Saturday, December 31, 2016

Putty Root Leaves

Every winter P and I enjoy finding putty root leaves growing in a few places along the trails.  Late this afternoon I spotted a large patch of them in a place I pass often.  These guys must have popped up last week.  We've never found the flowers, but this time I mapped the location of the leaves, and will put on my calendar to check on them every couple of weeks.  Enlarge the page and read all about them!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Catch-up, Sibling Reunion

On the road, grabbing lunch somewhere in Georgia a.  Interesting hair at the salad bar.  Why the flags stuck in sandwiches?
This reunion is the most fun ever.  Today we're talking constantly and laughing a lot while walking around a big estate/park/museum-like place where G and S got married two years ago.  Odd artifacts including a glass case of cotton bolls.
In an upstairs hall a tiny treadle sewing machine.
Hours later. so many of us play musical instruments or/and draw.  Tonight P and D and S and F are playing while D and I sketch and E, D, G, and B and P sing and talk.

During the days we go on adventures in and near Milledgeville.  Here is St. Stephen in his church where an icon writer has done beautiful icons and where horses were stabled during Sherman's sweep of this area.  At night we have wonderful meals and sit around the table for hours playing hilarious word games.  Here's the King Cake that D and G made!  E got the baby, so we meet at her and F's house next year.
Last night after Mad Libs D brought out his lute and played so wonderfully.

One day we went to a very old cemetery and saw this haunted tomb. P told us to knock on the tomb and ask "Mr. Fish, what's going on in there?", which we did. I heard an odd rustling and so did D--- 
Nearby was a tiny sexton's cottage, with a single small window and the remnants of a narrow chimney.  The lovely sloping bag of coffee beans was in our favorite cookie/coffee shop downtown.
On the road home, people in a SC restaurant.  We are so sad to leave Milledgeville and everyone.  Here is a group picture and as a special treat the lantern F and E brought and lit as it rises over the lake behind our house. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Time to Re-Subscribe to the Onion

There was a time early in the long, tedious reign of George the Lesser when we stopped listening to and reading the news and instead read the Onion for our news.  I think I've reached that point now.  Tonight when I heard that the drumpian pretender to the leadership of the so-called free world had chosen the medium of tweeting to publicize his exhortation that we should amp up our nuclear weapons supply, I felt like all of the above faces.
As I listened to yet more outrageousness my mood shifted to more of an eye-rolling scorn and I switched to drawing the above-- a clay mask, a Mayan guy, and my favorite little moon sailing across the deep blue dome of a small chuch in Chiusi, Italy, rolling her eyes and curling her lip at the lunacy below.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Tree in the High Meadow

To the left of Jesse you can see the glowing light tree that our neighbor builds every year out on the high meadow overlooking the valley behind our houses.  He and his friend, both in their 80s, plant a tall --20 feet or so-- pole and string lights from the top to form our annual community tree.
I like this back view of Jesse chowing down, even though his foreshortened tail looks like a groundhog's tail.
People eating at Cocula tonight.  Finally feel almost 100% back to normal!  Nothing feels better than crawling out of a week-long bout of stomach bugginess!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Solstice Sunset

The solstice sun is setting unspectacularly behind the trees on top of Jones Mountain at 4:30 p.m.  Meanwhile yesterday's tightly-furled rhododendron leaves are as flat as mortarboards in the 45 degree evening air.  Jesse has retreated to the back porch bench where the summer cushions are still fluffy nests for his naps on warmish days.
Inside the kitchen the lone leftover cipolino looks like a toy top.  My polished stone heart glows softly, and this buckeye from a few weeks ago has caved in and grown lumpy and perfect for carrying  like a worry stone in a pocket.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Uninspired and Badly Drawn

I am laid low by a stomach thingy and am so uninterested tonight.  So here are several views of a giant barnacle that lives in one of our little jars of odds and ends.  And as I was sketching the third view (which looks like a yurt maybe),  Jesse ambled over and curled up next to some books at the foot of the bed.
So here also are some details of his face, which I did by beginning with one of his eyesand  working outward from there.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ruins in the Rain

This trail goes through an area on Jones Mountain that the college bought in the early 1900s.  At that time most of the trees had been cut down and the land was the site of an inn and several cottages.  It has gone back to forest now , and the ruins are vine-covered and strangely Indiana Jonesy.  One new feature is the group of 15 or so troll dolls in the cellar ruin-- this exhibit has been growing and rearranging itself for the past three or four years.  
All blotches are from the fine drizzle that kept falling.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mysteries pf the Universe

At 7 this morning it was around 18 degrees (f) and the rhododendron leaves were curled as tightly as pencils.
Here is how I know that nature knows more than we do:  in very cold dry weather the rhododendrons know that they need to conserve moisture; so they very mysteriously(without benefit of a thermometer) begin to close the stomata on the undersides of their leaves through which moisture is released.  Closing the stomata reduces the surface area on the lower part of the leaf, causing the leaf to curl.  The thin leaf tubes also offer less wind resistance, thereby making the plant less likely to be damaged by gusts of wind.  (The three scarves are examples of a beautiful, although less elegant, way humans try to stay warm.)
So here's a bonus photo that P composed and took after seeing the apple pie  I just pulled out of the oven: The Jesus Brothers Go To Sea.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Minnows and Veggie Treats

Jesse will eat anything that crosses his path, but F's old kitty Teenie is extremely picky.  The other day F showed me these dried minnows that cost about a dollar apiece.  They look like something out of a pharoah's tomb.
She very generously gave me a few to draw in all their dessicated loveliness.  Below are some vegetarian cat treats that Teenie has rejected but Jesse adores.

Meeting Notes

Cold night shoes and people

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Extremely Fast Bakery Challenge and a Fire

The line was very long at City Bakery today, but the bread cabinet was full!  I scrawled these out while standing on line.  The woman behind me gave me a strange look when I turned around after giving my order.
Yeaterday I spent a lot of time drawing flames from medieval woodcuts showing hell and stake burnings.  I need to make a small rubber print of a fire for a book I'm working on.  So above is one drawing.
And another, which I have ended up using.
Above is the graphite transfer onto a scrap of rubber, and below are the inked block and some proofs.



Sunday, December 11, 2016


What a fine onomatopoeic word is quisling!  It sounds weasily and shirking.  How felicitous that Vidkum Quisling had that name, by which we can now label traitors and enemy collaborators, turncoats and puppets.
I hope you can read the descriptions of these guys with their shallow rationales, their fragile egos, their craven desire for admiration from the creeps they served.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Sweet potatoes, one orange beet, and a couple of sunchokes--
And three little cipollini 

Friday, December 9, 2016

City Bakery Challenge #2

The samdwich guy was very speedy today so I could draw only a cupcake with a chocolate sandwich cookie plopped on top, the lone gingerbread person, a "hand-shaped" bagel that actually was more butt shaped, and a lemon cookie.  Then my sandwich arrived, so I drew that.
Then two boules stacked on top of each other and finally another lunch eater in a pretty hat.