Saturday, April 9, 2022

Digging for Fossils

 I had a great day today digging for fossils with some of my Master Naturalists friends and Chris & Holly from the Whiteside Museum in Seymour, Texas. I found a few small fossils and one larger one that was part of the head spike on a Xenacanth Swamp Shark. (I was pretty excited!) 

If you haven’t ever been to the Whiteside Museum in Seymour, you need to load up and go! Spend some time seeing the exhibits and then eat some BBQ at The Big Empty. You can fill your brain and your belly all in one day!

(And, yes I know I have misspelled vertebrae on my page. Apparently I was just too excited to slow down and spell things correctly. I will have to fix that!)


5.5 x 8.5” 

Strathmore 400 Series Journal

Ink & watercolor


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

A connection to place

 I think we’ve all known special places that have deep meaning for us personally.

 Maybe we don’t always recognize it at the time.  There are several natural places that are special to me, but those with the deepest roots are woven from my childhood memories.  Colors and shapes, smells and sounds, and textures like the tactile velvet of new buds or flaking limestone. 

 The memories stay vivid and strong – some more so, some less.  Most of them comforting, but some, not so much.   They speak of my relationships with nature.  They are both known and unknown, some barely lurking within my subconscious.  What I remember most are not the events, but the feelings those connections gave me.

Maple leaves, owl feather, hickory nuts, and wild grape.
Maple leaves, owl feather, hickory nuts, and wild grape.

This is a small nature sketch done years ago, somewhere in the mid-1980s, of things collected on a walk through Iowa woods.  It was mid-autumn, and the season gave me treasures and a near infinity of browns and buff, with splashes of red and yellow.  Along the trail: leaves on limb and ground, sticks and branches and trunks and bark, seeds and frost-bitten fruits, empty acorn caps and sometimes a glimpse of gritty green. 

 The woods I rambled in are located in upper northeast Iowa, along a limestone ridge and bluff above a river.   It is a place of meditation, of quietness threaded with birdsong.   This is also a connection to a point in time.  Fall is a favorite season of mine; it feels like an important transition somehow, and I sometimes catch my breath waiting for the next thing to come.

It feels like a time to let life unwind, and a place to rest and heal. 

A sacred place.



Paper - unknown mass-produced watercolor paper pad
Watercolor paint, probably Grumbacher and/or Winsor & Newton
     (the colors still surprisingly bright after almost 40 years)
Craft brushes
# 2 Pencil

Saturday, March 5, 2022


We've come back from 3 weeks on Tenerife, our favourite Canary island.  I took a sketchbook of course and filled it with nature drawings.  This is my favourite and there are plenty more on my blog I've just posted.  I have rediscovered my multicoloured pencils and really love the effects they give.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Winter Fallen Treasures


Spending time with a fallen treasure!   Using a .03 TH lead on Fluid 100 cold press watercolor paper.  This paper is a delight to work on, erased easily and accepts the subtle and the dramatic.  

Linda C. Miller

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


On our recent visit to Dinan we came across this wonderful specimen of Ginko Biloba, apparently one of the first to be planted in Brittany which features in a census of important trees in the region.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Bird Nest

Working on a post-burn survey in Foard, County, Texas, we came across this small bird nest with a single speckled egg. I don't have a clue what species it was but I loved the shape, decor and camouflage! The nest was low in a mesquite tree, larger than a humming bird nest but smaller than a King Bird or Mockingbird. The egg was very Sparrow-like but the nest seemed much neater than a typical sparrow nest. 

Pen and brown ink in Strathmore 400 Series Sketchbook

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Sketchbook Journal - Hospice Gardens

Sketchbook Journal - After my husband gave blood yesterday, we had a lovely lunch at Our Crepes and More, and spent a bit of time at the Hospice Gardens. A lovely 'date day' ....