May

The month of May where I live is one of my favorite times of year. Spring is in full swing, my yard is coming back to life with a vengeance, lots of birds are busy at the bird feeders and bird bath and I can open the windows when the weather teases of summer.

The birds have been loving the new birdbath.

I’ve never seen so many goldfinches in my backyard which has been a wonderful treat.

Sometimes the birds are on the move and I have to take a quick photo through a dirty window, like this bluejay right outside the kitchen.

Other times I get lucky and notice a cardinal hanging out in the tree above me while I’m standing in the backyard on a break from working from home.

So many wonderful reasons to be out in nature, watching the wildlife in my backyard and soaking up the wonder and magic of Spring!

Earth Day Art

I recently painted these thumbnail illustrations with Earth Day in mind. This is the 51st anniversary!

The themes for my inspiration were protect (forests and oceans), energy (water and solar), biodiversity (butterflies), reduce and reuse (green), voice (water, which is one of my favorite things in life) and the Planet Earth. I think these designs would make fun stickers!

Last year I illustrated this page in my sketchbook, which could be a fun t-shirt design.

A few years ago I designed an infographic poster to show the migration of monarch butterflies in an effort to educate and create awareness about the fragility of butterflies.

I would love to create more Earth Day-themed art for my portfolio. And I’m always looking for more ways to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. How do you recognize and celebrate Earth Day?

Spring Flowers and Snow Flurries

We’ve had snow flurries in between sunshine yesterday and today!

I’m happy to discover the new daffodils I planted last fall are blooming throughout my backyard. I wish I had planted more so I’m writing a note to myself for next fall.

The temps were below freezing last night so I had to bring in the new pansies I planted over the weekend. They are such cheerful flowers so I hate to lose them this early in the planting season.

I love these signs of spring so the cold temps and snow flurries are a little disheartening. I live in the northern hemisphere so I’m ready for spring and summer! How about you?

Postcards from Spring Break

I splurged recently with a trip to visit my parents in Florida. My yard was still covered in snow when I left so it was wonderful to see green again.

I’ve always wanted to do the Sanibel stoop, so I was grateful to do some beachcoming on Sanibel Island.

I love watching the sanderlings chase the waves to find bugs left behind.

I also love watching all the shorebirds and waterbirds, like this Ibis poking around for something good to eat.
It doesn’t get much better than sunsets over the ocean.

Bright Spots

It’s been sooo cold around here lately that I haven’t been able to get out for some wintery walks in the neighborhood or on the trails. It’s minus 5 degrees with a wind chill making it feel like minus 25!

I have been noticing bright spots out my windows lately.

Still a joy to be able to continue working from home these days so I can soak these quiet little moments in my own backyard.

Snowy Hideout

We got another big snow storm this week with almost 9 inches of new snow.In the midst of that snow storm, I noticed Mr. Cardinal hiding out in a tree outside my kitchen window.

Mrs. Cardinal is hiding in that tree this afternoon, taking a nap, but my camera couldn’t focus on her through the window and branches.

Such a joy to work from home these days and notice these little storybook moments in my own backyard!

Sunday Hike

I’ve been a little lazy lately. Instead of laying on the couch this cloudy cold Sunday afternoon, I decided to bundle up and head for the trail.

I was the only person out there, except for the lone squirrel and pileated woodpecker.

It was so quiet, the only sounds I could hear were a gentle wind blow through the tree tops and the crunch of my boots on the snowy trail.

It was just the pick-me-up I needed today!

Frosty Mornings

We received more snow over the past week, and the mornings are quite frosty, creating the most tranquil environment to just sit still and take notice of the quiet.

Every leaf, stem, twig and branch is covered in ice crystals, making everything look like a winter wonderland. If you shook up a snowglobe, this is what it might look like in real life.

Winter in January can be so magical and peaceful!

2020 Recap

I went through my photo library from 2020 to find good moments, and there were a lot considering it was a tough year.

I filled up a lot of sketchbooks and made a lot of art. If I had to pick some of my favorite illustrations from this past year, I would choose these top nine:

Looking back through my sketchbook art, I wish I made more art! Ha, I know I’m being hard on myself.

I’m also illustrating a children’s picture book for an author, which would go on my list of favorites but I can’t show any of those yet.

I took a lot of pictures of the birds in my backyard and the squirrel shenanigans. If I had to pick some of my favorite nature photography of backyard critters and birds from this past year (with a couple from my trip to Florida in March), I would choose these top nine:

I am so grateful I got to travel to Naples, Florida before the world shutdown. I also got to spend time at my parents’ lake house on Lake Michigan in Door County, visit my sister in Nashville, and go on a few adventures close to home. If I had to pick some of my favorite adventures from this past year, I would choose these top nine:

The year 2020 was a really tough year so I’m happy to have found so many good moments that made me happy. Cheers to 2021!