Monday, October 12, 2015

Half Grown

I had fun sitting on a rock next to the Umpqua River sketching these half grown tadpoles.  Both will end up being bull frogs .... invasive, yet fun to watch and hear.  Down in the corner is a riffle bug.  He is very much like a small water strider, skating about on the surface of the water.

Earlier in the summer I posted tadpoles on my blog.  They also were field sketches so I'll add them here so you can see the progress they've made growing up.
Four bull frog tadpoles plus one from a smaller species..... and their shadows.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


I've just come back from a family visit in England and here is the first of my sketches in my mi-tientes sketchbook,  a friend's cat sunning herself in the window of their summerhouse.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Morning Glories - Lin Frye

Journal Tip In --- When I walked outside yesterday, the morning glories were so -- well -- GLORIOUS!! --- I had to sketch them ... They've climbed up my holly bush ...

Lin Frye
North Carolina

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hummingbird Migration--Vickie Henderson

This is the best time of year to watch hummingbirds!  Migration is in full swing in Tennessee with males migrating from the north and the first nesting juveniles out of the nest making feeder activity in backyards and natural areas very busy.
Juvenile hummingbirds look just like the females before the young males develop their red gorget feathers.  But if you spend time watching, you can identify some of the juveniles by behavior.  
Tentative and slower in flight initially, juveniles investigate everything, including you and every colorful flower.  In only a few days, they show the aggressive temperament that hummingbirds are so noted for.  The chasing and conflict we see in our gardens is practice for survival on wintering grounds in Central America where they will compete for nectar and insects with other hummingbird species. 

Visit Vickie Henderson Art for a fun look at Knoxville's Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival and see how hummingbirds are banded.  At Vickie's Sketchbook find more information about hummingbirds and the above sketches.   

Tarry Pottering and The Petunia’s Slughorn, written by Janet Gough, illustration Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Tarry Pottering and The Petunia’s Slughorn, 

written by Janet Gough, 

illustration Paula Kuitenbrouwer

It was September the first, and the ToadWarts Express was waiting to leave. But Tarry Pottering-about-the-garden and Wrong Toadsley were still lotus-eating on their Magic Mushrooms, thinking about how to rid their world of the unmagical likes of Professor Snail and Dragonfly Mayfly.

‘Muggles and non-magical humans are daft,’ sighed Toadsley, ‘and it looks like they get dafter by the day.’ And what followed was his long litany of complaints on lawnmowers and pesticides, and the current lack of Abyssinian shrivelfigs anywhere to be found, even in Abyssinia.

‘What we need is a Whopping Warty Willow!’ said Tarry. ‘And someone who Professes that Sprouting is good! And a Green House! And a Forest That Is No Longer Forbidden! And some Mandrakes to take care of! I’ll get Hag-Rid of that waspish Professor Snail if it’s the last thing I do! And that Professed Horned Slug too!’

‘But normal humans don’t study herbology,’ said Wrong. ‘They think that because we are warty Toads we only do harm. They don’t realize that we keep them safe from Snark-aloof pods, and Professional Snails, and Professed Slughorns! They think all they need is Pesticidical Potions to keep their gardens safe!’

‘Aha,’ said Tarry. ‘But they do not realize that I have the Frond of Destiny and the Visibility Croak, because I am proud to be a Toad! Kiss me, and you will never be a Frog Prince! You will remain a beautiful Toad for ever! You will never have to Toady up to those nasty humans, and their nasty Potions!’

Janet Gough
Freelance Lexicographer and Editor
Her LinkedIn profile is here.




Sunday, August 23, 2015

Oregon Smokiness

This is what my Oregon looks like right now -- smoky.  In many ways it is quite beautiful.  Yesterday we were driving along the edge of the Coquille Valley, a lush flat valley usually bordered with a series of rolling hills.  Only yesterday the hills disappeared into a smoky haze and all colors were dulled.  A crow flew near me, his blackness a stark contrast to everything beyond.  I painted most of this in the car while my husband continued driving.  I admit it didn't try to paint the crow until we were home.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Our local market has a lovely organic fruit and vegetable stall where we shop at least once a week and when I saw this flower artfully displayed with the artichokes I asked if it was for sale.  The farmer said I could have it for free as it wasn't edible and he was delighted when I told him I wanted to draw it.  I'll have to remember to take my sketchbook next time to show him the results.