Monday, December 22, 2014

After the Solstice

Series of My Favorite Birds (portraits)
color pencil drawings - © Bruce A. Morrison

Its the day after the Winter Solstice as I write - really don't like the days when they get so short! (Day "light", I should say.) But the bright side is day light will begin getting longer again!  There's always a good side to everything!

I had been working on a small series of bird portraits the past month, and have gathered them together here.  The last series I drew were all Sparrow family members - this time I've mixed it up a bit - but I haven't run out of favorite birds to draw yet!  I'm not sure I could ever find enough time to do that.

(Click on image for a larger view)

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Wishing the best for you and yours - hope to see you next year!
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Art on a Card

"Frigid Morning Bales" - oil painting - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

The image above may very well have illustrated our valley last week but today its really changed...a lot of thawing in a heavy fog this a.m. and temps "near" 40 F.  We've already had 2 or 3 days below zero and the winter birds have returned to the acreage here, but its November after all - things can change drastically from day to day now!

The image above was used a couple years back by Arts on Grand in Spencer, Iowa for one of the artist Christmas Cards for its "Art on a Card" exhibition.  AOG invites artists to submit a winter theme image and then their jury committee decides which they'd like to feature "as a printed card for purchasing" from each artist; during the "Art on a Card" exhibit, the participating artists also exhibit other works on a winter or seasonal theme for the Christmas season.

"Art on a Card" will run from December 1st through 31st at Arts on Grand.  There will be an artist reception on Thursday December 4 from 5-7pm - the reception is open to the public.

Take in "Art on a Card" if you get a chance, and get into the Holiday Spirit!

Have a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving out there!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Waterman BCA Public Meeting!

The Waterman Prairie area of SE O'Brien County
is know for its diverse birds throughout the seasons,
like this Merlin (prairie form), a falcon that 
visits there during winter months.

There is always one area near us that Georgie and I go when looking for unusual, or not-so-common birds, and that is the Waterman Prairie complex south of the studio.

This is one place we can count on in the winter for Bald and (yes) Golden Eagles. And when we get stir crazy for our spring and summer bird friends in the dead of winter - Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings and American Robins are found there... but these are just the tip of the iceberg.  This area is well know for its grassland "obligates" - birds that are grassland dependent for nesting and foraging, as well as birds frequenting a savanna habitat.

It has been long known that this is a special area for birds and a recognition process for important areas like this has been in the works for some time now - concerning the Waterman Prairie complex area, there will be a Bird Conservation Area public meeting this coming Thursday evening at the Prairie Heritage Center.

Major benefits of a BCA would be opening doors to grants and/or cost-share programs that are only available to designated Bird Conservation Areas.  The BCA program is a worldwide program, so could bring additional habitat restoration or preservation dollars.  A positive side benefit by having a designated conservation area is it may increase the likelihood of local landowners getting into Farm Bill wildlife programs.

Whether you're interested in birds or "birding", or also appreciate the natural heritage of this small prairie gem we have way out here in SE O'Brien County - you might be interested in attending this public meeting and learning more how it may potentially benefit the area's resources.

The November 13 (Thursday) meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the O'Brien County Prairie Heritage Center located about 4.5 miles southeast of Sutherland - from Hwy 10 go 1 mile north on Yellow Avenue.

If approved, this area will be the first Bird Conservation Area within O'Brien, Clay, Buena Vista, and Cherokee counties.

Be a part of something that supports your natural heritage!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Indian Summer - Gotta Love It!

Prairie Hill Farm and the Studio - photograph
© Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

I did a post some time back about Indian Summer; I wish Indian Summer were a true season - if it were, it would be my all-time favorite!  As it is, I love Indian Summer - regardless!

I always loved the fall season, but it is frustratingly short; specifically the color transitions that take place in autumn.  Unless you live in New England, your fall colors are somewhat more of a crap shoot.  I've been told by more than one person that if I ever experienced autumn in Vermont, I would be spoiled for life.  

