Returning Friends


Every year I watch for the first peach tree blossoms and high-bush blueberry flowers. As soon as those flowers appear I know it is time for the return of my little hummingbird friends. This year they seemed to be a little late getting back to my corner of the forest. The peach blossoms had already fallen and high bush blueberry in full bloom yesterday when I heard the familiar ‘chitter’ from one of the little feathered gems. Sure enough, just a few minutes later a small male zoomed by, heading for the scented blueberry bush.

The tiny ‘bells’ that are the blueberry flowers seem to ring in the miniature wind created as the hummingbird delicately flits by, dipping his beak in each little flower. These colorful birds are terribly territorial and seem to spend much of their energy zooming after intruders or twittering angrily at other hummingbirds in the area. No matter how many feeders I set around the studio, they continue to fret and squabble but I love to hear them and it never fails to lift my spirits to see a tiny ruby throated hummingbird going about it’s busy life.

April Wings

Every year I return to the sites of favorite wildflowers and paint them again, like a having a conversation with old friends. I explore the forests and rural roads of the area always looking for a new patch of flowers or scene to paint. The area’s nature trails are a treasure of paintings waiting to be discovered.

The beauty I find is so transient that I try to hold on to it through drawing and painting, photographing and drying specimens. Much of what catches my eye is on the forest floor; the tiny mushrooms or abandoned nest. There are so many stories there among the fallen leaves. Stories in the abandoned nest or emerging bloodroot.

A warm sun awakens the sleeping forest. May apple parasolls unfurl a freshly minted green. Copper beech leaves throw color like stained glass and everywhere the emerging buds tint treetops. The cypress red gold, maples rhodocrosite, the flowers flal and are replaced by artistic wings. The forst is noisy today. A large woodpecker beats a rhythm and birds provide the melody. Even the insects rustle the fallen leaves and bees zoom above. For a while the cacaphony of seagulls interrupted the serenade. Their squawking cried sounded like a play yard of children, but they soon left . I sometimes wish I could recognize more individual songs of the forest birds, but it would add little to my enjoyment of the resulting texture of sounds. Like the textures of the forest itself, it the interweaving of these many aspects of nature that I most love. There are patterns here in leaves and birdsongs, beautiful in diversity, elegant in design.