Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Walk with John and Tom at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary, Monday, April 24, 2017

The sanctuary floor was dominated by the Large-Flowered Trillium and the Wild Blue Phlox.

Leaves are opening on the trees.

Among the Large-flowered Trillium, there are a smaller number of Drooping Trillium.  Sometimes this is called Bent Trillium.

And sometimes Drooping Trillium is maroon.

An even more unusual Trillium is this one...a double trillium.  I wonder if it is a mutant. It is pink because it is aging.

The Wild Hyacinths are becoming showy.  They will be at their peak by this weekend.

The Wild Ginger is blooming.

And after much searching we found a Mayapple blossom.

We found some creatures, too.

Bee Flies were hovering at flowers, and most were zipping off before a person could get a camera focused on them.  Tom "caught" this one.

Tiger Beetles were sunning on the boardwalk, then flying further ahead when we came too close.

We saw Silver-spotted Skippers.  The "Silver" spot is on the underside.

We saw daytime flying moths as well as butterflies.  This one is a Four-spotted Angle.  I learned this from the Ohio Moth site that I follow.

Tom and I were pleased he got this photo of a Five-lined Skink.  We have seen them the last two times we have walked here.  A skink is a reptile, a cousin of lizards.

And we did see one more reptile, a Garter Snake.  They are common in Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary.  They are a shy snake and slither away quickly.

I never get tired of walking in this woods.  There is always something different from the last time I visited.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Walking with Jeanne at Charleston Falls on Saturday Morning, April 22, 2017

This is what greeted Jeanne and me as we walked to the entrance to the main trail.  The Sassafras was in bloom.

If you click on the flower head, you will see an ant.  I suppose it is gathering or sipping nectar.

Today the woods was a showcase of flowers.  It will be one of the most memorable walks I've taken here.  It was nice to have Jeanne with me to enjoy it.

We took our usual walk of a little over an hour but there was so much to see that we only walked to the falls and then returned to the parking lot by way of Octagon Prairie.

Below is some of what we saw.

Maroon Drooping Trillium.  The flowers are usually white, only sometimes maroon.

The first blooming Wild Hyacinth I have seen this spring.  I had to relearn its name this year.  I have been calling it Wood Hyacinth...wrong, wrong, wrong.

The young Ohio Buckeye trees were in full bloom.  The weather must have been perfect for the blossoms to come out all at once.

There are still plenty of Dutchmen's Breeches to be found.

Solomn's Seal is in bud.

The yellow is one of the Ragworts.  Behind the Ragworts are the Umbrellas of Mayapples.  We saw many clumps of mayapples.  In each of them we looked for blooms.  We found none in the woodsy area.

Jack-in-the Pulpits were here and there.  A few were showing the maroon stripes on the pulpit.

This Goldenseal was a surprise.  I haven't seen one at Charleston Falls for many years  though I have looked often.

The falls and the birds in the trees provided lovely background music as we walked.

We walked through Octagon Prairie as we headed for the parking lot...and we saw what we had been looking for in the woods...a blooming Mayapple.

I will post this blog now and probably revisit it and do some revising.  I have been having trouble with watery eyes.  The condition is aggravated if I look at the computer screen for more than a half hour.  Such is life.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Watercolor Portrait for a Friend

I was glad my friend liked this 8 X 10 painting of her mother.  The baby is  my friend's son.

The photograph I used as a starting point was this one which is about three and one half inches across and the same vertically.

Thanks to the marvelous computer, I was able to enlarge the photo, crop it, and adjust the color.

In the first watercolor, I decided to emphasize the faces and darken the rest of the painting.  I wasn't thinking about it being hung by another painting I had done in 2009.

What my friend had in mind was something more similar to the one I painted in 2009, a painting of her husband's mother and the other son.

I started again, this time using lighter, brighter colors.

A commission is about pleasing the buyer.  I am happy the second one pleased her.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

March 29, 2017, A Great Day for a Walk at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary

The temperature was about sixty degrees Fahrenheit and the sun was shining.  We saw Spring Beauties  clustered around trees and spread over the brown leafy forest floor before we stepped into the woods..

Around us, the Chorus frogs were singing.

A family group was leaving as we entered the woods.  The little boys were excited.  "We saw three snakes."  The smallest boy held up three fingers to be sure we understood.  " And we got to touch one," the older boy said.

We walked further into the woods.

Throughout the woods, we saw the leaves of the Yellow Adder's Tongue (also called Dogtooth Violet or Trout Lily)

The Ramps (Wild Onion) leaves have begun to show up in clusters throughout the woods.

The Woodland Hyacinth leaves are up also.

The last time we walked here, we found three Bloodroot but this time they were scattered throughout the woods.'

  A few had already dropped their petals.

The Purple Cress were showy throughout the woods, vying with the Spring Beauties for most abundant.

The last time we walked here, we saw one Cutleafed Toothwort blooming. This time we had our choice of plants to photograph plus many that were still in bud.

The Honeybees and Hover flies were flying from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen.  This bee is on a Hepatica.

Tom spotted this newly opened bright purple Hepatica.

The Hepatica were not as showy as they are some years.  A few had yet to bloom and many had already dropped their petals.

Tom, ahead of me on his power chair, was the first to spot the garter snake.  We were hoping it would slither onto the boardwalk so Tom could get a good photo.  Instead, it slipped under the boardwalk and reappeared on the other side.

We had one last look before it disappeared.

(Garter snakes are harmless insect eaters.  They are Clark Kent, alias Superman.)