Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Last night I closed up shop to come in and see that lovely lady I commiserate with whenever I'm not working or distracted with "maybe?" important things in the studio, and a Bald Eagle flew right through the yard below tree top was pretty cool. But the neatest thing was this morning when the yard filled with Robins...dozen of Robins flicking through the newly unfrozen leaf litter and picking the frozen dried up berries off of the viburnums. Neat because this really felt like spring! This really brought back memories to me and a sense of time and place felt over and over for well more than half a century now...Whoa!

OK lets forget the time span thingy and hang onto the dawn chorus prelude we've got going's great! Tonight is threatening to put another short kabaush (sp?) on this beautiful picture...we're supposed to wake up to another blanket of snow. It's starting to give me the DT's...I can't stand it!

I've grown very fond of warmer weather...maybe it's because it's been some time since I've experienced it? Maybe it also has to do with that ...thingy I mentioned too... But I've been dwelling on a mid summer night...on crickets and katydids lulling my self into a sweet, soft ride through the evening. I know, God willing, it'll come again, but I've grown impatient, so I'm posting the Lighting Bugs video again...I'm just going to stick it on a loop here and pipe in the crickets and katydids on my tape deck and bring myself back to an even keel!

This was from last summer out here on Prairie Hill Farm.........there that's better.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wm Penn Road Trip

Spent a great deal of time on the road yesterday delivering work to Wm Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa for a 4 week exhibit in their gallery. I don't think I've ever been to Oskaloosa...been in the general region a few times over the years, but not there. I do know one thing now about Oskaloosa (well maybe more than just one) and that is - if they ever lose Ed's Bar BQ on the south side of the city square, they've lost a treasure! Oh my word what wonderful Brisque! (Thanks Ed, I said I'd get out the word for you!)

Georgie and I, and artist friend Barb McGee, drove on down to pick up Barb's artwork and hang mine. It's quite a trip from up in the NW corner of Iowa down to Oskaloosa, but we had no loss of something to talk about and the time really passed quickly. We also came across more Bald Eagles north of Oskaloosa than you could shake a stick at! At one point Georgie spotted a "bunch" in a field on the east side of the highway and we pulled over and got out to see what was up...there were over 2 "dozen" Bald Eagles in and about the field...many flying around with each other and many just sitting in the sun. It was pretty cool to watch...I think that has to be the most I've ever seen in one spot at once.

Wm Penn looked like a typical college campus with some nice older architecture mixed with the new and our contact was Victoria Peterson Laird, Director of Visual Arts there. Victoria is a very pleasant, down to earth person and got Barb's work down and packed into the car and my work up; then without a lot of ceremony we all headed back to NW Iowa.

If you're in the vicinity of SE Iowa over the next 4 weeks, stop in Oskaloosa for the best Bar BQ you'll find and take in the exhibit in the gallery at the Wilcox Library on the Wm Penn University campus!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spring for Some!

Great Horned Owl, pencil rendering

Purchase a print

The past couple days brings doubt to the Groundhog's ability to predict spring but I still definitely wouldn't bank on winter's effects being through for the year
. However, it is now truly spring for some in the neighborhood here at Prairie Hill Farm!

An old favorite from many years ago is now raising their spring family in the neighborhood. Seems crazy but the Great Horned Owls start nesting as early as late January! Georgie and I have been seeing and hearing the GHO's in the yard and along the valley the past 2-3 weeks; they're becoming more vocal and active around here and whether or not that corresponds to their nesting habits I don't know but we've now entered the egg laying and hatching time for these great birds.

I've been stuck on Great Horned Owls since I can barely remember and they've been a favored subject in my artwork off and on for a long time, as I've mentioned in past blogs. But this idealistic view is not shared by many and I do understand others point of view.

Great Horned Owls are big and brazen critters. They've been known to harass Bald Eagles and to kill other birds of prey, such as other owls and even hawks. Our favorite little Screech Owl is always in danger of the GHO's. A bird of this size, and with a rough demeanor can bring a tough night's sleep for many larger birds!

But these are really cool looking birds aren't they! I think so. And the sound of a Great Horned or a pair of them is sweet music to listen to at night or just prior to dawn. Its primordial. There's a sense of wildness in those voices but I'm also glad I'm not another bird trying to get some shut eye...wondering if I've been spotted and if that GHO is in a bad mood or not!

The Great Horned Owls are optimistic birds, why else would they be setting up house and raising kids already!? I'm trying to be optimistic too! Can spring be just around the corner??!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Groundhog Day!!

Tomorrow's Groundhog Day! I'm writing this on Sunday and It is a beaut of a day, the kind you just wish would rule the rest of winter! If any Groundhogs (Woodchucks around here) could break through the thick snow/icy crust, they'd certainly see their shadow today.

Our resident "shop" Groundhog (see the November Woodchuck Blog) wouldn't see his because he's inside. Besides he still has a door on top of his hole!

But it's fun thinking about these things in the middle of winter, and you never know - this might be the beginning of an early spring!!