Purple flowering raspberry shrubs grow wild all around our house in the Catskills. Rubus odorous is a member of the rose family. I love the way they look in all their stages of growth. Their berries taste like a slightly tart raspberry. Of course I rarely see the berries--most of them get eaten by birds and other wildlife.
They remind me of a scrubbier version of the lovely rugosa rose that grows wild around the beaches of New England. I took this picture in Maine. Their warm pinkness and sweet smell contrasts beautifully with the rocky beaches and chilly north Atlantic waters.
My arrivals at our country house follow a pattern. Day or night I first check on the waterfall. I hear it as soon as I get out of the car, framing why I love the Catskills, wilderness and wildness set among rolling hills and dairy farms. The waterfall is fed by snowmelt and rain, so by the end of summer slows to a trickle, but big rains last week had it roaring.
Then I unpack the car, go in the house, open the windows,
and if it's daytime go back outside.
I arrived Friday late afternoon so had plenty of time to explore.
I walked to the frog pond to make sure the frogs were there.
So many species have become extinct in recent years that I worry,
but there were tadpoles and frogs in every stage.
They leap away at any movement of my shadow.
Next I investigated the wildflowers.
Forget me nots, tiny and delicate,
that perfect blue with the yellow center, takes my breath away.
Every morning, I open a couple of windows for the cats. Having indoor cats has been much easier and better than I expected, but I do what I can to give them a bit of the outdoors. They love to nibble on wheat and oat grass, nap in the window sills and watch and listen to the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits. I'm sure they are smelling and hearing all kinds of things too.
This marvelous picture is from a video of a dog with his head out the car window. It's by Julie Andreyev, and is at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, in an exhibit of artist and animal collaborations. I went there to see the Turner and the Sea exhibit, which was wonderful. It includes maritime paintings by other 19th century artists, putting Turner in context. I particularly enjoyed the selections from Turner's sketchbooks and small paintings. When I was in college I went to London and saw his work for the first time. His skies and seas touched me deeply and influenced my own painting and the way I looked at art.
These are a couple of the small studies I've been doing,
thinking about painting them big. Really big.
My favorite part of summer is sitting on the porch in the evening,
reading and watching the light change.
I hope that you are enjoying early summer (or winter if you are on the other side of the globe).
Last night I went to see The Lunchbox, and recommend it if you like small, charming movies,