Spirits Rise


“Spirits Rise”  www.melissabluefineartandgardendesign.com


This past fall I was swinging along on one of my favorite trails in a savanna restoration and I saw this flock of crows lift off, taking my spirits up with them.  Some years ago we lost most of our crows to a disease.  Let’s see…West Nile Virus, was it?  We’ve had a few diseases sweep through and I confess I can’t always remember which is which.  But I do remember finding windrows of dead birds lying along roadsides and trails.  It was awful.  A lot of people don’t like crows but I have always had a soft spot for them, so on this day to see a flock of them really made me happy.

It’s a cold, shiny day today.  This is a winter like the ones I remember, with snow falling most days, and very cold.  Last week I went with a friend to Florida.  She was house-hunting and I got to go along :).  All around us we heard people gasp, “it’s cold!!” while we were enjoying the 70-degree weather.  I saw a sign that read: “The Lower the Latitude, the Better the Attitude.”  And it was true!  Every single person we encountered was kind, the pace was leisurely…. why can’t the rest of us live like that?  I loved it, and Florida is beautiful.  However, while my friend  found her house, I found that I’m not tropically inclined and couldn’t wait to get back to Illinois, minus zero wind chills and all.  Can you believe it?!  I can’t, but there it is.  Now if I could just inject some of that Florida attitude into life up here in the frozen tundra….



Snow, snow, snow!



I have to admit, with all this talk of global warming and several mild winters in a row, I was growing complacent here.  Not this winter, though!  We are experiencing an “arctic vortex”, a term that is causing much hilarity around here.  I prefer Arctic blast.  after blast. after blast….  Getting back to the vortex idea, though, it reminds me of what a science teacher told us one awful winter when I was in college.  He explained that a sustained low pressure forms over Chicago-land during the winter months, drawing cold and storms from surrounding areas.  “In other words,” he said, “winter sucks.”  Ha!  I hate to admit it but actually I’ve enjoyed this winter.  To help get into the spirit of it all, I recommend the book “Snow Child”.

In this painting, I’ve taken you to the frozen, snowy dunes of Illinois Beach State Park.  Do you see the little bird lurking in the background?  These little guys must eat seeds.  I see them all winter long, hopping about in the clumps of grasses.  Personal feelings aside, it is good to see all this snow.  It insulates our native flora, and will recharge our water systems.  

Me?  I’m heading to Florida… 🙂