Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pages from My Journal

Crocus developing buds, Feb. 3

This winter I've been forcing some crocus bulbs, and decided to record their development in my new art journal. On Feb. 3 I started sketching the elongating buds with colored pencils.

Crocus flower bud.

Two days later, I drew the same bulb (again in colored pencil) as the flower bud began to show.

Crocus flower bud opens.

A few days later, I again drew the same bulb, this time combining colored pencils with watercolor pencils, blending with water.

Crocus flower is open, new bud emerges.

A couple of days later, I again recorded the progress of the crocus bulb when the flower was open and a second bud was emerging, using the same colored pencils/watercolor pencils combination. I will continue to record the development of this crocus bulb and see where it leads...perhaps a small painting documenting the entire cycle of growth?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Portends of Spring

Forcing Crocuses Indoors.

Recently the famous groundhog in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil, came out of his burrow at sunrise and "didn't see his shadow" (huh? It was sunny in Virginia, one state away), portending that winter is about over. Considering the low temperatures were in the single digits all last week, I'm a bit skeptical about that, although in the afternoon temperatures rose to the upper forties and snow was melting.

But I can't deny that this morning as I was waking up, I heard a cardinal's call--it was 21 degrees outside. The cardinals are getting ready to nest--nothing unusual about that, cardinals normally nest about this time of the year and their eggs hatch some three weeks later.

Narcissus shoots emerging.

Better indicators of impending spring may be some of the plants in my yard: I noticed that the buds on my flowering quince were beginning to swell, and that the witch-hazels were in bloom.

Witch-hazel flowers (Hamamelis virginiana)