Vernal Pool

Why is what where?
I tried to draw fennel from memory, but I can’t remember how the leaves connect. I look up the wikipedia page for fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), and see the picture I want to draw. The caption reads “Fennel in flower.”  The photo was taken at the Botanic school of Jardin de Plantes, Paris and uploaded in summer of 2011. I admire its composition, the way the fennel plant is centered, growing out of a pathway edge, but soft against the green world that surrounds it.
Date & Time: 01.13.21, 9:30am
Pelican Dreams, directed by Judy Irving and released in 2014, is a film that I return to over and over again; it’s one of my favorites. Sometimes I watch the film with audio, sometimes on silent, and occasionally just the soundtrack. I love brown pelicans, a species that I’ve watched sailing over and diving into the bay since I was a kid, a bird that I admired long before owning a pair binoculars. I appreciate the way that Judy films her subjects the way that she might watch a bird. Watching Pelican Dreams feels intimate, like watching brown pelicans through Judy’s binoculars.
Time & Date: 01.17.21, 9:00am
Location: Our studio table, beside my laptop
Bryophytic Furniture: A mossy landing, a soft repose. Spreading by spores, movement for mosses is horizontal, slow, and sensitive... an ideal approach for time spent on public benches.
Time & Date: 12.03.20, 10:23am
Location: 37°53'47.6"N 122°16'32.0"W
A letter-sized study of some marks, textures, and iridescence found within Hilda Simon’s incredible 1976 book, Snails of Land & Sea. She wrote and illustrated many incredible texts ranging from The Courtship of Birds ~ to the Insect Masquerade ~ and to our favorite, The Splendor of Iridescence: Structural Colors in the Animal World. Her work continues to be an endless resource for close and careful observation.
Time & Date: 11.28.20, 1:45pm
Location: The drawing desk in our “life room” with bright, even light, no clouds in the sky today.
Animated partially from memory, and from looking at a miniature playing card that depicts a pink and yellow mantis as the “Joker.”
Time & Date: 11.26.20, 4:45pm
Location: Kitchen Table
Daucus carota, in a mixed state of bloom and going to seed. Its young broad, flat umbels look like floating galaxies, while its older umbels look like clusters of dried asterisks.
Time & Date: 09.27.20, 2:00pm
Location: Our garden situated on the southwest side of our apartment building. Sunny, clear day, with a deep blue sky overhead.
We’ve been feeding the crows peanuts on our street for the past six months, and they’ve come to recognize us, which windows are ours in the building, and the truck we drive. Today we sit on our stoop drawing. One crow lands 8 feet away, perched on top of the parking sign, and three others fly over and fan out in the street, watching, about 10 feet away. There’s one crow on the street that stands on the outer edge of the trio, sun reflects off its upper breast and crown, and it’s irises appear to fix on something in the distance. I quickly draw it while it pauses and looks down the street.
Time & Date: 06.25.20, 10:45am
Location: Our front stoop, outside of our apartment building. Cumulus clouds overhead, quiet day for foot traffic on our street.
Avena Barbara evenly covers the hillside, with California poppies, Cirsium, and Vicia sativa interspersed. I’m looking at one slender wild oat, its thin tiller angled slightly upwards, in contrast to the others which mostly arch downwards. It is a brilliant, warm green, with deep, reddish browns that define the contours of each spikelet tip.
Time & Date: 04.18.20, 5:20pm
Location: 37.8852889, -122.2440339, Tilden Park. Hillside meadow 10ft. from a hiking trail and about 200 ft. from the road below.