prairie.  The swifts have been nesting here for the last few summers; they are on a national decline as good nesting spots are becoming harder for them to find.  We counted 6 swifts.  Some places had in the hundreds!  Check out the video - watch quick, it shoots down right away...   I have been looking at this and now I think that the swift just ducks behind the chimney and doesn't go down!   But the first video it definitely drops in.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hidden Peony

oil on canvas
6 x 8

I have tried 4 times to download a video of a walk through the prairie... I'm having no success. It's cool because the grasses are up over my shoulders and there are many flowers in bloom.  I will keep trying.   Here is another Peony I painted this Spring.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Peony Blossoms

oil on canvas
6 x 8

The Minnesota Arboretum has a beautiful peony garden. I went there many times this summer and this study came out of one of those visits.

On a different note, I just returned from a week birding in Big Bend, Texas. Spectacular landscape! The temperature was up around 105 daily...