Autumn Stream - photograph
© Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

I'm sure there's a element of truth there in the assumption that fall colors are just spectacular beyond explanation in parts of the country - some regions more so than others, and some years better than others as well...but I still take great pleasure in the small pockets of beauty around us. 

Autumn Streamside - photograph
© Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

I was finally able to get away with the camera yesterday morning.  I get permission from different folks in the area, to walk their properties - and appreciate these offers and opportunities more than I can ever completely express!  The color here on the acreage started suddenly last week - the pasture always comes through for us but the acreage hasn't looked this good in years, really!

Autumn Woodland Sunrise - photograph
© Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

The place I walked yesterday morning still had some nice pockets but I could tell I was late - never-the-less it was not disappointing!  I do hope to get back there through the seasons now that I have a better idea as to where to walk.

Just a short 2014 Artisans Road Trip follow-up.  Thank you to everyone who stopped by the studio and made our weekend here a success - I could not do it without your support!  Thank you so much!

Have a great autumn and may Indian Summer days bring a glow to your hearts.

Friday, October 10, 2014

2014 A.R.T.!!!

It's here!  Well - this weekend anyway!
Each year for the past 11 years the Artisans Road Trip has been bringing the "studio road trip" genre to NW Iowa!  This year's event is Saturday October 11th (9AM-5PM) and Sunday October 12th (Noon-5PM) and the studio here on the valley hillside is warmed up and waiting to give you something to enjoy - whether its the artwork (many new things!), the view, or the "Best in the A.R.T." home baked wonderfulness - you don't want to miss out!!!  

If you have never been to the studio here - check out the A.R.T. link for my information at -

Enjoy a road trip this autumn weekend - take in the sights and have a great time - we hope to see you then!

Sunday, September 28, 2014


"Valley Autumn"
photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison
(Click on image for a larger view) 
I suddenly came to the realization that I haven't done a Studio blog in 8 or 9 weeks!  Yikes!
Well I have been blogging, just not for myself I guess.  And its Autumn!  Did it sneak up on you as well?  I did see it coming, it just doesn't seem like it should be here already.
I've been blogging for the 2014 Artisans Road Trip and getting ready for it as well!  It's coming up soon - just a couple more weeks and it'll be here!  This year the A.R.T. event is the 2nd weekend of October - that's Saturday October 11th (9AM-5PM) and Sunday October 12 (Noon-5PM)!  
The Artisans Road Trip has been running for 11 years now...the art studio tour is a great get-away or destination day trip, with even more to look forward to than just a fun fall drive through the countryside!
If you have time to get away during the weekend of the 11th and 12th, I hope you can make it out for great atmosphere, delicious treats, conversation and great scenery!
First time for the Artisans Road Trip?  Check out the web site at - 
Hope to see you then!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fleeting Bales

"August Bale Study No.1"
oil pastel and pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
I always look forward to the hay bales in the valley here!  This year was very different - baling was late this summer here...usually done by the first week in July, it wasn't until the first week of August here this year.  A very positive note to this "wait" - there were far fewer ground nesting birds that suffered moralities due to early haying.
Each summer we have good numbers of Bobolinks, Sedge Wrens, Dickcissels, Meadowlarks, and other birds nesting in the pastures here.  All of these birds are grassland "obligates", meaning they require grassland habitat for their nesting and feeding - their survival. I do realize the "affect" on forage quality, the longer farmers wait to cut hay, but grassland bird populations have been dropping steadily in the past 2-3 decades and any break they can get is critical for their long term survival.
But as I've said many times in the past - I just love seeing bales out in the landscape.  There is something quite pleasing to the eye about hay bales randomly dropped here and there in a pasture it nostalgic or whatever, there is just something visually interesting about this transient introduction of geometric shapes into the environment.
I suspected that with this field work running behind schedule here, I needed to get out there as soon as they were done baling and get some images made for future reference!  Within 24 hours they were picked up and gone.  
I just did this small study in oil pastel and oil based pencils.  I think I'll be doing more as well, while the iron's hot...trying to prolong that nostalgia! 
August is here - enjoy it!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ode to July

