I was out on yet another bike ride on the Wobegon Trail (where better to find all the nature that Central Minnesota has to offer?), when, what to my wandering eyes should appear, but Spotted Touch-Me-Nots! Having recently posted about Meadowhawk dragonflies it is only fitting that I should find–and photograph–the lovely little flowers from my as yet sole dragonfly drawing.Read more “Spotted Touch-Me-Not”
It’s always fun to encounter a plant or animal I’ve drawn, and it’s especially fun when all I have to do is step outside my door and there it is. I went outside to water my plants recently, and behold: a meadowhawk dragonfly resting on my moss roses. I am no dragonfly expert, but I do know that mature meadowhawk males are ruby-red, while females and immature males are a golden tan. So this is probably a female taking a break just outside my window and most considerately letting me photograph her!Read more “Meadowhawks”
|Large-flowered Trillium ~ Trillium grandiflorum, 2015|
Come Mother’s Day in central Minnesota, it’s usually a good time to go driving by the woods. On the right year, the forest floors can be a carpet of showy white blossoms easily seen from the road. The trillium were close to a week late this year, but they’re finally out!Read more “Trillium”
Where Cinderella dropped her shoe,~Elaine and Dora Goodale (Apple Blossoms: Verses of Two Children, 1878)
‘Tis said in fairy tales of yore,
‘Twas first the lady’s slipper grew
And there its rosy blossom bore.
And ever since, in woodlands gray,
It marks where spring retreating flew,
Where speeding on her eager way,
She left behind her dainty shoe.
On pensile-stem it drooping sways,
Pale, pink-veined blossom, lightly swung,
Here, brushing thro’ yon tangled ways,
‘Twas lost these withered leaves among.
Like Prince of old, on romance bent,
We bring it home with tender care;
But all in vain–the magic lent
By fairy lore still lingers there.
Yet see, alas! no foot we find
To fit that shoe so slender-small:
Our Cinderella’s left behind,–
So let her lady’s-slipper fall.
The end of June, when strawberries are ripe–that’s when the Showy Lady’s Slippers bloom. They stand out in the road ditches, so that even driving by at 55 mph, they’re easy to spot.
As long as anyone in my family can remember, the Minnesota state flower has always grown out in the swamp–or rather, the popple island in the middle of the swamp, as well as the tamarack woods behind it. To reach them, one must brave woodticks, mosquitoes, and during some springs, up to knee-deep icy water. I grew up with stories of my great aunt taking her nephews and niece on treks out there to see them, and my grandpa writing to the state to request permission to pick them for bouquets for church.
During my years in 4-H, I exhibited photographs of these flowers roughly every other year from 6th grade until I graduated, finally scoring a reserve champion my senior year of high school.
Apparently what I grew up knowing as the Common Loon has now been renamed the Great Northern Loon (though Gavia immer remains its scientific name). A compromise, I believe, between Common Loon and the European name, Great Northern Diver. It sounds a little more important than a mere Common Loon, so I guess I’ll go with it.
I was reminded again how difficult feather down is to depict, as are reflections. I sometimes wonder why I torture myself so, but I was pleased with the result, so it was well worth it.