Day 5: E is for Earthworm

earthworm

Yes, earthworms aren’t insects, and this was an insect-specific challenge for myself, but I was tired of working with wings

Earthworms remind me of warm dirt, one of my favorite things about summer. It was interesting reading about earthworms because what they bring to us ranges from environmental concern, productivity, and balance of male/female energies.

Day 4: D is for Damselfly

damselfly

I thought about choosing Dobsonfly but then saw that they live in Vermont and got a little freaked out when I looked at the photos. Plus, I love these guys when they hang out on my kayak.

Damselfly is much like dragonfly, enlightenment and transformation.

February Floods

bird-closeup

The Lamoille has flooded, and spread out across the field I usually walk in… I spotted some crows flying around and zoomed in for some photos, and instead caught this rather disgruntled looking Merganser and curious crow! I imagine the crow peeking around the rock wondering who the new neighbor is…

bird

Day 3: C is for Cicada

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I was chatting with my Mom about today’s letter, C, and how I had thought about doing a centipede but after looking at photos decided I couldn’t stomach it… So she suggested Cicada… More appropriate than she knew!

Today would have been a birthday for a dear friend of mine. A few years ago we were out walking and she was saying how surprised she was that I was so squeamish and yet so “into” nature, we had a small chuckle about it. Shortly after that we saw in the road in front of us a large-ish bug… She poked at it and said it was a dead cicada, and I remarked how I had never seen one close up… So I picked it up, and bravely held it close to my face squinting at its wings… And it moved and I shrieked like a girl (yes, I am one, but still…) and involuntarily hurled it into the woods. Sigh. My friend was laughing so hard she was literally sitting in the road. This is why I never became a naturalist.

Anyway, cicada is, no surprise, about rebirth and longevity. It’s also about coming out of your shell, and expressing yourself authentically.

Painting new-to-me insects is proving to be a good challenge!

Counting Down to Spring

I was trying to find another online art challenge to do, but didn’t see anything that interested me… Yesterday I was doodling around and had another ant show up:

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And I thought about how I always wanted to make my own set of animal medicine cards (like the ones by Jamie Sams)… so why not start by going through the alphabet and working with an insect and it’s particulars? I’m doing it the same way as the last challenge, no erasing, and a (flexible) time limit. These are small, 2-3 inches. Plus, it’ll take me well into March, and then it’s pretty much Spring and Life will be Wonderful again.

Ant is about patience, and planning ahead, and using your strength in a group. Time and effort pay off.

Tonight I chose Bumblebee:

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Bumblebee is about productivity, and staying focused, but also to  follow your own rhythm. And good fortune, joy, and harmony!

I’m going to try and not look up meanings before choosing a critter, more fun that way, I think…

Snowshoe!

Today was amazing. Over 40 degrees, with plenty of snow and blue sky… I finally strapped on my snowshoes and headed out into the field.

pano

This is my view after about 20 minutes of stomping around in the snow.

coyote-hole

Around the field were these holes and piles of snow, coyotes digging up… mice? Shrews? It was neat seeing them scattered around.

snow-bug

I found 2 of these, but I haven’t looked up what they are yet. I stopped and chatted with them about how nice the sun felt!

tracks

I finally made it to the river. I always picture animals meeting at the same time when I see paths cross like this. Like, “oh, hey, how’s winter treating ya?”

mink-side

Then I headed home along a smaller stream… paused to admire the snow banks… and noticed what looked like a stump sticking up out of the water… but it moved! A mink! I had spied him once before, and was dismayed that I had forgotten my camera, but this time, HOORAY! We sat and looked at each other for about five minutes. Very special and much needed.

mink