"Morning Beatitude"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view
July...when I was much, much younger "July" meant the middle of summer vacation.  It meant there was a whole month "after this one" before school began again!  It was a month of wandering, like June and August, but there was something else about July; it was lived it, breathed the essence of it, held it close and then it was gone.
June seemed like a dream when it arrived; summer was here!  We languished in the
thought of it, but as it gained momentum and you grasped the opportunity - it was finished.  We had "wised up" by July; it needed to be savored.
When August came, the sense of well being was shaken...summer's end was near.
Now that I am older, I pay more attention to the calendar. Summer is no longer finished in August - there's September to look forward to...its not until the equinox that the end is true.  But this old duffer still remembers saying goodbye to July all those years ago; its not over yet but I'll still wish it back.
I know its cheating, but stepping back and savoring a "time and place" in my paintings or, as in this case, my photographs - can be a nice respite.  I hope you enjoy "July" in my work.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


"Anvil Across the Valley" - oil pastel on mounted canvas
© Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view

Its nearly mid July and I'm baffled where the time has gone; I do find myself in this position often, but its never any less frustrating!  Summer is a busy time - make daylight last this long and you're out there taking advantage of every minute, right?  Well, I guess you have to!

Our outdoor work now consists of bug hats and Deet.  All the rain we accumulated in June (14.95 inches) has bred the worst crop of mosquitoes I have seen in some time. The black flies (biting or Buffalo Gnats to some) are just as bad - they're the ones we really wear bug netting around for...I think Deet is like whipped cream to these little monsters! 

But that June rain has made things pop!  And the prairie pasture is very nice this July...this is another good year for Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepia tuberosa) and Compass Plants (Silphium laciniatum) are prominant in the "green" everywhere!  I haven't been able to do much photography work yet this summer though...between the windy days and "life", the opportunities have been limited.

I did set aside an evening "job" for myself though.  I'd been admiring the many "tops" of thunderheads off in the distance the past few weeks and got the itch to do something that's been in the back burner for some 3 years.  I photographed an amazing anviled thunderhead out acroiss the valley here back in 2011.  Back then I had more than one person ask if it were something I'd ever paint.  I thought not at the time but I'm backsliding now and decided to first do a small study in oil pastel and see if it showed promise.

The image above was just finished last night and I think I'm fairly pleased with the possibilities it shows.  It only shows about 60% as wide of a field of view as the original photo panorama does, and the landscape, color and sky are composed more to suit me, but I think it'll work for a larger painting down the road!  Let's see what I can cook up next  - summer's not going to wait around!

Take care and have a great one!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

From the Tallgrass at the Neal Smith NWR

A familiar theme for a place with a "like-mind" - that's about as accurate of a description as I can give.  

I can't live enough years to outgrow or become bored with the tallgrass prairie, it is a subject I will probe and celebrate till I draw my last breath.  The Neal Smith NWR is dedicated to the tallgrass prairie as well.

Just 22 miles east of Des Moines, near Prairie City, Iowa, you'll find a truly unique refuge.  The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1990, within the National Wildlife Refuge System, to "actively protect, restore, reconstruct and manage the diverse native ecosystems of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna, and sedge meadow. These were the native habitats existing on the Refuge’s 5600 acres prior to Euro-American settlement."

The refuge approached me in 2012 to do an exhibit of artwork and photography depicting the tallgrass, and I accepted.  This solo exhibit, at their J.N. "Ding" Darling Art Gallery, will feature work on the prairie theme and genre.

The exhibit will open on July 1st in the afternoon, and will run through August 20th.  More information about the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, its hours and other contact information can be found online at -

Its a great place to visit and I'm looking forward to it!  If you're passing by the area this summer, take a little time and stop for a visit, you will be glad you did!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer at Last

"Pre-solstice Evening Sky"
photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

The drought of the past 11-12 months has temporarily hit the wall and we are, of course, getting way more than we need all at once!  But I think the old adage "When it rains - it pours!" is about as aptly put as it could possibly be.  We've received 12 inches of rain for June so far here at Prairie Hill Farm, plus a little more wind than we care to ever have.

