Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ladies Day Out...Garbry Sanctuary, April 22

Pat, Sarah and I went out to eat and then we decided to walk at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary.  Both of them like walking out in the woods as much as I do.

Wild Ginger leaves were everywhere.

I took my usual photo of the Putty Roots leaves. The Putty Root leaves are the ones with the many lengthwise whitish lines on them. There are a lot of lengthwise dark veins. The leaves are drying up at the tips. The leaves will be gone when the flowers appear. Other leaves are already beginning to cover the Putty Root leaves.  Since the flower stalks are short compared to the greenery around them when they bloom in May, they are hard to find unless a person have some sort of reference point to remember exactly where to look. 

Judy, one of the county parks' part-time staff and also a volunteer, puts up signs like these as the flowers bloom. I always read them because she has interesting bits of information on them.

 Goldenseal flowers are very small.  They are barely visible at the bottom of the sign stake.  Here is a closer view.  The flowers consist of only stamens and pistils.


There were very few  Bloodroot flowers but the leaves were becoming more and more noticable as they grow larger.

Spring Beauties were everywhere although most of them were closed because the day was overcast and rain was expected at any time.

Lots of Sessile Trilliums were blooming, some of the flowers poking up through dead leaves. In this photo, one of the Sessile Trillium's spotted  leaves is visible to the right of the dead leaf encircling the flower and its sepals

Sarah noticed that the leaves of the Drooping Trillium were broad,  broader than those of the Large-flowered Trillium.

This is a very small cluster of Large-flowered Trillium. There were thousands of them blooming throughout the entire woods. Once the Drooping Trilliums bloom, too, the sight is even more spectacular. The Drooping Trillium is also a good sized white flower.

The Blue Cohosh has a blue tinge to its leaves. The purplish flower is more maroon than it appears in this photo.

Sometimes the Blue Cohosh has yellow flowers. The white flowers are Rue Anemone.

Although the Large-flowered Bellworts were not as noticable as some of the  flowers, there were  a lot of them sprinkled throughout the wet woods.

Most of the yellow Trout Lilies had dropped their petals. Their seed pods were developing. Another name for Trout Lily is Dogtooth Violet.

Two species of Waterleaf are found at Garbry.. The first leaves of both plants are spotted, the way varnished wooden furniture spots if water is dropped on it.  Later on, the leaves are shaped somewhat differently and are not spotted.  In the midst of the Waterleaf with the leaves that look a bit like maple tree leaves is a Bedstraw plant.  The leaves are in whorls around the stem.

Before we left, we sat on one of the benches conveniently placed along the boardwalk and rested, not speaking, just soaking in the peace and quiet and beauty.

Our timing was perfect.  Just as I drove out of the parking lot, rain began falling.

Portrait and Figure Studio...April 21

We warm up with five minute poses. Watercolor sketches on 140 weight watercolor paper...5x7 inches

Watercolor sketch painted in one hour on Fredrix watercolor canvas.. For these longer poses, the model sits for a half hour and then takes a fifteen minute break. Our models are usually not professional models but people one of us knows who are willing to sit for us. For some people, one sitting is enough but others are willing to come back and pose again. It is very hard to hold a pose for a half hour stretch.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Twinleaf... Jeffersonia diphylia

I am not a botanist, just a wildflower lover. I try to remember to add the scientific name to these blogs because I know that a lot of plants have different common names from area to area.

I have missed seeing Twinleaf for several years. It is another of the ephermals with a short blooming season. I was pleased when a fellow artist called me to say she had seen it blooming at Stillwater Prairie Reserve. The next day was rainy but the following day, April 12, Tom and I made the trip to the county park. However, the day was dreary, cool and overcast. Rain fell shortly after I took this photograph. Twinleaf must be like Spring Beauty and Bloodroot which close when rain is eminent.

Tom and I returned on April 13, a sunny day, and the flowers were open. Notice that the leaves are still not open and green.

On April 20, the bloom was gone and the leaves were in various stages of opening to display the two lobes which give the plant its name. The seedpod is well on its way to complete development. Donald Cox, in Common Flowering Plants of the Northeast, reports that the mature seeds in the pod have fleshy appendages on one side which may be so the seeds can be dispersed by ants.

According to two online sources, USDA Forest Service and www.wildflower.org/plants, William Bartram, a botanist friend of Thomas Jefferson, named the genus. According to my reference book, The History and Folklore of North American Wildflowers, by Tomothy Coffey, the newly named plant was announced by Benjamin Smith Barton at the May 18, 1792 meeting of the American Philosophical Society when Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State.

Twinleaf is found from New York to Iowa and from Canada to Alabama and Georgia. For some reason, it has not been found in North Carolina. It is Endangered in Georgia and New Jersey and Threatened in Iowa.

The only other species of twinleaf, Jeffersonia dubia,is found in Japan.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mother's Madonna

Mother's Madonna watercolor 6 X 8 inches

I'm hoping one of my sisters remembers more about this Madonna than I do. What I remember is that Mother received a bouquet in this vase when our brother was born. I am sure I remember a time when Mother didn't have this vase and then a time when she did have it. Once it arrived, it always stood on the bookcase in front of a mirror in the living room. From daffodils in spring to mums in fall, Mother always kept fresh flowers from her flowerbeds in the vase.

