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!

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!

Take A Hike – Christmas Eve

I went for a hike on Christmas Eve with my parents. It was wonderful to try out a trail new to me and so close to my parent’s house.

I was in awe that these great trails and woods are right in the city. What a reprieve and escape from the daily grind.

We saw a few tress that the beavers have been working on. I’ve never seen that before so it was a cool sight to see first-hand. Too bad we never saw any beavers though.I spotted this little bit of lichen which looked like foam – a cool find and great inspiration for a future sketchbook illustration.

The Milwaukee River was starting to freeze so it was mesmerizing to watch the ice dams flowing.

Hiking is a wonderful way to spend time on a quiet holiday. And always one of my favorite things to do, no matter what day it is. I savor these moments of solitude in the peaceful woods.

Take a Hike… Snowshoeing!

We got our first big snow storm of the winter season over the weekend, which dumped about 8-10″ of fresh snow.

It was heavy snow since it started out as rain, so I’m grateful for the new ATV with a plow on it.

I broke out my snowshoes for the first time in many years. I couldn’t even remember how to put them on!

It was great to be out there exploring without sinking into the snow.

It’s a magical, winter wonderland around here now so I’m excited for winter sports, especially hiking with my snowshoes.

Sunday Are a Good Day For a Hike

Sundays are proving to be a great day for a hike. No snow on the trails yet, but the blue sky was wonderful.

Hiking has become such a wonderful reprieve lately to clear my head. Sometimes I’m just feeling tired and worn out but I go anyway, and I’m always happy I did. There’s not much wildlife activity these days, just a few crows and juncos here and there. I’ve only seen a handful of people on this trail lately so it’s been very peaceful.

Wildlife Wednesday

It’s nice to see some wildlife still hanging around as the weather grows colder and colder each day. I’ve been working on setting more habitat features, including nuts, birdseeds, water and nesting houses.

Of course, the squirrels are always around, gorging on everyone else’s food.

But they are entertaining to watch and still make me smile.