Hummingbirds love this stuff! It's like the blossom of this coral honeysuckle plant was made for them.
I planted this in our yard 3 years ago. It grows more slowly than the aggressively invasive honeysuckle plants I enjoyed while I was growing up, but it's much more beautiful and better suited to our ecosystem.
However, in its first year this plant's greatest threat was a local predator, my son.
Nowadays, the plant is big enough that I no longer have to protect it from his sweet blossom appetite. New growth outpaces his "harvesting." I painted this on a recent rainy summer morning, similar to the daylily I posted a few weeks ago. Doesn't it look delicious?
I love how during these few weeks in summertime daylilies like these create the illusion that they have a longer lifespan with their whole stem of buds that flower successively day after day. But, the fact of the matter is that each flower lasts for only one day.
While studying this flower last week, I realized that you can almost tell what time it is by looking at the flower. In the morning by about 8 am it is fully open. (The moment pictured is about 11 am.) Then begins the slow change of the edges of the flower petals until finally at about 6pm it starts to close then wilt.
This flower also has personal significance. It was in front of a patch of daylilies in Rittenhouse Square that 18 years ago this week my husband proposed to me. They also must have had rain drops on them since a thunderstorm had just rolled through, delaying a most anxiously awaited moment with which he managed to surprise me.
Today and Tomorrow originally referred to the open blossom and the blossom that opened the next day on the right. However, I'm sensing that I've also subconsciously composed a visual love poem. Love you, Josh!
In the hour that I had to complete this painting, I challenged myself. I only spent about 5 minutes on the preliminary drawing. The focus is painterly, with minimal attention to architecture.
This approach allowed me to capture the light of the moment. (And get home in time before my kids got off the school bus.)
I still, however, also like working with a more finished drawing. Some subjects suit themselves for it. For example, last Saturday, I spent 5 hours on a painting that was the same exact size and won an Honorable Mention Award at the Chestnut Hill Plein Air Competition. (Yay!)
I suppose it all will depend on how much time my life gives me that day...
My next door neighbor in back in Mt. Airy had some peonies by her front step. I relished watching the incremental progress these plants made each day while I walked past them on my way to teaching high school English. I knew that by the time these flowers bloomed, the school year would be cruising toward the finish line.
Ant Peony I is the first in a series, inspired by my own peonies in my front yard. I hope I'm not alone in this, but I find it so entertaining to watch insects and plants symbiotically interacting.
I also finally pulled out my large sheets of 300 lb watercolor paper. This painting is pretty large, 24 x 18 inches and I submitted it to a regional juried exhibition...I hope it gets in!
Back in the 1900s, my husband and I lived in Washington, DC. Not together. In fact we hadn't met yet.
A little over a week ago, we took our kids to see the Cherry Blossoms there. (This lovely sparrow came so close to us!) It may have been the first time either my husband or I made it to the Tidal Basin in time to see them at the height of their bloom.
Inevitable whining aside, isn't it crazy how thrilling it is to (re)discover the world with our children?
I met this Zinnia along the Pennypack Trail yesterday morning. The sun was shining and I was getting some long awaited exercise while the kids were at their first day of school. I love zinnias...especially this time of year when they are one of the most colorful flowers left blossoming.
"Pennypack Zinnia" is 5 x 5 inches.
I've had a lot of luck with seed packages. This morning my daughter and I discovered this beautiful gem of a tiny delicate columbine flower.
We had warning. Yesterday enough of the flower had grown for me to identify it and today before school, with delight, we checked and saw it had opened!
Today's magic is the result of sprinkling what was called a "Hummingbird Garden" packet of seeds in this area of our garden two years ago. I love the surprises it yields.
"Little Columbine" is 5 x 5 inches.
Thank you to the former owner of my neighbor's house for planting this wonderful cherry blossom tree! This early bloomer was buzzing with bees before the petals drifted away.
I can't help but wonder about the people who lived in my neighborhood who planted these trees and how it's like a part of them is still here, even though they are gone. My family and I planted a River Birch tree two years ago. I hope it brings joy to whoever gets to see it in 50 years!
"Cherry Blossom" is a 5 x 7 inch watercolor painting.