Thursday, July 28, 2011

Small Critters

 Mini critters seem to be multiplying here.  We're not able to keep real animals inside (because of travel and allergies), so these are stand-ins. I'm not quite sure why, but turtles, squirrels and birds are regarded as lucky in this house.

We'll be immersed in/with grandchildren the next couple weeks, so my blogging may lag behind.  Be well, everyone  . . . and may the good-luck critters be with you . . .

Do you have any good-luck tokens?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fishing in the Air

This is a poster made from Chris Raschka's artwork for Fishing in the Air, a story about a father and a boy going fishing. It is also about how our imaginations are shaped, and I was stunned by how Raschka so beautifully captured that abstract concept.

Did you ever go fishing with your one of your parents or grandparents? Do you think you caught more than fish?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Blue Kayak

One of my most favorite places to be: in my blue kayak on the lake. I've had this kayak for over twenty years. It's a sit-on-top kayak, perfect for these hot days, when you can dangle your legs over the side.

My husband has his own kayak.  We like to explore coves and creep up close to fallen tree trunks.  Ducks and chipmunks scurry in and out, birds swoop through the branches above.

The quiet of a kayak skimming through the water - so serene, so peaceful, so restorative.

Have you been in a kayak? 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


(Click to enlarge)

The hydrangeas are blooming: most bushes are putting out blue blooms, one offers pink, and one offers white. I've heard the ph of the soil determines the color. True? 

Go ahead, put your face right in there.  Mm, mmm.

Friday, July 15, 2011


(Click to enlarge)

Today's harvest from the mini-garden (above) - I can hardly stand how happy this makes me.

I am not normally a lover of peas, but these (above) are so sweet and tender. They are barely rinsed off before:

Gobbled up! Every single one. They were so good.

Husband comes in. Eyes me.  Eyes the empty pea pods. "Good thing I didn't want any," he says.

Good thing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chasing Redbird

Cardinals, those surprising flashes of red in the air or the trees, suggest something both stunning and illusive.

Fifteen years ago, I sat down to write a book with only the title in mind: Chasing Redbird. On one level Chasing Redbird is the story of a girl uncovering a trail one summer, of finding her place in her family and the world, but on another level it is about the process of creation, of uncovering the trail of the story.

With every story I write, I feel as if I am chasing a redbird, and I hope I will find it. I don't have to 'catch' it; I just have to find it, see it, and show it to you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dog Love

(Click to enlarge)

The photo says it all, mm?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yellow Pepper

If I could draw and paint better than I do, I would paint this still life:  the first yellow pepper ever grown in our yard, ever, ever, with delicate roses and a pleasing vase. It's simple, but I like it so much, this little vignette.

Do you draw/paint?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Squirrel Eats Tree Eye

(Click to enlarge)

This little squirrel spent a good ten minutes nibbling at the plaster eye on the walnut tree outside my office window. All rather surreal.

And I only recently noticed the irony of having lived fourteen years in Walnut Tree Cottage (which had no walnut tree on the small lot) in England, but now at last walnut trees dot the yard here in western New York state.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chipmunk Door

I received this mini door (about 10 inches high) from my grandchildren last year, after they had visited and been intrigued by a hole at the base of this tree. Each day they had placed various toy critters and dolls near or in the hole, all the while carrying on an endless story.

Chipmunks use the door now, but when the grandchildren return, it will be overrun with other creatures.

Whoever thought to make this little door?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Surprises in the Garden

This is the first year I've grown vegetables in addition to flowers, and it's been more fun than I ever expected. Everything surprises me.  Lettuce!  Tomatoes!

Green peppers! Yellow peppers!

Peas, sweet sweet peas!

And, most surprising of all--this (below) is going to be a cucumber. A cucumber!

Be still, my heart.

I apologize for all the !! exclamations !!  I can't help it.

I mean: did you ever grow a cucumber? 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Island on the Island

(Click on photo to enlarge)

I've shown this island before (see keyword island in list at right). It's a gathering of flowers and doo-dads that sits on the kitchen island, so we think of it as an island on an island.  Above are the last of the dogwoods and peonies and a few of the roses and herbs.

Just as in a book where I sometimes change point of view or perspective in order to highlight another aspect of the story, I thought it would be interesting to see the above rendered in black and white:

(Click to enlarge.)  

So different. The black and white feels more sculptural to me, with more emphasis on form.

Do you have a preference?

Friday, July 1, 2011


This may not look like a bountiful harvest to you (lettuce, a few peas, one green bean and a marigold), but I am so excited by it! Although I've always grown flowers, this is the first year I've planted vegetables, and to be honest, I'm shocked that they actually grew! Into food! That you can eat! And they taste completely YUM.

My dad always planted a big garden, with tomatoes, corn, beans, cucumbers. My garden is a much smaller version, but I think he'd be proud to see it.

When I first began writing, I didn't believe that a page this day and another that day would actually ever grow into anything worthy of the word 'novel,' but I learned that with care and patience and trust, those words could grow into something worthy.

Not unlike gardening, when you think about it.  Do you plant vegetables or words or . . .?