Beautiful bugs

Lots of cool moths making appearances around here: the large maple spanworm:

and the imperial moth (cousin to the luna moth):

I don't know, but I think I get way more excited about these bugs than anyone else in the house. They're a great excuse to learn something(s) new!


Proofs Positive

I still have a stack of proofs to sell!  These are the proofs for the final prints I sell. They're 12 x 18" images on glossy paper with the same high quality inks as the finals (archival, lasting 98 years under glass). The color may be a little different than the final prints or there is a mysterious dollop of color that's not detracting, just taken out of the final image.  They're signed and dated, packaged just as the others are and mailed in a flat, sturdy chipboard mailer.
Because I believe everyone needs art all around, I've decided to sell these as "Pay what you can" up to $15.

If you're interested, send me a message or check out the listing in the shop!


Respect your Elders

There is one blueberry bush in our yard (of about 10) that has berries on it. I suspect that's because it's tucked beside an elderberry and the birds have been so distracted with the elderberry they haven't noticed the blueberry. Whatever the reason, it will have a nice-sized harvest when/if they ever ripen.

Yesterday I went to check on it and saw the elderberries are ripe! I'd had it in my mind that they'd be ready sometime in August. I guess that needs a mental correction? Anyway, it seems early to me. I harvested about 3/4 of the clusters from the 2 largest bushes. There were enough clusters that were nearly bare to tell me there have been ripe berries for a few days at least. The remaining unpicked clusters are mostly green and will be harvested in a couple weeks, I suppose.

Earlier in the spring I saved a few flower heads for use as herbal tea. Now I have about 2 cups of fresh berries. I'll probably dry half and syrup (You can verb 'syrup' right? You can verb 'verb' right?) the other half. Elderberries have historically been used for prevention of winter ailments, they're packed with vitamins (A, B, and C) and immune boosting antioxidants.

Later today we're going blackberry picking! Any berries in your neck of the woods? What's lookin' good?

For those interested in growing elderberries, one of my bushes was started from a twig I simply stuck in the ground. I believe it is Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra). The other is one I purchased from Gardens of the Blue Ridge and is the North American native elderberry, Sambucus canadensis. If you're interested in purchasing one, I can't recommend them highly enough.