Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Oil Painting, and Old Man's Beard

Monday, October 29, 2007

This painting was done on location in Fredericksburg, Texas. I had been in a workshop all day, and most folks were packing up from the day's work. I was painting with my dear friend Vanaly Palmer, and we saw the late light falling just perfectly on these trees. We set up quickly and did a small paining of the trees. I touched it up in the studio later. This original oil painting is 9 x 12, oil on board. It is available on my website . I have a new featured painting, Bluebonnet Path on my website this week, also. I updated my My Studio This Month last week, in case you missed that. The Texas Hill Country is just beautiful. I love to show it off!

This unusual clump of stuff (technically speaking) is commonly called "Old Man's Beard."

We see it often in summer and fall in small clumps adorning shrubs, fences, and fence posts. This year it has taken on a life of its own! It is making huge clumps all over small trees, and drapes along expanses of foliage and fences. Again, our wonderful and plentiful summer rains give us an abundance of growth and beauty. I don't know what this plant is. It isn't in my book on Texas Wildflowers, nor my book on South Texas shrubs, and I don't have a book on Texas Hill Country weeds! If any one knows, please let me know.

Here's a close up, you can see that it takes tons of those little "beards" to make those huge clumps!

We have this beautiful mustard yellow colored brush lining the roads in the fall. It doesn't seem to grow too far in from the road sides, so it must not like to compete for space among the other plants. This plant too, is taller and more abundant this year. It looks almost like yellow baby's breath. It is very airy and light, and makes a beautiful show. I'm not great on identifying some of these flowers, but I think it is either Slender Headed Euthamia, or Downy Goldenrod. Both bloom September - November, and both are members of the Sunflower family. They both tend to edge growth. Another sign that it is fall! They are pretty until our first freeze. So much of our landscape is hard, prickly, and sticky, it is a bit of relief to see the open and delicate.

Next week, you'll get to see how the baby chicks are turning into teenagers! They are getting quite big. I had so much to show you with our fall foliage, I thought I'd save the chicks for the next post. Until next time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Poplars at Oak Creek, and few Monarch Butterflies!

October 23, 2007. Tuesday

Fall is really here now! We've had some cooler nights and mornings, but the heat of the day hadn't significantly changed. A very strong north wind blew in, and it was 42 degrees this morning. Hopefully this means that we won't have anymore temperatures above 85. This is our fall. Widely varying temperatures can still mean several clothing changes between morning and evening.

The Monarchs were decidedly disappointing this year. Their numbers were few, but I did get a photo of one butterfly clump in the mesquite trees at the pond. The north winds simply came too late. This happens many years. So, I'll wait for next year!

This oil painting is "Poplars at Oak Creek." A few years ago I was in the Sedona area with my sister. We drove along Oak Creek, north from Sedona on a misty, cloudy day. The poplars were just beginning to change to their golden color. I've seen many poplars before painting in northern New Mexico, but I'd never seen them in the season's change. It was a gorgeous site. This original painting is 14 x 11, oil on board. You can see a larger version, and purchase information on my website.

I've added paintings to my Esty Store, so be sure to visit for Christmas shopping! I have small works and studies posted on Etsy priced from $25.00. I'll be adding more of my original art soon!

My website has been updated, so be sure to check out my newly posted works. A friend came by and took photos as I was painting, and I'm sharing some of those shots with you. You can see those on My Studio This Month. Thank you for visiting,

until next time!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Migrating Monarch Butterflies, and Painting at the Pond

October 14, 2007
This original oil painting is titled “Palm at the Pond.” It is 10 x 8, oil on canvas panel, available for purchase on my website.

I painted this last fall at our pond, which is named “Lake Jean.” For true – here’s the sign!!

Now “lake” is a stretch, it is entirely a pond. At the time I was painting the palm tree, the monarch butterflies were migrating through this area. While painting, the butterflies started clumping in the mesquite tree overhead! I took a bunch of pictures. It was really a neat experience; they didn’t seem concerned about my presence at all.
I kept track of their migration dates for a number of years, and they came through this area on the average on October 11th, although shows the peak time for our latitude to be October 18th. I’m sure their research is more accurate than mine. So, my eyes are peeled for their arrival. Some years have been fantastic, with huge numbers of monarchs coming through. It is amazing to see them late in the evening making clumps in the trees. They are quite a sight when you can see clear to the horizon and watch them flying north to south. It truly is a delight to see, and a signal that fall is here. They travel from Canada to Mexico, with the adult lifespan of 4-5 weeks.
Generations make this journey to Mexico. They head north in the spring. has a great article on them, as well as

Until next time!