4 days back we got stuck in the rotating SW edge of a system and around 2-3 a.m. trees started breaking up and dropping in the yard.  So cleaning up is about all we've done for the past 4 days, but today is being "taken off" to recuperate some.  Not only did the trees get busted up, we did too...Georgie broke her wrist and I a torn ligament.  I'm doing much better while Georgie gets used to her cast...glad spring is past us now - hopefully summer will be kinder!!!
 "Bizarre Mammatus Formations and Barn"
photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

Weather does create some visual opportunities though, I just don't care much for the messy ones!

Hope you have avoided the flooding and/or the severe storms the region has been experiencing!  Our hearts go out to those whom have lost their homes the past few days - especially in Nebraska, and certainly to those who were injured or lost loved ones.

It is summer at last and perhaps a change for the better!? We can certainly look forward to that - wishing you a very happy summer solstice!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Circus

"Grumpy Hummer"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

Its been a regular circus around here lately....a circus because of how busy and preoccupied we've been.  But also because of the critters.

Love this male Ruby-throated Hummingbird from a couple days back - just a great expression!

And yesterday I was working in the studio and noticed out the window that I was being robbed in broad daylight!  Good grief, what's this world coming to?!!

"Masked Bandit"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

OK, so it was just a Raccoon, but geeze...I'd been putting all the hanging bird feeders away at night so I guess they decided to hit us during daylight when we'd least expect it!

Later in the evening yesterday I heard a familiar sound and hoped I was wrong but ya...we had a lost baby looking for momma.

"Where's Momma?!"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

The noise I was hearing was a bleating White-tailed Deer fawn.  This has happened before and I was holding my breath that this little guy's mother would find it again.  Some mowing had been taking place in a field just to our northwest and I'm thinking this fawn was in there and ran out from the disturbance...also there was a lot of field spraying going on just down the road from us, and a lot of vehicle noise and traffic on this normally quiet road.

But so far so good, we haven't been paid another visit yet nor have we been hearing any commotion, so maybe things are all good once again.

The rest of the circus for the month has been the process of putting together 56 pieces of work for the Neal Smith NWR down by Prairie City, east of Des Moines for July and August!  Man it takes a lot of time getting work put together, framed, printed, labeled, and you name it!  This solo exhibit is "prairie themed" and owns the same title as my last solo exibit in 2012 - "From the Tallgrass" is not a repeat of that same show however, so more work to get it ready!

Also I am in a new exhibit down in Storm Lake, Iowa right now - the 2014 Artisans Road Trip is having an exhibit at the Witter Gallery in Storm Lake.  This show began last week on June 5th and runs through June 27th.  Be sure and stop in to see the show (either one!) if you have time!

Back to the circus!



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Real Signs

 "May Thunderhead"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view

Its moving at a snail's pace but spring is beginning to show "real signs" of change. The familiar changes along the skyline in the late afternoon and evening has given us a few good looks at some great cloud formations and weather systems moving east.  Unfortunately they all seem to form east of us and we end up missing the rains.  We had a very dry April...the first 10 days of May haven't improved things much either, but the views are dramatic and well worth it!

 "Great Blue Heron Flight"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view
The waterman Creek Great Blue Heron rookery has suffered some from the heavy winds since mid April.  A couple weeks back we had over 48 straight hours of non-stop 40-50+ mph winds.  The entire rookery was abandoned until after the weather settled to a tempo in the 30 mph range, then the activity started picking up again.  I'm fairly certain some egg laying had to restart.  But the "air traffic" is beginning to pick back up and we're seeing herons flying over the studio and acreage during the day...these are amazing birds to watch up close!
 "White-throated Sparrow"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view

The White-throated Sparrows showed up on cue about 3 weeks back and the yard came alive with bird song.  We love their "Old Sam Peabody" phrasing whistles!

