Returning

snowdrop-learning.jpg
Galanthus nivalis, April 4, 2018. iPhone 6S, edited in Photoshop CC

We recently returned from the West Coast of British Columbia and were pleased to see the 9 inch ice ruts on our neighbourhood street had mostly melted away. However, the weather had also turned and we touched down to -9ºC and more snow.

On a quick walk about the backyard to see how much of the 6 foot snow pile had melted, I was astonished to find some anemic snowdrops frozen in place in the sudden change of temperature. (They are growing in a little alcove between our house and the fence so this area has a warmer microclimate.)

In the years that I’ve gardened in this variable urban prairie environment, I have learned that spring bulbs are hardier than their dainty appearance and I shovelled some snow on them and let them be.

The last couple days it has been warm enough for that snow to melt and they have emerged again. Today I documented them before returning them to snowy solitude. (Tomorrow’s forecast is a low of -19ºC with snow and a windchill of -25ºC.)

It has become an annual tradition to document the Galanthus that appear in my tiny garden each spring. They are not as lush and prolific as their Coastal cousins, but they remind me to try to be a little more purposeful and graceful under trying circumstances and they are hopeful signals that nature will let spring arrive eventually no matter how much we want her to hurry.

(I was given the opportunity to temporarily try out Photoshop CC and used it to edit the above image. It has been over 15 years since I have used this program. An amateur attempt at relearning an old skill – there are too many other things to do to worry about perfection! Below are the original unedited photographs.)

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Small offerings

Christmas snowflake 2017
B. Wanhill, December 2017. Linocut. Caligo relief ink on Strathmore. 3.25″ x 3.5″

I’ve always been drawn to small. Takes up less space. Economical. Energy efficient.

As I reflect on another year gone, I see that this size parameter also measures the amount of posts I have added to this site and the amount of mark making I produced this year. So realize this entry won’t take up much time… and look closely!

For a month I was diligent about keeping a daily sketchbook practice. I spent 20 minutes to 2 hours every night recording mostly pieces from my garden. As garden specimens dwindled, I turned to recording words and other items. I am glad that I recorded a beautiful brooch my Mom gifted me, as it became the inspiration for the linocut Christmas card I designed this year.

I hope in the coming months I will pick up a more frequent drawing practice, but I know that work will be demanding between January through to March and then it will be garden season once again! (I have also continued with spinning, which I will record in another post.) Best wishes for a bright New Year. Peace and creativity to you – even if you find it in small ways.

Sketchbook Sept 28_17

Sketchbook Oct 1_17

Sketchbook Oct 4_17

Sketchbook Oct 13_17

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Sketchbook Nov 13_17

Baker’s dozen of flora

In 2016 I took a lot of photographs… on my phone. Here are 12 photos from my garden and one from a local park we discovered this year. All photos taken with an iPhone 5 using ProCamera app and Photoshop Express.

winter-aconite
Winter aconite emerged early. March 5, 2016.
thalia-2016
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ – new to the garden. April 17, 2016.
townsendia-parryi
Remarkably, Townsendia parryi survived the hail storm of June 30, 2016.
cherry-brandy
We had a lot of rain. Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ gift from my Mom. July 2016.
carmine-jewel-cherries
Early spring and lots of moisture brought a bounty of ‘Carmine Jewel’ cherries. July 2016.
dragon-tongue-beans
And ‘Dragon Tongue’ beans. Grown in containers which saved them from slugs. July 2016.
oak-fern
An Oak fern was planted to remember family in Terrace, BC. July 30, 2016.
veronicastrum-b-w
Also from Rundlewood garden, a 2nd year Veronicastrum shot up like fireworks. August 21, 2016.
cream-calendula-open
A new calendula also bloomed in our garden. Thanks to seed shared from my Mom. August 2016.
calendula-closed
The beauty of this annual was its state before unfurling. August 2016.
garden-2016
Despite frequent hail and rain, our small garden flourished. August 2016.
school-boy-fall-jasmine
Alpine Rock Jasmine was the inspiration for Christmas cards. School boy was inspired by Christopher Boffoli. October 22, 2016.
ralph-klein-park
There is nothing like nature to truly inspire. Ralph Klein park. July 31, 2016.