Sketch Journal Project: Home and When Traveling and a Sweet Story!

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Ha, despite all my traveling, I did not forget my personal challenge to use my sketchbook on a weekly bases. I packed my crayons and a travel sketchbook and let myself be inspired by the Rocky Mountains.
On coming home I decided to redo the bear…the first one was too fuzzy!



The sketch of the little girl has a sweet story. Whilst having our picnic lunch, Mr. Walker and I were happily observing a school class on a day trip at the lake at the foot of St. Mary’s Glacier. Myohmy, their teacher was telling such interesting stories and those kids were so attentive and interested. After that, they had some explore time before they were heading home. This one girl caught our attention when she said to her friend: ” I need to find a good spot for day dreaming, this is an excellent place for it!” Her friend looked confused and asked what she meant. In a matter-of-fact kind of way she patiently explained: ” Daydreaming is thinking about the things you love!” . She climbed on a rock and sat still…her friend looked in awe, she climbed on a rock too and started eating her lunch, in total silence.
Mr. Walker and I smiled, and concluded that this confident daydreaming girl is a promise for the future!!!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Rocky Mountains…One More Time

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Well I could have made dozens of posts with snapshots from the family album…but all good things come to an end as they say. Just a few more ‘vista’s’ and than back to the order of the day, I’d say. The Rocky Mountains will become a subject for daydreaming until our next visit there.

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dsc_1898The hikes were so superb with so many different landscapes. Lovely luscious greens to almost moonlike surfaces.

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Talking about the moon: this was the Harvest Moon 2016…magnificent!

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Literally walking with our heads in the clouds.

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After the long hot summer, how refreshing to see snow and feel invigorated!

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This is the view from underneath St. Mary’s Glacier.

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You never know what awaits you around the next corner…

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And btw, this calm little stream is the Colorado River..it starts here like this. Yes, the same Colorado River that dug out the Grand Canyon!

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Ach nog even genieten van wat laatste kiekjes van de Rocky Mountains. Een paar fraaie uitzichten, de Oogstmaan van september, en t begin van de Colorado rivier die mijlen verderop de Grand Canyon heeft uitgegraven. Hoe heerlijk t was om letterlijk met ons hoofd in de wolken te lopen en na al die hitte bibberend op een gletsjer te staan…de foto’s spreken voor zichzelf toch?

Love and Liefs, Johanna

More Wildlife From the Rocky Mountains

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I cannot describe how it feels for me to hike early in the morning and see the beautiful scenery Mother Nature created and the privilege of watching her inhabitants up close and personal. The mighty elks were rutting..what a magnificent sight and sound. Just like last year in Yellow Stone park.

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Ground squirrel..much smaller than the marmot.

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Finally the amazing blue Steller’s jay..not really rare but so hard to get in front of the camera!

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Mule Deer, I love those enormous big ears. This is a baby.

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Naughty chipmunks everywhere…this cheeky fellow ran over my shoulder , jumped right in my backpack and ran of with my plantain chips!! And ate them and stashed them right under my nose!!! I had a good laugh ;o) See how fat he is…also ready for winter!

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Not sure what hawk this is…

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The beautiful grey jay, they are so tame!

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Uhm…sheep???

We also saw a bear..a black teenager bear, right next to the hiking path. It was beautiful and enjoying lots of berries. We startled each other…and it ran of quickly: that was beautiful too!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Yellow-bellied Marmots in the Rocky Mountains

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When we visited the Rocky Mountains last year ,we did not see any marmots...now they seemed to be everywhere. How I love them. At this time a year, they so fat and their coat is beautiful: ready for hibernation!

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They have a strong social life and look out for each other. I love their sassy stern looks.
They were hardly afraid of us. In fact, research shows they rather seek the company of humans knowing that their arch enemies, birds of prey and foxes will stay away. Smart cookies!!

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dsc_2375I also love they idea of them snuggled up in their cozy burrows, sleeping the cold month away.

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dsc_2345In tegenstelling tot onze vorige reis naar de Rocky Mountains, zagen we nu overal wilde marmotten! Zulke mooie, stoere dieren. Ze zijn onderling bijzonder sociaal en nu op zijn mooist : moddervet met een dikke vacht, klaar voor de winter slaap. Deze slimme dieren zoeken juist gezelschap van mensen, omdat ze weten dat hun aartsvijanden , de roofvogels en vossen dat juist niet doen! Slimme rakkers!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Sketch Journal Project: Fungi and Crayons

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For a couple of days the weather was really cooler and for the first time in weeks Mr. Walker and I had a proper hike, up at Rowe Woods.
Nature is changing, the leafs are looking tired, some are falling already. The last flowers are blooming and lots of beautiful mushrooms and fungi everywhere. I love those, such extraordinary shapes and forms.

It inspired me to make an early fall drawing and playing some more with the water color crayons. I really like the possibilities and it creates a bit of roughness around the edges, so to speak. Not entirely happy with this but quite pleased.

And lovely to do now the heat has returned yet again…

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Lately…Important Nothings and Downton Abbey!

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Well we had a little breather with cooler weather last weekend. Mr. Walker and I enjoyed a good walk at Rowe Woods..such joy!!!

