Painting Birds

Posted by: Heidi

October 29th, 2013 >> Birds, Playing with paint

Sandhill Crane on the ice
According to Robert Lynd, “in order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”  I have enjoyed watching many birds over the years and recently some of the birds that I have seen have inspired me to try to recreate images of them in their natural environments. While painting these sandhill cranes, I tried to capture the ancient beauty, grace and strength of this bird species which has existed for more than 2.5 million years. This species is much older than most of the other bird species that are alive today. The world has changed dramatically during this species’ lifespan and these birds have continued to adapt to their new world.

Sandhill Cranes 300

“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.”
~ Robert Lynd

This summer’s songbirds

Posted by: Heidi

September 18th, 2013 >> Birds, Photos

Song Sparrow 600
As another summer comes to an end I have been thinking back about the many songbirds that I have enjoyed watching and listening to this summer, both in and out of the garden. Some of them visit my garden throughout most of the year while others are only here for a short time as they stop over on their annual migrations. Some of my favourites this year have included Song Sparrows, Wilson’s Warblers and Bushtits.

“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”

~ E. E. Cummings

Wilson's Warbler 320Bushtit 320

White in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

July 2nd, 2013 >> my garden, Photos

Peony 600

Foxgloves 200

White is often thought of as a background for other colours, but in the garden white can come alive and stand out on its own. I have been appreciating the white flowers in my garden more this year, the big and bold ones that grab your attention as well as the tiny and delicate ones that are like little hidden treasures when you find them. White brightens up dark, shady spots and most white and pale flowers are more strongly scented than their darker counterparts, which is also always appreciated in the garden.

The colour white represents purity, clarity, hope and new beginnings, all of which can be nurtured in a garden. It also represents peace, since the white flag is a universal symbol of truce.

The colour white doesn’t absorb any of the colours in the visible light spectrum, it reflects them all back, that’s why we see it as white. So, white flowers share all of the colours of the rainbow with us.

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
~Henri Matisse

Graveteye 600

Pear Blossoms 600

Small pleasures

Posted by: Heidi

March 9th, 2013 >> Birds, my garden, Photos

Spotted Towhee

Early spring days bring many small pleasures that I am always so grateful for: longer days and the warmth of sun rays just barely penetrating the still chilly air; sprouts and buds bringing signs of life and colour to the garden; new bird songs and chatter filling the trees.

These seemingly simple pleasures are much more complex than they appear to be. The more that I learn about the natural world, the more I am in awe of the amazing complexity that is involved in even the smallest of details. Every time I discover something new I realize how much more there is to learn.

Pear tree leaf buds

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
~ Carl Sagan


Beautiful places

Posted by: Heidi

January 1st, 2013 >> Photos, The wilderness

Chilliwack Lake 1Squamish

While exploring in the wilderness I have discovered so many beautiful places that have existed since long before we were here, and they will continue to be here long after we are gone.

“I will die, and this place will continue to dole out plenitude and beauty. Nothing bitter about this idea, but on the contrary, a feeling of gratitude and veneration.” ~ Albert Camus

Chilliwack Lake 2Rolley Lake


Posted by: Heidi

December 9th, 2012 >> Playing with paint


In this painting I tried to capture the feelings of tranquility and peacefulness that moonlight can create.

The moon is always a welcome sight in the night sky, especially at this time of the year, when the days are at their shortest and the nights are long and dark. There is something about the moon that has always seemed comforting to me. Throughout all of the ages of human life many among us have gazed up at it and contemplated our place in the universe.

“The moving Moon went up the sky.
And nowhere did abide;
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.”
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This year’s leaves

Posted by: Heidi

October 28th, 2012 >> my garden, Photos

It seems like only a short time ago the first leaf buds of spring were opening and yet, all around me, the leaves are now turning brilliant colours and falling to the ground. For these leaves there is only one spring, one summer and one fall.

While I enjoy the fall colours of this year’s leaves, a part of me is already looking forward to the next spring which will follow the approaching winter. I’m not in a hurry for spring to come though, I don’t want to wish away my days. They seem to go by all too quickly.

“Man’s life is like a drop of dew on a leaf.”

~ Socrates


Posted by: Heidi

October 8th, 2012 >> Birds, Photos


Of all the birds that I enjoy watching, the little songbirds are my favourites. When they visit my garden feeders they appear to be so delicate and fragile but they have the strength and perseverance to survive much adversity in the wild.

“Instead of weeping when a tragedy occurs in a songbird’s life, it sings away its grief. I believe we could well follow the pattern of our feathered friends.” ~ William Shakespeare

Mid-summer thoughts

Posted by: Heidi

August 9th, 2012 >> my garden, Photos

Not much work needs to be done in the garden at this time of year. This is the time to relax and enjoy the feelings of peace and calm that time in the garden can bring. On hot summer days or  warm summer evenings I often sit in a shady spot and listen to the leaves rustling in the breeze, the tinkling of the windchimes and the various bird calls and songs. As I sit quietly I watch as butterflies and other insects flit around the flowers, and the birds visit the feeders.

Our lives are often so busy that we don’t take time to relax. We rush from one commitment or activity to another believing that we don’t have a minute to spare. We wish for more time, yet we often feel anxious and guilty when idle. To slow down time we need to live as fully as possible in the present moment. Relaxing in the garden I am able to leave behind thoughts of the past or future, and can experience time more peacefully.

“Nature requires us not only to be able to work well, but also to idle well.” ~ Aristotle









Life is fragile

Posted by: Heidi

June 10th, 2012 >> my garden, Photos

Within the vastness of the universe our lives are more fragile and fleeting than each new flower that comes and goes in the garden. An abundance of flowers grow and bloom in my garden every year but each individual flower will only bloom once and then will be gone forever.


“That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.”
~Emily Dickinson