I’ll have to wait to see rosebuds. Snow’s predicted tonight. In the meantime the Library of Congress is celebrating with Spring Fling pop-up exhibits, music and tours. Everyone’s invited!
A recipe for July watercolors:
- Step out to the backyard garden.
- Pick a few turnips and bring bring them to school.
- Take out the paints, brushes, paper and containers of water.
- Look at all the different greens and purples on the plants. See how the leaves curve in and out. Which part of the turnip grows underground? Why is the root purple?
Could your paintings also show the soil, the surrounding plants, and the animals that visit the garden?
For more ideas for school projects in the garden, check GreenSTEM Learning by Mary Van Dyke.
And if you’ll be in Arlington, Virginia, in October attend the 2017 Virginia Agriculture Summit.
No, say it isn’t so! The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble.
This year the kids at Carlin Springs Elementary School dove down under to visit the reef — all in their imagination. Inspired by their adventure, young actors created a play and young artists designed the backdrop. Together we admired a host of beautiful sea creatures, especially those in Here is the Coral Reef by Madeleine Dunphy and in Great Barrier Reef by David Doubilet. Ashley Hammond and Colleen Murphy of the Educational Theatre Company directed the performers, and Angel Lopez and I coached the artists.
Long live the reef!
Photo copyright Liz Macklin 2017
My daughter planted seeds and placed the pots in our kitchen window. They’ve sprouted! We forgot to label the containers, but we’ll recognize some of the vegetables by the shapes of their leaves. As for the others … oops! Expect a few surprises.
In April and May, I’ll join first graders to create art inspired by nature. One of the first things we’ll do is sketch the plants sprouting up at school. The students love to remind me to “visualize.” It’s fun to close our eyes and think of a picture and then paint it! Here’s my painting of the salad I’ll eat — made up of vegetables grown in the next few months.
How do you imagine you’ll enjoy the outdoors this spring?
For information on caring for a backyard garden, I check the web site of The Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.
And when I feel like sitting down with a book, I read about vegetables, herbs and their botanical families in Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison.
Looking forward to spring harvests!
updated: March 17, 2016
Spring? Not quite yet. This month I’ve painted with a new group of artists – talented teens from Arlington County. On a sunny Saturday we packed up our watercolors and met at Long Branch Nature Center.
There’s still snow in the shadows, but the park naturalists are thinking ahead to spring planting. The center sponsors an annual native plant sale with a deadline for placing orders on April 4, 2014. See the center’s web site for more information and full color photos of bluebells, cardinal flowers, coneflowers, wild geraniums and other flowers. I’m thinking about green shoots and blossoms now. How about you?
It’s 5:55 am and I’ve checked temperatures on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) web site. It’s -26 degrees Fahrenheit in International Falls, Minnesota. My town feels like the tropics at a balmy 7 degrees. NOAA cautions us to protect our noses and other extremities from the cold! My favorite post tells how snowflakes form.
Google says its 39 degrees F in Reykjavik, Iceland. In my email I read that poet Joanne Growney has written about measuring winter and about a recent trip to Iceland in her blog Intersections – Poetry with Mathematics. I start to dream of hot springs and the steamy blue waters I’ve seen in photos of Icelandic mineral baths. Time to wrap up in a quilt, brew a cup of hot tea and then get ready for work.
Yellow, pink and blue irises bloomed near my door this month!
I’m starting to paint again.
Also, I’m updating my web site at www.lizmacklin.com