Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sagebrush Oil Painting, Xeriscape plant and Buzzards!

The sagebrush is blooming! We had about an inch of rain in a 3 day span and that seems to be a guarantee that the sage will bloom. It's pretty intensely colored, but I've seen it thicker. Our bushes aren't too thick with foliage in this dry spring.

Sage in bloom, oil paintingThis Sagebrush painting is in oil, it's 9 inches tall by 12 inches wide, and still wet on the easel. I wanted to capture the wet look between the rains, with some of the dead grasses we have due to the drought.

The bloom colors vary so much and of course I like the intense color. Our "sage" isn't really that, it's technically Cenizo. Sagebrush is the most common term used locally to refer to it. It's happy in our limestone soils, can handle our heat and droughts, and gives us awesome displays after rains.

This past weekend I was in San Antonio and was amazed to see how many businesses were using Cenizo for landscaping. San Antonio had more rain than we did, and their bushes are covered in blooms and very intensely colored. It's a great landscaping plant, requiring little care from you after it's established. While I see them trimmed as hedges at businesses, they do grown naturally in a pretty free form. Either way they would make an excellent plant to add to your Xeriscape areas. San Antonio Water Systems has a great page on their web site on xeriscape - plants and shrubs. Carefree plants are a big plus in my book! Sagebrush would be one of the tops of my list.

I have no idea why, but both of our game cameras gave us some great buzzard photos. Maybe they are vacationing here. First, though, here's a couple of our proud gobblers.

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

It's funny to me when the buzzards dry out their wings. The stand still for so long like this!

My beautiful picture

This is a fun shot. This one flew up right in front of the camera. Great timing!

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

This is Clothilde's "Can we get that light out of my eyes?" pose.

clothilde resized

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You'll find my small watercolors and smallest oils in my Etsy store . Work on Etsy is priced from $10.00. You can purchase my oil paintings and studies on my website . Check out my "What's going on in my studio this month" feature - you'll see some of May's work wet on the easel.

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mannequin mayUntil next time!


Julie B said...

Love the painting, Jean.
Great shots of the buzzards! Are they turkey buzzards?

Fused Glass said...

Very nice painting! I love all your work though!! Not to crazy about the buzzards though!!!

Sixsisters said...

Another great one Jean ! Love the buzzard pics.

Nancy and the fatties said...

LOVE this post Jean! I shall retweet. I was in Marble Falls at Dena Wenmohs ranch for a workshop a few years ago and saw 30 buzzards aligned on a fence all with outspread wings. What a sight! thanks for the tip on the xeriscape link - will dash over there and take a peek.
love and pughugs to you and kitties...

Jean Levert Hood said...

Hey Julie!
We have "buzzards" and "turkey buzzards." These are buzzards. The turkey buzzards are even bigger and uglier!!

Chris, Thank you so much! Those buzzards are not in my definition of attractive either!


Joan, thank you for visiting and commenting! I don't think I've ever had so many buzzard shots, just had to share them!


Nancy, you are so kind to retweet for me! I've never seen 30 on a fence! that must have been quite a site. Dena is a sweetie. Hope the xeriscape link has some good things for your area. I know you get just about as hot as we do, but your winters are colder than us. Hugs to those pugs!!

Michelle (artscapes) said...

I just love the painting! Your back yard is just full of adventure... :)

christine said...

Beautiful painting, Jean! I love the rich, dark, pink and lavender hues.

Manon Doyle said...

The painting is fantastic Jean! I also like your intense color!
Love the buzzard photos!

LisaBongZee ~ Island Dream Life said...

I love the colors in this one! AMAZING WORK !!!

brendathour said...

This is such a gorgeous peace, I love the looseness in your work!

Jean Levert Hood said...

Michelle, Thank you so much! Yes, the field we overlook, down to the lake, it is beautiful!


Thank you Christine!!


Manon - I appreciate that! I'm always trying to find how I can squeeze in more color!
A friend emailed me and said these were turkey buzzards.


Hey Lisa!! Thank you sweet lady!


Brenda, thank you! This is from down at our little barn by the chicken yard. I love the fence posts there, they have such character.

Genie said...

Oh, Jean, that one buzzard shot is amazing! What luck! I can't wait to show that to Wes.

I LOVE that painting, it's BIG--I mean, you filled up the canvas with it. It feels.... whoosh, it's right there in your face. I like it!

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Oh, to be sooo talented....
Your work is lovely.
Looked at a few of your other posts...nice to see parts of Texas that a tourist wouldn't see.

cynthia said...

Painting is gorgeous - the only sage brush around my house are the balls of animal hair from our two shedding dogs that roll across the hard wood floors when I turn the overhead fans on! ;)

Buzzards are interesting birds - what exactly are they?

Jean Levert Hood said...

Genie - I couldn't believe that shot! I do love our game camera's. I get excited every time Don brings the cards in, wondering if I'm going to find a treasure. I'm so glad you like my painting, thank you!


Hi Patsi! Thank you for such a lovely compliment! I am honored that you've taken the time to visit my blog. Our area of Texas is amazing, beauty of all sorts fill this part of the state.


Cynthia - I have a good visual of dog hair tumbleweeds, we have the same here, but with cat hair! Buzzards are very large birds. They are the scavengers. When an animal dies, in very short order the buzzards move in. For a small animal, there is nothing but bones left very quickly. A larger animal (deer, goat) would take longer. They keep the land clean, that 'circle of life' thing.