 "White-crowned Sparrow"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
It was soon replaced by the musical buzz inserted music of the White-crowned Sparrows.  This is the heaviest influx of White-crowned I have seen here at the acreage; usually a half a dozen birds at a time could be seen or heard...we had a flock of an easy fourty just yesterday!
 "Harris' Sparrow"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
The Harris' Sparrows have come in flocks equal to or better than the White-crowned, they are everywhere and their song is constanly intermingled with the others through the acreage.  But once the Wild Plums bloomed overnight, we were witness to some gorgeous warbler traffic.
 "Cape May Warbler"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
 "Yellow Warbler"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
We had several warbler species but the Yellow Warbler was the most common, with the Cape Mays as a bonus suirprise in decent number as well.  These little birds loved the insect buffet in the Wild Plum trees around the studio; Georgie and I just sat outside near the trees and watched (and "tried" to get photos!).  
Ya, I'd say there are real signs that spring is here and each day is a new treat!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Just Perfect!

 "Great Horned Owl Nest"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

Its been a real struggle getting to spring; we're hoping maybe it'll get serious one of these days and it will stay till summer!  But we love it around here...the past couple weeks have really livened the valley up with the Meadow Larks singing and the frogs serenading...even had a good night of Coyote music a week back!

I've been working on too many things to recount just now, but jury duty was one of them.  If I can just get through June without being picked again, maybe I'll actually be ready for this summer's exhibit at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in July.

I had a chance yesterday morning to break away briefly and walk the creek across the road from us.  There has been a family of Great Horned Owls nesting there and I wanted to try and get some photos of them before they fledged.  We've watched the nest from the road for the past few weeks but to get a decent image of the nest I needed to walk around to the other side of the valley and see if there was a clear view of it from there.

There was enough to see the nest and to find there were two occupants!  However the nest is fairly small for two birds of that size and I wasn't able to get very decent shots of both birds at the same time.  If you look at the photo above, you'll see the ear tuft of the other sibling just over the left shoulder of the bird in the foreground.

It was really fun to watch them for a while and took some video footage of them as well.  But the wind was beginning to pick up and I headed down to the creek below to cross back over.
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
Just as I made it across, a large bird move nearly above me and was holding its position with wings flapping hard into the wind.  I immediately recognized it as an Osprey and struggled to set the tripod and get the camera swung around.  The Osprey kept moving north along the creek stopping momentarily while looking for a fish breakfast.  I managed to finally get a couple shots as it moved further up stream...nothing spectacular but at least you can identify the bird...maybe I'll use the pose in a future painting or drawing someday?
What a great ending to my first spring morning jaunt in the valley...this is a great place to be and we don't take it for granted for a moment.  It may not seem that way to most people, but its just perfect...for us anyway!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Short Break from Spring

"Old JD Hay Rake"
photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

We woke up yesterday morning to winter again.  April can have surprises; I remember a few from some years back, and last year it even snowed in May!  We got around a half a foot yesterday though, and it is most welcome here!  (We've been so dry since last summer.)

As soon as I got the lane up to the house and studio cleared, I went out and shot a few photos .  I don't like photographing snow under overcast skies, because of the visual "flatness" of the snow...its just too dull.  But I picked a more graphic subject and went from there.

I picked on the old John Deere Hay Rake that sits on the upper slope of our south pasture, near the old sheep barn.  The image above is somewhat understated, but its growing on me.  

Wonder if this will be my last winter photograph until the 2014-15 season?  I kind of hope so - let the short break from spring end and get onto some real springtime weather! 

Don't think I'm alone on that note!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


"Summer Stream Dawn"
oil pastel/oil pencil study
(click on image for a larger view)

I just deviated a "tad" from working on the "From the Tallgrass" exhibit this coming summer at Neal Smith NWR, by doing a small (6X12") oil pastel and oil pencil study of the creek down below us here in the valley.  
I had been searching for "prairie" material while viewing years of video footage I've taken and came across this wonderful section of the Waterman Creek about a mile and a half south of us and was immediately taken with it.  I have found so many things in the past that have interested me as material for future paintings or drawings, and a familiar thing always seems to happen - I either lose interest or grow less "smitten", or even forget!

