I always eagerly anticipate the first signs of spring. This year, I was surprised to see a dandelion in bloom on January 4th. That is amazing to me. Now I’ve eagerly started looking for signs.
So far, I’ve also spotted several bushes in bud. Rhododendron, azalea, magnolia. Sometimes I’ll catch a mixed up forsythia in bloom already but then, they often bloom in autumn, too. However, they are easy to force if you just cut some branches and bring them inside. (Put them in water, of course.)
I have a lot of naturalized daffodils in the yard. They are already coming up in several places. Sometimes they’re too early. One year I painted a group of daffodils blooming in the snow so it’s not inconceivable that I might see some soon.
One day last week, I saw three robins in a row in the front field. Sometimes I’ve seen large flocks of them in early spring. Only the males.
And I caught this rabbit in my headlights as I was coming up the drive a few days ago. The little devil was looking for something yummy in the garden but there’s nothing there yet except garlic. A motion-detector solar-powered light is good to chase away night critters.
With the winds, I saw several of last season’s nests which have been blown down. My kids used to bring them to me and I still love the engineering.
These little sketches were done with some very old Osmiroid ink in sepia. (It’s a collector’s item now.) I haven’t worked with ink for awhile so it was fun to get back to an old friend. I used a #4 quill which is also hard to come by these days. There are a number of fine quality pens and inks made in Japan of which I would like to try more. Stay tuned.