A quick sketch, because National Moth Week isn’t quite over

2013_bison summer sketches (36)_Lepidoptera_moths vs. butterflies
Moths to the left, butterflies on the right

It’s National Moth Week!

Since moths outnumber butterflies 11-to-1 in North America, there’s lots to see, get excited about, and…sketch!

There’s something particularly fun about sketching moths that are visible/active in daylight – moths like the clearwing sphinx moth (also known as the hummingbird moth). And, even the “millers” that flutter around houses so distractingly can make great subjects. Continue reading “A quick sketch, because National Moth Week isn’t quite over”

Drawn to the West: An “impossible” insect observation?

Cross-posted on www.drawntothewest.com
Firefly logo_v1_sketch_rs

There aren’t supposed to be any fireflies in Montana.

At least not the type that blink and flash in a mesmerizing stereotypical way. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, because when I saw fireflies flashing this summer, I didn’t know any of the science behind what I just told you. Continue reading “Drawn to the West: An “impossible” insect observation?”

Drawn to the West: Squirrelly Notions

Cross-posted on www.drawntothewest.com
20140406_Marais du Nord (24)_c_cr_rs

There weren’t any squirrels in the town where I grew up.

I didn’t know to remark on that fact when I was young.

It wasn’t until I moved away from home that I discovered two apparent truisms regarding urban squirrels:

  1. Squirrels can be boldly urbane, in their own chattery twitchy way.  
  2. Squirrels occur en masse in every town and city I have since inhabited.
20140406_Marais du Nord (27)_c_rs

 

Despite this, or perhaps as a result, I haven’t thought or written much about squirrels. That pleasant oblivion ended abruptly last summer. In 2014, my typical gardening frenzy was necessarily pared down to a few pots of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs on a borrowed balcony.

Continue reading “Drawn to the West: Squirrelly Notions”

A quick look at insects during National Pollinator Week

Cross-posted on www.drawntothewest.com

For the past decade, I’ve taken special delight in looking at, and drawing, insects.

It all started with a three-year artist residency at the Watershed Education Network, where I developed a place-based journal/sketching component for their stream ecology field trips, drew about 30 aquatic macroinvertebrate (small water-dwelling insects) illustrations for a wetland guide book, and helped develop a new logo and merchandise line. Continue reading “A quick look at insects during National Pollinator Week”

How wondering “What’s wrong with that sagebrush?” led to drawing and researching insects I didn’t know existed.

 Cross-posted on www.drawntothewest.com

The other weekend, I was out hiking in an area of southwest Wyoming resplendent with big sagebrush.

As my husband and our puppy cruised ahead, I lagged behind, peering at some strange growths on the tips of a sagebrush’s leaves. The more I looked, the more I found, and the more I found, the more curious I became.

The little growths were less than an inch across, many much smaller, and ranged from chestnut brown to pale greenish-pink. They were spongy to the touch, and appeared to be covered in tiny hairs. Continue reading “How wondering “What’s wrong with that sagebrush?” led to drawing and researching insects I didn’t know existed.”