Sunday, May 29, 2011

Strawberries, deer, ducks & groundhogs

I discovered the deer that walk through my backyard each day like strawberries. I had brought back some plants from the new house in Blacksburg. Transplanted them to hanging baskets. They were doing fine, strawberries nice and red. I come out the other morning to find the one basket the deer usually don't brother had no leaves and no strawberry just a few green stems sticking out. One plant down two to go.

As I was driving into Downtown Frederick I like to drive by Baker Park. The lake always as ducks in, near, around it and they like to cross the street to get to the other side. They are very use to cars and often go right up to the four way stop to cross the street there. It makes you smile as you sit in your car waiting for a line of ducks to cross the street.

And to end the day along Rocky Springs Road were two groundhogs trying to cross the road but as two cars were coming in different directions. They opted to back up, doing what looked like a groundhog version of the moonwalk dance step. It was the kind of thing that made you laugh out loud. I don't think I have ever seen a groundhog just come to a stop and go in reverse.

This morning is misty you can tell the heat is on it's way. As I sit with my morning coffee and listen to the birds I am enjoying the mountain laurel which is as full as I think I have every seen it. I am hoping to do a bit of plein air painting in pastel before all this beauty escapes me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hummingbirds and Mountain Laurel

The Mountain Laurel are in full bloom. They were a bit late blooming this spring, wetter and cooler then the last few years. The hummingbirds love to sit in the Mountain Laurel. It is their little hiding place. They come to the feeder, then go sit on the branch in a small open area of the Mountain Laurel. Then if another hummingbird happens by they have an advantage and can zoom out of their cover to run them off. They are amazing little warriors.

This all happens so fast it is near impossible to get a good photo. But, I will keep trying until then I will take pictures of the Mountain Laurel which in itself is beautiful. There is one section that is much pinker then the others. The root system of wild laurel is interconnected making them very difficult to transplant. Why this one cluster is so pink compared to the others I do not know. But, they are just lovely. My favorite time of the day is morning as the sun is creeping through the trees. I sit with my coffee, my cats, the hummingbirds and watch the sun sparkle on the leaves and bark. No better way to start my day.
white wild mountain laurel

hummingbird scratchboard by Marilu

pinker mountain laurel

Saturday, May 21, 2011

re:Mountain Laurel Art Show

All it took was a little sunshine and the Mountain Laurel are just blooming away. Just in time for the art show this week.

Here is a link to The Arts Map, which will give you details and directions:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Long Way Home

I needed to take a ride out to Main Street, Burkittsville to check on the location of the South Mountain Hertiage Society. I will be teaching a plein air workshop June 4th & 5th and wanted to see different places that would make nice paintings. There are many, the building itself is an old church that was used as a hospital in 1862. To the back of the church is a graveyard, over the hill farm land and fields, barns, buildings, rolling mountains, sycamore trees and lots of charm.

I drove down from the church, there is a apple orchard. In the opposite direction is Gathland State Park, Appalachian Trail, old structures, buildings, picnic areas, gardens, flowers (lady slippers were spotted) and of course lots of trees.

My plan is to paint on that Sunday Morning at the church, go the park for lunch and paint there in the afternoon. I sat at the park long enough to do a small watercolor painting. What a great afternoon. I continued exploring and came on another Main Street, drove through there came out on a major road and started heading back towards Middletown, where I ended up on another Main Street. As I was heading back home I decided to turn up Gambrill Park Road, up and over the mountain, finally finding Humburg Road, which is small, with lots of twists and turns. I pulled off on the side to sit by a flowing creek. The sound was very relaxing and the prefect way to end my day.

Burkittsville, MD

Gathland State Park

Humburg Road, Frederick, MD

Sunday, May 8, 2011


The hummingbirds are back. They let me know they are here by coming to the window of what ever room I am in, hovering there so that I know it is time to put the feeders back out. Hummingbirds are very territorial and amazing little warriors. They run other hummingbirds off and stand guard waiting in the Mountain Laurel Trees to run any invaders away.

Each year I learn something new about hummingbirds. The first year they found the feeder they not sit, they would take a quick drink and fly away. The second year they were more comfortable and stayed awhile. The next few years they started landing on top of the feeder or in the mountain laurel and just sitting there.

They come in the morning and in the evening, some during the day but always a.m. and p.m. I love sitting outside with my coffee and watching as they return each day. There is a family unit that comes regularly, and as of last year an invader, a darker male, his green is so dark it looks black. The other birds are not happy that he wants to share their space.

Hummingbirds are very vocal, they make a lot of noise for something so small. I have only heard a hummingbird sit and sing one time. He was all alone, sitting on the feeder and making a little chirping sound, not all that pretty compared to some birds but it was another of those first for me to witness.

May we all have those wonderful hummingbird experiences on Mother's Day.

Hummingbird - Tucson, AZ

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

lindahp5536's photostream

NCTC-TREESreflection-Sarah Simpsoncrow by Sarah Simpsonback in time by Sarah Simpsonlinda harrison-parsonssnowy owl I - who sees who linda hp
in the trees by linda hpwolf gaze  by Marilu TousignautRaven Series by linda hpSea Otter by Marilu TousignautPuffin by Marilu Tousignautdenim handbag by Denise Tousignaut
 purple necklace cindi olson 2 pendents cindi olson cindi olson cindi olsonMatriarch of ElephantPlains Marilu TousignautColumbine by Marilu Tousignaut

Mountain Laurel Art Show 2011

Pink Snow

Driving around after the wind and rain it looks like pink snow under the trees. The cherry blossoms are spread out under the trees like a blanket. The dogwoods are blooming, white, soft pink and bright pink. The leaves are coming in bigger each day filling in the spaces in-between the trees in the woods. My pink rhododendron are blooming again, they are different from others I have in the yard as they will bloom all year long. If there is a warm tread during the winter they will bloom. They must like where they live.

I took a walk down my road with my neighbor to see lady slippers starting to bloom. I may take a walk again to take a few more photos, they were lovely. These are the moments that nature touches me, the soft pinks, the lovely curve of the lady slipper, spring green of the leaves and just never knowing when it is going to rain.

I think I might try to do a drawing of the lady slipper...maybe just take my drawing stool, paper and pastels and head down there this afternoon when the light changes. If it doesn't rain...

lady slipper


What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...