Another Trip to Jellomold Farm

Morning fog in the Skagit Valley

It feels like Fall in the Skagit Valley — misty, foggy mornings, harvested fields, fallen fruits and nuts, pumpkin patches, spider webs.  I love the autumnal color palette in the foliage and fields.  Here are some photos from the flower beds at Jellomold Farm:

Spider web

Fallen chestnuts




Sunflowers As Angels


Watercolor Painting of Sunflower: “The bright stars of their faces”

Poem: by the Wild-Haired Corn
by Mary Oliver

I don’t know
if the sunflowers
are angels always,
but surely sometimes.

Who, even in heaven,
wouldn’t want to wear,
for awhile,
such a seed-face

and brave spine
a coat of leaves
with so many pockets —
and who wouldn’t want

to stand, for a summer day,
in the hot fields,
in the lonely country
of the wild-haired corn?

This much I know,
When I see the bright
stars of their faces,
when I’m strolling nearby,

I grow soft in my speech,
and soft in my thoughts,
and I remember how everything will be everything else,
by and by.

Another Watercolor Painting of Sunflowers: “Brave spines” and “Seed faces”

Tulip Time 2018: Day Trip to the Skagit Valley

Considering that people from around the world spend money to fly to the Netherlands to see the tulips in bloom, we who live in Seattle are beyond fortunate to have our own tulip fields an hour’s drive north.  I do so enjoy playing tourist in my own local area.  And I’m happy to report another glorious day taking in the wonders of the Skagit Valley in Spring.

For me, it is well worth getting up very early so that I am in the Skagit Valley for sunrise.  The first light and low-lying fog give an ethereal feel to these first minutes of the day.

Arriving at the Skagit Valley as the day dawns

Other photographers had the same game plan to be in the fields at sunrise.
Sunrise in the tulip field
Fog makes a floating world

Too soon the day brightened and the fog burned off.  Now the tulip fields were ribbons of bright color in the landscape.

My watercolor sketches cannot do justice to this natural beauty.



The Seduction of the Blossom

Blossoming cherry trees align a street in Shoreline

This is the time of year in Seattle when trees are greening and blossoming.  My eyes and soul feast on their fresh tints and colors — life resurrected once more.

“For a few days only,
the plum tree outside the window
shoulders perfection.
No matter the plums will be small,
eaten only by squirrels and jays.
I feast on the one thing, they on another,
the shoaling bees on a third.
What in this unpleated world isn’t someone’s seduction?”
— Jane Hirshfield, from “French Horn,” Come Thief: Poems

Miller Library Book Sale Poster Features One of My Paintings

This year’s poster for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library‘s annual used-book sale features one of my watercolor paintings of hydrangeas.

The Miller Library is located at the Center for Urban Horticulture on the University of Washington campus.  The Miller Horticultural Library is one of my favorite places in Seattle, and I am delighted to use my art to support one of their fund-raising efforts.



Some days I feel all over the place, not sure what I am doing.  Time slips away.  In an attempt to settle down, I did some doodling.  I remembered some succulents that I saw at Swansons Nursery last month, and I thought the repeating pattern of their leaves would be fun to fill with doodled lines.  A contemplative exercise.


Living Out Your Appointed Time

“To live till you die
is to live long enough.”
— Ursula Le Guin, Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way

Watercolor painting of desiccated hydrangea

Returning to the Root
from  — Ursula Le Guin, Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way

Be completely empty.
Be perfectly serene.
The ten thousand things arise together;
in their arising is their return.
Now they flower,
and flowering
sink homeward,
returning to the root.

The return to the root
is peace.
Peace: to accept what must be,
to know what endures.
In that knowledge is wisdom.
Without it, ruin, disorder.

To know what endures
is to be openhearted,
following the Tao,
the way that endures forever.
The body comes to its ending,
but there is nothing to fear.