Over the years I’ve spent quite a lot of time out in nature, off-trail (only where permitted). In those many many jaunts I found myself noticing little pockets of shelter, somewhere a plant or a creature might be safe from the elements which can certainly be harsh.
Today there is a Pow Wow near my home~a friend of mine is of Native American descent so he always participates. If the rain stops long enough I plan to go. Oh, the drums and the costumes are wonderful. But what I find astonishing and irresistible is the acceptance you find there. Native Americans have as much right as anyone to harbor a festering hate in their hearts…and yet they don’t. They hold these pow wows in part to offer healing. All are welcomed and even invited to dance in the circle, regardless of race or sex. It is a powerful experience. They aren’t trying to convert anyone, merely spend some time dancing together. It creates a sanctuary of peace, one I hope we can all experience.
When I saw this stand of fresh-faced spiderwort growing at Illinois Beach State Park this spring, I thought, oooh, a pattern of color! I used a background of orange behind the colors to make them pop, with a bit of yellow washed over here and there.
This painting may not be done yet, but I was eager to share it with you. It recalls a day when my daughter and I were out botanizing in extremely tough terrain. No trails here~just a wet prairie. The moraines and sloughs are like corduroy in this preserve, with tall vegetation that obscures your footing. One minute you’re on a sandy ridge, the next you are plunging into water and black muck, with grasses sawing your skin and biting insects assaulting your senses. Makes me shudder just to think of it, and Katie and I vowed we’d never go back in there no matter what plant might be growing there! However, one of the things nature teaches us is to look up from our trials and tribulations and see what grace notes she has to offer. On this afternoon we looked up to see these fledglings lined up on a dead limb. Aren’t they cute? You birders can set me straight on what they are. Martins? Swallows?