Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ride, Ride, Ride!

Viburnum in Bloom

I spoke with my mentor about the still life setup I showed you in my last blog post, and he agreed that it was too ambitious for the small size of the painting (8x10 inches). So, I’m just going to use some pieces of fruit instead and that little blue pitcher. Tomorrow I’ll set up the new still life and concoct the medium mixture he wants me to use, if I can get the top off of the turpentine, that is. Don't you just hate those child proof caps?

I managed to get in some much-needed weeding this week, too. Yesterday I unearthed a baby brown snake which was only about 6 inches long. I haven’t seen a snake in a very long time, so this was kind of exciting in a good way. Snakes don’t bother me, but bugs are another matter.

My viburnum is blooming now for the first time ever! I’ve had it for about ten years, and it just hasn’t done much until now. It’s very pretty with the large clusters of white flowers.

We’re dealing with the invasion of the caterpillars again this year, and they can be really nasty! I cleaned a nest out of our flowering crab apple tree, and they promptly built another. I took that one down and seem to have gotten all the caterpillars that were in the tree this time. So far, they haven’t built another nest.

Over around the barn it’s much worse although the trees haven’t been denuded as much as they were last year. When I brought Scottie in from the turnout on Thursday, there were hundreds of caterpillars of all sizes marching along the boards of the fence and along the electric fence wire seeking out another feeding tree. Fortunately, they haven’t been much of a problem on our trail rides, and we just flick them off when they occasionally land on us. As long as they don’t bite or sting, I can handle them.

We went on another trail ride Thursday night, and I rode in the arena yesterday afternoon. I’m really going to make an effort to ride more often this year which will be good for both Scottie and I. A weekly sketching session of live horses will be excellent practice for me, too.

Before riding yesterday, I took some photos at the barn. The horses were out on pasture for the first of two sessions per day, and they were busy stuffing their faces as fast as they could. Normally when you go out amongst the horses, you’re mobbed by at least two if not more, but yesterday they were much more interested in grass than in a human in their midst.

I got some pretty good photos, too; even some to use for paintings.

This week will be busy because my kids are coming home for the Memorial Day weekend, and I need to do some serious house cleaning and meal planning. But I don’t want to miss riding or delay that still life any longer. It’s going to be a very hot week, so I’ll put off any gardening until it cools off.

That’s all for now. I hope to have some art to show you next time.

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