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

Should we be feeding wild birds? How a desire to sketch birds led to a romp through the bird-feeding literature

Cross-posted on www.drawntothewest.com

Group of finches_v1You can tell it’s spring; the Internet is aflutter with bird articles.

A lot of those articles relate closely to the two-part series I just wrapped up about attracting wild birds using methods informed by ornithology research.

I was inspired to investigate the subject because we have a “new-to-us” backyard that is bare dirt. A few trees and shrubs sit at the corners of the lot, but that’s it. We’ve begun by seeding in some native grasses and installing a vegetable garden, and now are considering what we could do to attract birds.

Drawn to the West: a syndicated sciart column

If there’s anything I enjoy more than sketching and illustrating the world around me, it’s sharing…

…what I discover or wonder about with others through #scicomm projects and workshops. That’s what compelled me to launch Drawn to Quebec, an illustrated #sciart column about nature and culture, nearly one year ago.

Recently, I unpacked all my art materials, guide books, and gear into a new home on the windswept grasslands of Wyoming. And so I’ve returned to visually capturing what makes life so compelling in the high, dry, and sunny Mountain West of my childhood. Continue reading Drawn to the West: a syndicated sciart column

Drawn to Quebec: an illustrated newspaper column

Drawn to Quebec banner (07.2014)_v6 I’m delighted to announce that my illustrated column, Drawn to Quebec,  has been nominated for a provincial ‘Best Column Writing’ award! Scroll to the bottom for links to all the articles in the series, or keep reading to see what the nomination, from the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph‘s editorial team, says: D2Q_Vineyard to Sante_QCT (12.17.2014)_5 “Bethann’s illustrated column, Drawn to Quebec, has been a breath of fresh air for the editorial team and our readership. Specifically, she raised our awareness of issues that we didn’t know. Her extensive knowledge of the natural world, combined with years’ of teaching experience, enable her to write in a conversational fashion, including the readers in her articles by using “we” and “our”. This approach has helped not just our readers, but our staff, feel as though they’re being spoken with (not at), and they’re actively participating in discovery and exploration of Quebec City’s nature/culture overlap. Continue reading Drawn to Quebec: an illustrated newspaper column

Sketchbook Snapshot: Sketches from “Drawn to Quebec”

I’ve been penning the Drawn to Quebec illustrated column for over a month now, and the majority of my articles have been nature-inspired, naturally.

D2Q2 Continue reading Sketchbook Snapshot: Sketches from “Drawn to Quebec”