Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bits and pieces...

I'm still a big kid...I'm fascinated by small things, close up, nose-to-nose--if a branch HAD a nose...

This branch blew down in our recent winds--I knew the woodpeckers had been active, but I didn't realize HOW active till I was able to see this up close...and lots of ear fungus along the branch, too.

Wood ear, tree ear, jelly ear--whatever you call this dark brown fungus, it apparently grows
almost worldwide, and is considered edible, in some areas.  (It's an ingredient in traditional moo shu pork.)  I'm big on wild foods--even wrote a cookbook about it when dinosaurs roamed the earth--but I have to admit these have never made it to my dinner plate.  They're kind of cold and clammy and just not that appetizing...anyone tried 'em?

And I couldn't resist sketching the bittersweet that came down from the highest branches at the same time...my mom used to love these bits of natural beauty, and I must have inherited it from her.  My usual source of bittersweet is gone now; the fencerow where it grew every year has been bulldozed away, so I was delighted by this gift of the wind.

The birds have been enjoying the berries, as well...only one left on this little sprig!


  1. I love that branch! So simple and such pretty drawing.

  2. Thank you, Melissa! I enjoyed doing it. I'll be glad to get my scanner back up and working so I can get a decent picture!

  3. Nice Kate! This branch has ears instead of noses! I didn't know wood ears were edible, however...I think it might be their name(s) that put me off.
    I share your affinity for bittersweet (I caught it from my Mom, too). The native kind is getting scarce around here but the invasive Japanese version is flourishing. Ugh!
    Great sketches.

    1. Somehow they really don't feel very tempting...but yes, LOVE bittersweet. It's normally way too high in the trees to get at, so this was a real gift.

  4. Paleo doritos-too funny. I love to see the difference in fungi when it rains. Love your work.

  5. I love both sketches! I'm partial to dead wood and bittersweet is one thing I dearly miss being in south Florida. I found a similar gift (a small branch), not as picturesque but with delightful colors that I'm hoping to get to soon. Your lines always have such character and strength at all the right places!

  6. Thanks all! And this was right after a rain, Chris, so they were really soft and pliable. Elizabeth, thank you! I think it's partly that lovely Ahab flex pen...

  7. My mother loved bittersweet, too! We had it growing near my childhood porch. . .

  8. You did a beautiful job of capturing all the facinating things on that old branch. Lets all stay kids at heart forever!

  9. I'm with you, Elva! Life's full of magic, if we open our eyes and see it.


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