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Ragweed season has started and our Darling Girl is allergic to it. Her skin gets so itchy and she starts wriggling and crying. So immediately of to the vet for her shot and on coming home, she made sigh of relief and continued with her favorite activity.

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IMG_1499With apologies for this rather blurry photo…but all this packing material was used to send  the three little bottles of vitamins in the front of it….


The Walker boys and I text a lot and send each other photos during the day. The Youngest Walker Boy received some doodles making fun of the difference in height between him and his Princess (she is adorable) and him spoiling those cats! ( there is always a lot of teasing going around amongst the Walker Clan)

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I showed the Oldest Walker Boy this book and we decided to challenge each other drawing a map…this was his, of course so creative and original!!

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Mine…your traditional medieval map. Good practice but not very original.

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And what a great book this is!! Cocktails and literature…best of both worlds and beautiful illustrations to boot! 

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And I leave you with all these photos of the splendid costumes from Downton Abbey!!! The traveling exhibition arrived at the Taft Museum and my friends and I ordered tickets all ready last spring and were of in a thunder gallop as soon as our time came up!! There was a lot of ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ ….and I would be very happy with that red coat!


Have a great weekend!!

Love and Liefs,
Johanna

Sketch Journal Project: More Farm Animals

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I am working on that children’s book and actually on a deadline. But my sketch book was calling me and so I did a few quick sketches to relax mind, body and spirit.

After a couple of cooler days, the heat is back again. And I have to find my outdoor fix indoor…well have a look at this wonderful website the kitchen garden. Cecilia tells about her daily life on her farm and takes marvelous photos of all her happy animals.
Such bliss and I could not help being inspired to draw yet a few farm animals again. After all , I did spent a large part of my youth on a farm and it brings many happy memories!!!  

Och hemel, na wat koele dagen is de hitte weer terug. Het landleven moet ik dus wel binnenhuis zoeken…gelukkig is er deze fantastische website , The Kitchengarden. Nouja, ik kan altijd wel naar boerderij dieren kijken (ik bracht een deel van jeugd door op de boerderij) en Cecilia maakt wel hele mooie foto’s van haar gelukkige dieren!

Love and Liefs! Johanna


Sketch Journal Project: Cicadas

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It is fascinating how nature changes when summer/the season progresses. The swallows are gathering in groups, lots of birds are molding , the fireflies have gone again. Now the cicadas and crickets have started their chorus in full blast. Especially when the sun sets, the noise is impressive…those ‘love birds’ have lots of competition!

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I read up on cicadas on this website and learned so much. But still was not able to determine what kind of cicada this is. Well there are 3390 different ones to choose from!

This is what’s left after the cicada changes from nymph to ‘real cicada’, an imago. If you look carefully you can see a neat cut, where he crawled out.

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From a distance they look rather grayish and unassuming…up close it is Star Wars meet Aliens!  And they have amazing legs..you can hang anywhere on any material ;o)

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We gaan duidelijke de laatste fase van de zomer in: de zwaluwen verzamelen zich, andere vogels zijn in de rui, de vuurvliegjes zijn weer weg. En nu is t de beurt aan cicaden en krekels…man, vooral als de zon ondergaat is t me een lawaai, allemaal voor de liefde (en de volgende generatie;o)) Cicaden zijn fascinerende beestjes, ze leven ondergronds voor 2 tot wel 17 jaar en dan is feesten en flirten en…doodgaan. Deze website verteld veel meer nog.

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Ps and to be clear, this cicada was already dead. Life is fast, flirty and short for cicadas…

Lately….

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Little important nothings of the goings on at the Walker Residence. Like the summer nights that gradually start a little earlier, now midsummer has passed. It’s really noisy with crickets and cicadas chirping and buzzing like mad.

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Charley adorned with her favorite jewel is looking out for those cheeky raccoons!

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And what a glorious feeling it was, to safe together with a neighborhood boy and two police officers 11 little ducklings who had fallen in the sewer. Mama Wood Duck had alerted us with running in circles around the grate of the sewer. Amazingly, once we started hauling up the little babies, she settled herself underneath a bush in the garden calling to and collecting her brood.  The long limbed lady in hat is me, the handle of the net was a bit short and my arms were by far the longest…

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Summer baking..a lovely lemon pie and an upside down apple cake.

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Experimenting with markers…that’s actually quite hard to work with!

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Summer reading consists of revisiting classics like ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Middle March’ .But I also enjoy this delightful 1930 children’s book ever so much! I am certainly of a later date but it still brings happy memories!

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Youngest Mr. Walker was here for a week, and Charley enjoyed going for drives even more!

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And I always enjoy watching water striders. They have so many different names. In Dutch they are called ‘skate riders’ .

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But the Stars of Summer in my opinion are these elegant water damsels.

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De zomer gaat door, met steeds langere zomeravonden, samen met politie agenten en een buurjongen eendjes redden uit t riool , taarten bakken, lekker lezen, experimenteren met stiften , een bezoek van de jongste Walkerboy en leuke dieren in de natuur als schaatsen rijders en waterjuffers.

Love and Liefs, Johanna