Monday, April 9, 2012

April in Almost Heaven (West Virginia)

A Blue Jay recently visited my feeders and I happened to notice the wonderful mosaic of color made by his wings when they are folded back over the tail.  I tried to capture that in watercolor in my journal, but, to paraphrase Joyce Kilmer, Only God can make a Blue Jay.

This is the most beautiful Spring I have ever seen.  Because we didn't get any heavy frosts just as the flowers were emerging, there are more flowers than ever.  The cherry, plum, and crab apple trees were loaded with blossoms, and now the dogwoods are putting on a show in my neighborhood.  I've been noticing how there is a steady succession of flowers, leaves and seeds on the hardwood trees.

One tree caught my attention with what I thought were pale yellow flowers.  Upon closer examination, it was the seeds (samaras) that looked like flowers from a distance.  I was prompted to check my tree field guide to identify the tree as the American Elm.  I did this watercolor sketch to help memorize the details so that I will be able to recognize them in the future.  By the way, I now know why my college botany professor made us draw what we saw in the microscope and if I ever see him, I will apologize for complaining!


  1. Nice bluebird, I can almost hear him squawk. American elm, lucky you to have one growing. xox

  2. You did a pretty good job on the jay, one of my favorite birds. Love the soft colors on your elm tree page. Nice work.

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