I am not an organized person...OK, maybe too much information, but everyone has their short-comings...that's at least one of mine.  I've always relied on my memory and its just not holding up as I pile on new thoughts!  The old "hard drive" is finding a need to delete information as more is downloaded!  That's about as concise as I can put it!

But when I saw this footage from 2012, I really was smitten - I knew it had to be squeezed in NOW, or be deleted or forgotten from memory someday.  So as soon as I finished my last drawing (Big Bluestem, color pencil) I started this sketch immediately.

I really want to do a larger oil painting of this scene, now that I see how well this study works for me.  I hope I do not lose interest (another short-coming 'ADD' perhaps?) and never get back to trying a larger studio piece; but I can't think about that now - Too Much To Do!!!

Back to Work!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Big Bluestem in Bloom"
(Andropogon gerardii)
color pencil drawing © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view

Just finished another color pencil drawing for this summer's exhibit at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City, Iowa.

I've never drawn grasses before, except "implied" as a background form or shape.  And since this summer's solo exhibit will be at a national "Tallgrass Prairie" type refuge, I thought it'd be very appropriate to try to do some small studies of prairie grasses as well.

Of course Big Bluestem is the Tallgrass icon for grasses, so what better subject to start with!?  I am drawing many of these small studies as "close-up" drawings; to bring the subject matter into a more personal/true experience type of presentation.  The grasses depicted here were in "bloom", which is actually surprising to some people; many do not equate grass with having flowers...sometimes referred to as "florets".  Bloom time is usually around early to late July here, depending on the season's conditions.

This drawing was done from some video footage taken here on our native pasture in 2011.  When I started working on this summer's solo exhibit I garnered many images from the video work I've been doing over the past several years...they came in handy for reference material "and" inspiration, during this past winter!

Spring continues to make inroads here at the studio...rather chilly and breezy today but the yard is full of Red-wing Blackbirds and Robins...and the Great Blue Herons have just started showing up at the rookery across the valley! 

Well, back to work here - have a great week out there!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Its a Seesaw

Snow geese and the Gibbous Phase Moon
photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

It can be a crazy time of the year, March.  One day is very hopeful for spring thaw and another blankets the ground again.  So it is each year, and this morning was no different when the landscape looked like winter once more, yet this afternoon the landscape's a blank canvas again and sunny.

The thing I like best about March is the sudden movement of the wildlife, with new species appearing, and - the sounds!

Last week it was difficult getting any work done for a couple days.  Every time I'd get in the middle of something, Georgie might show up and say "Have you looked outside"?  I'd stop what I was doing and go out to see clouds of Snow Geese moving was really a fun sight.  Other times during those days, I'd actually hear the geese as they flew lower and over the studio.

White-tail Deer crossing Waterman Creek
photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

The deer herd has shown its true numbers during the afternoon hours the past 3 weeks too.  Each winter, after the deer season has ended, some time seems to need to pass before we can get a good idea of what the spring population will look like.  They all seem so comfortable with daylight again, now that its been some time since the shooting stopped!  It looks like we'd better keep the fencing around the smaller trees in the yard for a few more weeks...each day we have a skiff of snow, we see deer tracks all over the to the house and studio.  Our pussy willow has become a salad bar again; we don't keep it corralled - the pruning doesn't seem to bother that bush too much.

The Robins are back, and the Juncos have returned on their trip north too.  The male Goldfinches are starting to show their molt to bright yellow, and the Cedar Waxwings are taunting me from the bushes each morning I come out...I say "taunting" because they seem to make a game of keeping their distance when I appear with my camera.

Tomorrow is the vernal equinox...the first day of spring, but next week sounds like we'll be getting chilled down a little again.   Its like a seesaw, and like that seesaw was as a kid, its fun!