Sure signs of fall’s approach…

The first snowfall is visible on top of the Grotto range this morning–when I can get a glimpse of it through the blankets of cloud cover!  And… the elk have mustered the courage to graze on my doorstep by night, eliminating all my violas and pansies, leaving me with my bedraggled snapdragons and hardy marigolds.  T-shirt temperatures have plunged to necessitate extra layers for the send-off of summer.  And I am plucking from this month’s archives some of its finer moments…


We live in old Coal Mining Territory and every once in a while you run across a reminder…


The skies have one glory, the flowers another…

Grotto Canyon…

I’ve been taking a closer look at all manner of flowers (and weeds!) this month…


This little love-ly is the sweet smelling, evening-bloomer, white cockle. Bane to farmers, and banned from our yards, but not from my sketchbook ( :

Another banned blessing to bumblebees…

The old goat has lost his beard…

Late summer’s bounty–wild raspberries!

And some strange insipid white ones…

And in the city, wildly brilliant crabapples!

We’ve endured a LOT of smoke this month which lends a certain mystique to the mountains but other than that has been an unwelcome result of lightning-lit fires throughout BC.

This too shall pass with the approach of fall and its close kin, winter.

I am happy to have preserved some flowers from summer’s bounty!


For the beauty of the earth, 
for the glory of the skies, 
for the love which from our birth 
over and around us lies. 

For the wonder of each hour 
of the day and of the night, 
hill and vale and tree and flower, 
sun and moon and stars of light… 

Christ, our Lord, to you we raise 
this, our hymn of grateful praise. 

–Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1864)





Accounting for November

It’s strange the way the weeks speed up at year’s end and the days flip by…

I have only a handful of photographs to represent the whole month!  It’s an awkward season for taking pictures.  The once-golden aspen beauties have turned to skeletons.  And the snow hasn’t perfected its purifying magic on the landscape quite yet…

But there are hopeful signs of snow to come…IMG_20161119_114203254IMG_20161119_114218387IMG_20161119_114438214and in the meantime man steps in and makes it here so cross-country ski season can begin,  slowly but surely.

I’m in no hurry.  I love being in my nest all cozy.  And morning by morning I get up, open the blinds and snuggle into my quiet corner on the couch to watch the day begin…

morning from my window

And all through November, at day’s end I pull out a pen, practice lettering a random alphabet (copied from the Internet!), and write down a word to capture some aspect of the day…

These were some of my favorites…



And there is my record of November, all but lost in the shuffle of Advent season!

( :


She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet…
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come!  Prov.31:21,25

An October Collage



It all started with the pumpkin.


I’d chosen it at the Farmer’s Market a few weeks back just for the ‘pretty’ of it. 

Now I wondered: How hard would it be to paint?
On a bright Saturday morning, the first of October, I sat at the kitchen table with my watercolors and found out!  



Ha! It turned out a little squashed, but it became the first in a series of daily images to capture all the days of October…

On the second of October I found a tiny goblet at the thrift store to use as a vase…



On the third, Jim’s birthday black forest cake was the feature.

black forest 

It was challenging!IMG_20161003_222955607


So Day 4 I scaled back, looking closely at just one stem of grass from the edge of the yard…

On the fifth of October we had our first dusting of snow making even the stump in the yard look picturesque and highlighting the rosy remains of wild rose leaves…stump

snow dusted stump

It’s getting COLD for riding tandem but lobster gloves with their two-fingered hands kept our fingers toasty warm on the sixth.



Melting snow on the tandem tarp just outside the window made for a great opportunity to try painting water drops on the seventh.



We  took in an art show in Banff the next evening. It was our first time to stroll the streets of Banff by street light.  Standing at one of Banff’s unique all-sides-cross-at-once crosswalks waiting for the light to turn, I snapped this view. It was a chance to work with perspective and architecture…Ironically the exhibit we’d come to see was named, “No Visible Horizon”.IMG_20161007_183759650_HDR


The ninth was Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday.  We opted for A & W since the turkey was still frozen and we hadn’t anybody to eat it with anyway.P1220642

The burger was good and the bright cup was a keeper.


On the tenth I enjoyed a snowy stroll around the neighborhood and most especially the remaining brilliance of aspen color.


While I painted it from an image on my phone I listened to an excellently narrated and intriguing book–Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski.  I commend it to you if you enjoy fiction that reads like non-fiction, anthropology, missionary stories and just enough mystery to keep you reading.


This book comes to mind now when I see this picture.  Funny how art works.

On the eleventh, short of any idea what to paint, I drew the base of my favorite pencil holder,P1220643

an expensive Alaska souvenir handcrafted from some sort of beautiful bark.P1220641

At last the turkey was thawed and we had our own turkey dinner complete with homemade buns on the 12th.


IMG_20161012_155147590Thanksgiving buns

On the thirteenth I went out for a walk, a bit glum that there was nothing eye-catching, until I saw the bright orange lichen on this rock beside the path.



Chocolate cravings on the fourteenth provided subject matter.  I LOVE almond M&M’s!IMG_20161103_103047006    IMG_20161014_183035695

A bit of bling I’d worn that day was poorly rendered on the fifteenth.


A tiny charm from a favorite necklace was greatly enlarged for the next day’s sketch.


And my follow-through seems to have fallen through on the 17th. The dogged daily-ness of this project began to feel daunting…

But on the eighteenth I turned left-over pizza dough into garlic knots as per a recipe in the most amazing bread cookbook ever!



IMG_20161018_124403942Bread Illustrated

Alas, the page was nearly full when a road trip interrupted and my commitment faltered…19, 20,21,22,23…

But on the 24th we were home and there was a leaf from our travels that made the page.


We’ve resigned ourselves to winter’s approach and with it the inability to get out on the tandem, so this was the week for buying a gym pass and getting at the weights…IMG_20161103_103007679

Once you’ve skipped one day, it’s easier to skip some more but on the 28th, determined to fill the page out and finish well, I tried my hand at hard-boiled eggs (which we’d had for breakfast).IMG_20161103_103034605

On the 29th we went to a craft fair in Banff and bought some Red Hot Habanero sauce for a surprise for someone we love who loves it.  It had such a lovely color that it seemed just the thing to add to the collage.


I also bought myself a toy—a darling wooden helicopter with cute wooden balls for wheels.  It reminded me of my dad and his skill with wood back in the days before Alzheimer’s incapacitated him.



And on the last day of October, I brought home a bouquet of flowers leftover from the community dinner.  Tired, and loathe to attempt a rose so late in the evening, I traced instead the silhouette of a leafy sprig as its shadow fell on the page.



…And so the page was filled, making October’s chaotic collage! 


And now it’s time to move on to a new challenge for November!

Thanks for sharing my month’s highlights.  What made October memorable for you?


O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Ps.90:14