Some of my favorite things…

OK I must confess I made a big mistake this week and it’s costing me dearly today.  The day for picture-taking came and I was without my camera.  I drove into town early in the week expecting nothing special.  Our neighborhood was bright and clear but as I descended to town I found a foggy morning of rare beauty.  Shafts of brilliant sunlight cut through the towering firs slicing great swathes in the silvery fog… the ocean lay blanketed in down while the fog rose to mingle with the morning light…Fog floated in sun-dappled patches as I drove through this incredible photo-scape camera-less.  Sigh. And the chance was lost.

But I did find some unexpected beauty of another sort—at the library.  Now another confession, I love kids’ picture books.  And even though I now have noone to bring them home for theoretically, I still graze in the children’s book room at the Public Library—looking for treasures.  It’s the pictures I like best, and when they’re wedded with a perfect story line (which is indeed a rare thing) that’s a great treasure.  Well this day was my day!  There was a beauty just sitting there with the common stock.  Watercolor illustrations (or anything resembling the lucid brilliance of this medium) always draw my eye.  And there it was:


Splendid!  For some free advertising (and I hope I’m not infringing on any copyright laws) this beautiful book, A Butterfly is Patient is written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by SYLVIA LONG… I actually skipped the reading of the butterfly’s lifecycle to devour the intricate details, the sketches and labeling

of such an array of butterflies…Delicious!        P1050493

And I had to know, has Sylvia Long illustrated other books in this place?  My search turned up  two more gems:

Waddle,Waddle, Quack,Quack by Barbara Anne Skalak
Illustrated once again by Sylvia Long


If you know anything of Skelton family history, you know we have a special fondness for ducks, ever since raising our own downy ducklings in the long ago Arizona days…

This book is priceless both for the charming pictures and the dilly of a rhyming high action storyline!

P1050502    How could anyone not love it?!

Furthermore, it was the inspiration I needed to pull out my watercolors when I got home and play at imitation! Too fun!



The other treasure had this curious title:


An Egg is Quiet
also by Dianna Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long

So I saved this one to enjoy over a late lunch, in my cozy car, parked down at a roadside beach looking out over the foggy ocean…  While I forked up great warm mouthfuls of the ultimate comfort food– chicken pot pie, I leafed through its pages, featuring every sort of egg you could imagine, all in scintillating water-colored detail and labeled in tiny, tidy handwriting…

But even here there is a little ‘storyline’ interspersed…

The first page…


The next to last page…(just case you’ve forgotten that quiet egg…)


And the irresistibly cute last page…


I love picture books!


(and flowers!)


(and water-colored beauty)             P1050466