As a long time resident of the Dallas / Fort Worth area I’ve long been aware of a pair of fluttering orange and black wings that are seen during two key times throughout the year: Spring and Fall. The Monarch Butterfly winters in Mexico, but when temperatures rise in the Spring they begin their northern journey into the United States and the Southern most portions of Canada.
In Autumn, the butterflies migrate south so they can spend the winter in Mexico.
Their Winter nest is so laden with butterflies, it’s as if the trees in lieu of leaves have butterflies instead. Truly it’s a marvel. Scientists estimate that 6 out of every 10 butterflies die from starvation en route due to the loss of native habitat and native wildflowers that produce sustaining nectar. Here’s a short video on how you can help to preserve this annual wonder, plus some amazing photos of the Mexican winter home. Watch it on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuMASSrli9A
There’s even a research site trying to tag and track them to more thoroughly map their migration patterns and routes over at MonarchWatch.org. Thanks to them you can get an idea of their Spring and Fall migration maps as seen above.
I’ve had the worst luck this year when it comes to my wildflower photography. I either miss peak bloom and arrive as the flowers have gone to seed, or the flowers have been mowed/harvested. I just missed most of the sunflowers in the Waxahachie to Ennis area in Texas by a couple of days this year. By the time I arrived the heat had doomed the agriculturally grown sunflowers into a drooping slump with the exception of a handful of blooms that were still upright. But at least the field had some wild sunflowers still thriving amongst the done for commercial cousins.
How can you tell the difference between wild sunflowers, and commercial ones? Easy: commercial ones have a flower that’s about the size of a human head, and wild ones are about the size of a human palm to hand.
These were taken in a multi-acre field adjacent to the Texas Motorway in Ennis, Texas on June 14, 2017.
Happy little bee.
This bee was dead, it had gotten tangled in a spiderweb, if you look carefully you can see some of the web’s filaments between the lower petals.
A range of my photographic prints can now be found for sale inside the gallery at the Central Arts of Bedford located at 2816 Central Drive, Suite #140 in Bedford, Texas. here are just some of the prints available currently:
Sunflowers – IV
Texas Longhorns 1
Texas Longhorns 2 – *award-winning
Texas Longhorns 3
Quacked Up Pair
This weekend on Saturday June 10, 2017, the gallery is having a special themed show “Art & Food Products” from 7pm – 11pm, I’ll be on hand for at least the first couple of hours. Feel free to stop on by and say hi, and check out all the art on hand.
Looking for some color to enliven your walls? These will be available for sale in my booth at the Foust Event Center during Main Street Days (May 19-21) in Grapevine, Texas. While I have variations of these at different sizes, these large format 16×16 inch prints on Fuji Pearl Paper are luminescent and presented in a 20×20 inch mat. They can be framed as a stand alone piece, or can be hung in a grouping together.
I hope you’ll swing on by. Admission is free on Friday until 5pm, afterwards while admission is required to come out to the Festival, there’s live music, a wide arrange of food and drink (including all sorts of craft beers!) and there’s a ton of fun things to do. There’s free parking and a shuttle offered as well. For more details, check out the city’s official page here for the 33rd Annual Main Street Days.
I am a big believer that no space is too small for art. Whether it’s your office in a row of cubicles, a locker, or a wee little nook, you can always fill it with things that inspire and move you.
In that spirit, I’ve put together a bunch of mini-frames, with 3×3 inch prints inside them of my photos, which I’ll be selling at my booth in the Foust Event Center for $10 a piece this upcoming weekend (May 19-21, 2017) at Main Street Days in Grapevine, Texas. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s available:
The Cleburne Camera Club’s 2017 Photo Contest and Exhibition Sale has an embarrassment of riches with striking photos from a range of photographers, including some very talented youth. And I’m not just saying that because I have 3 pieces in the show.
Awards were announced at the Opening Day reception on April 29th. The show runs through May 26th, and is free and open to the public for viewing from Monday – Saturday during 10am – 4pm daily at the JN Long Cultural Arts Complex located at 425 Granbury Street in Cleburne, Texas.
Tired of seeing my images on your computer screen? Those in the Dallas/Fort Worth area can head on down to the Grapevine Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (636 S Main Street in Grapevine, Texas) to see my work as well as many other talented artists (painters, photographers, jewelry, ceramics and more) at the GAP at the Grand Gallery Exhibit. Peruse the art, and if you’re so inclined you’ll find loads of lovelies for sale.
Don’t forget, that Saturday April 8th there’s New Vintage Wine Trail will be taking place on Saturday, April 8th from 11am – 5pm and it looks like members of the Grapevine Art Project will be planning on some artist demos on this day. It only costs money if you decide to purchase a ticket so you can drink while you peruse the historic downtown area, the exhibit area is always free admission during the show.
I went over to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens today, I was taking some maternity portraits for a really good friend of mine.In between shots, I couldn’t resist nabbing these 2 quick shots of some bees happily pollinating away among the wisteria blooms.
Two of my pieces (Monet’s Dream – a lovely photograph of some water lilies, and Keeping Beezy – two bees on a giant pink flower) have been moved upfront to the window display at RiverWinds Gallery at 172 Main Street in Beacon, New York.
Not in the area? No problem, the gallery is to assist mail order customers.
It’s so amazing how in a period of 4-6 weeks the wildflowers can change so drastically in the Texas Hill Country. Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes have faded, and now up comes other flowers like Indian Blankets (aka Firewheels), thistles, Horsemint (aka Bee Balm) and Mexican Hats (a type of coneflower) . I found this field June 8, 2016 along 71 just west of Spicewood and Cypress Creek. I stopped off and from the fence was taking pictures of the field, when I heard an engine idling behind me, the owner had come home from one of his other fields they farmed. The farm has been in the family since the 1800s, and the farmer couldn’t remember a year where the field was so overtaken by the horsemint. He even insisted my friends and I go home with some.