Posts Tagged ‘drawing’


This week marks a year of living vicariouly… through Nature.  What she’s experienced, I’ve experienced.  Her springtime has meant hope and wonder, delight and new discoveries for me.  Her fall has brought colour to my life in ways I barely noticed or thought possible before.


This is what happens when you keep a nature journal.  Although you might experience the same natural events year after year, you see everything in a clearer light when you take the time to reflect on what you’ve seen.  Once you learn the name of a common weed, it becomes more difficult to ignore it the next time you see it in bloom on the lawn.  You think twice about mowing it down. 


Over the past year I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors and taken more photographs than at at any other time in my life.  Field guides have become regular reading material and I’ve drawn numerous images of wildlife in an effort to illustrate what I couldn’t capture in a photograph.

salt marsh strip

My favorite posts are those that surrounded the theme of shapes in nature and the natural elements during our Midsummer Scavenger Hunt.  Thank you again to everyone who participated.  The whole was definitely greater than the sum of the parts.

The Midsummer Scavenger Hunt Series


Despite all the page views I received last week while on WordPress’ front page (just under a thousand in one day!) it’s the feedback from regular visitors from around the world through comments and email that make the process all the more worthwhile.  My goal has not just been to share what beauty is here in my neck of the woods, but to encourage readers to take a closer look at the wonders waiting to be discovered in your own backyard.  Living vicariously through Nature is a way of life that’s all the more enjoyable when it’s shared.

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As a collector of seashells, I’ve always looked for the ideal specimen while walking along the shore:  a flawless shell that’s a prime example of its species.  Strong waves and stones often damage delicate shells and wear them down so that many of the ridges are worn and surfaces cracked by the time they wash up on the beach.  Yet, Rainbow Haven beach has offered up perfect moon shells and dogwhelks over the years, and I’ve found some beautiful urchins on the nearby shores of Silver Sands. 

baccaroshellsA couple of years ago, my friend Ruth brought me some shells from a trip she made back home to the south shore of Nova Scotia.  Although she included some perfect specimens, some worn shells were also part of the collection that she had beautifully arranged in a large glass jar.  When I decided to draw them one day, it was the worn shells that seemed most interesting.  One shell in particular was just a skeleton of its former self , yet it proved to be the most appealing subject of all.  It was one that I did not quickly grow tired of drawing over and over again.  Why?

Nothing is perfect, nothing lasts, and nothing is finished.  ~ Wabi sabi

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and can identify more with the worn out and frayed,  but as time goes on, it seems that the imperfect holds greater appeal to me from an aesthetic perspective.  Not just worn seashells but trees in an obvious state of decay are also more attractive, as is my gravel driveway with the grass growing up the middle.  

vinesinwinterThe vines on my house continue to cover up more and more of the ‘clean white’ siding.  Though they look gnarly in the winter, during the summer, their green leaves are so refreshingly beautiful… perhaps even more so, because I know they won’t last.  The grass withers, the flowers fade…  Would something not be lost if the grass was always green and flowers were always in full bloom?  Flower beds that are ‘still in the works’ hold the promise of new plantings and arrangements in the growing season ahead.  I know this long, cold winter will make the sun and sea breezes feel even warmer as I’m hanging the laundry on the clothesline this summer.

My favorite seashell is a small cockle with smoothly worn ridges that my oldest son picked up on the beach and gave me when he was a toddler over two decades ago.  To me, it embodies the ephemeral wonder of children and the wearing of time and the elements on all that is alive on the planet.  It also holds the promise of more days spent roaming sparkling shores in search of the perfectly imperfect specimen.

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