Thursday, June 4, 2009


One of my favorite activities is to spend a few minutes looking out a window and observing my front yard. The huge water oak tree harbors all kinds of wild life, from gray squirrels and a variety of birds to the occasional black snake. I know about the snake because it was inadvertently trapped in some netting at the base of the tree which was protecting some "visiting" bonsai plants while their owner was on vacation. Sadly, the snake died. Although I'm really not fond of snakes, I appreciate their appetite for mice and possibly chipmunks, those vermin in cute clothing that dig up my plants.

Today is overcast. The very gentle drizzle has stopped for the moment, but I'm hoping it will return and water my gardens for me. The squirrels, little more than teenagers, are out in force, foraging for the tiny acorns my tree produces. I tried raking and removing them earlier this year, but their small size and sheer mulitude made that almost impossible. So, in addition to the mounds from ant hills, we have the opposite appearance of little holes, dug by industrious squirrels. For me, this observation leads to thoughts about my paintings. When I make marks, each one must have some effect on the other. A "mound" deserves a "hole," so to speak, so the surface makes me reflect on the what nature has to teach me. Time to go into my studio and paint!

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