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Friday, April 24, 2009

Tulip Fields and Art Quilts, and Woodpeckers and the Honeymoon Palace

Mother Earth painted with a full palette today, Earth Day... cloudy, rainy, then sunny and blue skies, fabulous blossoms in the trees and masses of tulips and daffodils in the valley...
Tulip Fields
This is a watercolor painting I did several years ago from a photo I had taken in the Skagit Valley. Prints will be available soon in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday finally I was recovered enough from the flu, and we ventured out for a day trip to the Valley again to enjoy seeing the farms and countryside and the annual tulip festival. Luscious color blanketing the fields... and we saw several bald eagles too.
We stopped in the LaConner Quilt Museum (one of only 12 in the country), housed in the 1891 Gaches Mansion a National Historic site... a wonderful old 3-story house. There were 3 different exhibits, but one in particular I found to be just breathtaking. Karin Franzen's "Birdscapes" were exquisitely executed on filmly layers of organza and other transparent fabrics and appeared to be attached only at the top instead of traditional quilting through all the layers. This gave them an ethereal quality capturing movement of the cranes and ravens very well. Unfortunately no pictures allowed, but you can get a hint on the museum web (but only a hint, as the picture does no justice to the quality, texture, movement and light of the actual pieces. Well worth a visit.

Woodpeckers and the HoneyMoon Palace

And speaking of birds... this is a local Northern Flicker which I was lucky enough to photograph 2 years ago looking out one of our windows. They are a beautiful variety of woodpecker.
Families of northern Flickers have come back year after year near our house, and I believe nested in back in gigantic cottonwoods adjacent to our property. Occasionally they would drill a hole in the side of the house and hubbie continued to patch them over. This year the owners of the 3 giant cottonwoods took them down as they were becoming a people and house hazard, esp. during storms... So this year our returning Flicker has hammered at the same side of our house with a vengance, several holes... no sooner was a patch done and hubbie turned the corner, than the determined Flicker was drilling another hole.

To prevent dire consequences for our bird friend, I researched and found plans for a nest box and another one here, just the right size for the Flicker, after all they lost their habitat cottonwoods and needed a home. So here's our celebration of Earth Day this year... that's my husband installing the "Honeymoon Palace" on the top south side of our house. No sooner was it installed than the flicker moved in, and we heard and saw him happily widening the door a tiny bit. Then hubbie says the Flicker was rearranging the furniture, as he found a few shreds of some of the newspaper on the ground (kind of like the requisite moving the sofa around in a new place). I hear these tiny taps at 6:30 in the morning now, but we're so glad he has a home and soon there will be a bird family in there. I think I'll name him Ralph looking for his Alice, suitable don't you think, for the Honeymoon Palace...

8 comments:

Wild Somerset Child said...

What a fabulous posting - your tulip picture, your visit to the fields and then that bird and him moving straight in. Your husband was brave to climb to that height on a ladder (ladders terrify me now after my Raymond slipped and fell whilst we were rebuilding the barn.

I am glad you are recovering from the 'flu (did I miss this fact or is my memory letting me down again??). I hope you continue to improve. Do take care of yourself.

Paula McNamee said...

Love your watercolor- it captures the sunny, tulip day well. Thanks for sharing it.

HeartFire said...

Thank you Ann, that ladder does terrify me too, so very high up! My husband is undaunted by those kind of things, in younger days he climbed quite a few of the bigger mountains and over glaciers... now he bicycles 200 miles in a day!
I am feeling so much better now, but being careful so as not to relapse...

HeartFire said...

Paula, I'm glad to share it, blogging is a rather nice way to dust off some things and bring them out for a look again...

Gwen said...

Such a nice post, the art, the story about the flicker. I love that Quilt Museum in La Conner, I have always been blown away by whatever is showing when I happen to be there.

HeartFire said...

Gwen, thanks for the comments, I LOVE the LaConner Quilt Museum, it never fails to present outstanding exhibits. I so appreciate the handwork that women do.

David Patterson said...

I love your watercolor...thanks for following my blog!

David

HeartFire said...

Hi David,
Love your art too! You have some wonderful pastels there, and great photos too! And thanks for signing up on my blog!