Years ago, when I was wandering through shops in a little town in Texas, I saw a vase like Mother's Madonna in a shop that sold "almost antiques". I didn't buy the vase and, later, I wished that I had. A couple years ago, I found the vase again in a shop close to home. I bought it. And now I have used it in a painting as I had intended.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Enchanted April

Last Sunday afternoon, Tom and I went to Cincinnati to see Enchanted April.  This is the last play of  The Drama Workshop's 2010-2011 season. If you live in the Cincinnati area, you might consider it for your weekend entertainment.  It is being presented again on April 14, 15, and 16. Tom and I throughly enjoyed the production.

The setting is 1922 England. The delightful play begins when Lottie Wilton, a Hampstead house wife, sees an advertisement in a newspaper...."To let for the month of April -- a small castle in Italy, Sunshine and Wisteria in Abundance".  She talks Rose Arnott, another housewife, into going with her.  The plan is to escape English rain and annoying husbands. To make the vacation affordable, they advertise for two women to share the cost.  The legend of the acacia tree with its message of birth and rebirth and love is entwined throughout the play.

Antony Wilding, owner of the castle, presents the lease agreement to Lottie Wilton and Rose Arnett.

Rose tells her husband, Frederick Arnott, that she is going to Italy with Lottie.

Mrs. Graves and Caroline Bramble, the two women who answered Lottie and Rose's ad, with Rose and Lottie in the garden of the castle in Italy.

The plot grows funny and complicated when the husbands show up at the castle. Here, Costanza, the castle's housekeeper and cook, has words with Mellersh Wilton, Lottie's husband.

Gretchen Gantner Roose, who plays Rose Arnott, told me the play is based on a book that was written in 1922.  The script for the play which we saw was written by Matthew Barber.  Gretchen said there was an earlier  play version which came out not long after the book was published.  The Drama Workshop play selection committee rejected that one as antiquated. 

Gretchen says the Matthew Barber play follows the 1992 movie version fairly closely. The play received Outstanding New American Play, an award from the Outer Critics Circle and was nominated in  two Tony  Award categories. The Movie version received two Golden Globe Awards. 

Below is The Drama Workshop cast. For information about tickets and location contact the group on Facebook, through the ticket line at 513-598-8303 or through their website... www.thedramaworkshop.org

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Trout Lily Sketch

Trout Lily Pen and Colored pencil 7 X 7 inches

I have seen lots of leaves of this flower at the sanctuary but no flowers yet. We have had a couple warm days so it may be blooming now. I hope to get out to see it soon. This is another of those ephemerals, here today and gone tomorrow. Some years I miss it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary...April 6...Another Butterfly

The butterflies believe our spring has arrived.  Tom used his better camera to take these pictures of an Eastern Comma. I use a Fujifilm Finepix JZ300 which is small and can be carried in a pocket. It is a good aim and shoot digital camera but it isn't capable of taking  good distance shots like these.

I was surprised to see the Comma which gets its name from a small silver crescent on the underside of each of its hind wings. Then I looked in Butterflies of Ohio, a field guide by Jaret C. Daniels.  Sure enough, this is a butterfly that lives through the winter as an adult.  It hibernates in log piles or tree hollows or even man-made structures.

The butterfly below is the Mourning Cloak. I caught a glimpse of  one a couple weeks ago at Garbry. It is distinctive with its dark wings with their light borders. It is also a hibernator.  As you can see by the  green leaves, this is a photo that Tom took a year or two ago later in the spring.

The butterfly I am watching for is the Red Admiral. Usually, I see it very early at Brukner Nature Center. We are far enough south so it, too, can survive through the winter as an adult. This is another photo that Tom took several years ago. The Red Admiral is resting on the bark of a tree.

One memorable spring day, a friend and I saw a congregation of Red Admirals feasting on wet sap dripping down the bark of a tree. Neither of us had ever seen so many Red Admirals dining together. I have never since seen such a big Red Admiral party. And, of course, I didn't have a camera!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Samantha

Samantha loves to talk and I love to sit and listen to her. She has interesting thoughts.

Samantha, Grandpa(Tom) and cousin Ted

Samantha likes poetry. When she was very young I read to her a lot. One of the poems we both enjoyed was this one.

Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn't care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear's big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I'll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.

This is the first verse of Adventures of Isabel by Ogden Nash.  It is found in many poetry anthologies for children.

Samantha likes to act.

Samantha is about to kick the soccer ball. One of her nicknames when she played during high school was P.T. That's short for Pink Tank.

Samantha and her cousin, Sean, at Thanksgiving.

Have a Happy Birthday, Samantha,  from Grandma.

Happy Birthday, Samantha

Amanda and Samantha at Renaissance Fair

Hi, Samantha. I don't know how I did it but your happy birthday blog is listed under the Label at the right, Grandma's. I accidently uploaded it on March 28. The blog is right before this one under that label. You can also find your official happy birthday blog if you click on March entries. Guess I just didn't want to miss your birthday. Love, Grandma

Postscript...June 4...I learned how to change the date on the March 28 blog so it is with this one now.  Some day I might get really good at this.  I enjoyed your phone call after the Memorial Day Holiday.  See you at the wedding.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's the Story? Plein Air at Stillwater Prairie

Plein Air Watercolor 10 X 8 inches

Except for the painting of the Bonsai Tree at Andy's Garden I haven't done any plein air painting this year. Either the weather has not been suitable or I have had other things I felt I had to do. This painting I did last summer. Sarah and I usually paint at Stillwater every other week. I hope that we can get out there next week. Sarah is the woman in the painting. The painting needed something so when a hiker came by and disappeared around the bend in the trail, I added him and discovered that the painting became an illustration for a story if the viewer used his or her imagination and invented one.