Thursday, July 21, 2011

Medium: Pencils B and HB

Monday, July 18, 2011

Medium: Pencils B and HB

Saturday, July 9, 2011


"Giant Hogweed is a phototoxic plant. Its sap can cause phytophotodermatitis (severe skin inflammations) when the skin is exposed to sunlight or to UV-rays. Initially the skin colours red and starts itching. Then blisters form as it burns within 48 hours. They form black or purplish scars that can last several years. Hospitalisation may be necessary. Presence of minute amounts of sap in the eyes can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness. These reactions are caused by the presence of linear derivatives of furocoumarin in its leaves, roots, stems, flowers and seeds. These chemicals can get into the nucleus of the epithelial cells, forming a bond with the DNA, causing the cells to die. The brown colour is caused by the production of melanin by furocoumarins. In Germany, where this plant has become a real nuisance, there were about 16,000 victims in 2003.

Children should be kept away from Giant Hogweed. Protective clothing, including eye protection, should be worn when handling or digging it. If skin is exposed, the affected area should be washed thoroughly with soap and water and the exposed skin protected from the sun for several days." --wikipedia

A news clip on giant hogweed in southern B.C.

Medium: Pencils HB and 5B

Friday, July 8, 2011

Garden Sprawl Friday

Been some while since having a GSF post, and figure starting them again away from the backyard and into the forest - the effortless garden - would be good, as I went there this evening.

There are five berries that I know of in these woods to forage: red huckleberry, osoberry, thimbleberry, salmon berry and blackberry. Salmon berry ripens first. They come in either pale yellow or dark red. Their taste tends to the insipid side, but are somehow still juicy and refreshing. This year there are lots of them and they're big and juicier than usual.

The osoberry is close behind salmon berry in ripening, suddenly all of them at once, and the red huckleberries ripen at the same time, but not all at once. Then the thimbleberries, with just a few fully ripened at this time. Blackberries don't ripen until later in summer.

The osoberry, or Indian plum:

The skin of them is thin and they want to stain your hands. They have pits and there is not a whole lot of meat, but they are very unique, and I find, pleasant in their taste. Some people say they taste like a cross between a blueberry and an olive. Honestly, I cannot think of a closer comparison.

They grow all over the woods in thickets. They hang in clusters that you pick entire as you walk by and eat them and spit out pits as you walk through the woods, until you come across another thicket and take another cluster, and so on.

The red huckleberry:

This one is my favourite. I like the green of the bush; I like how, with a few exceptions, it only grows out of rotting douglas fir stumps, or occasionally the base of living ones; I like the zingy, tart-sweet taste of the berries; I like the taste of its leaves, which I eat sometimes along with the berries.

The thimbleberry:

While the red huckleberry is my favourite all around, the thimbleberry is undeniably the richest in flavour. The taste to me is like a rich jam. The berries just melt in your mouth with a deep warm flavour. And not surprisingly, it is used to make prized jams, by people who jealously guard the secrets of their thimbleberry locations. There really is no need for that where I live, it's so common. Although the plant does have to have a prime location to make berries at their tastiest best.

One nice thing about picking the thimbleberry, as with all the other berries above, is that though it grows in thickets, they do not cut you apart like blackberries. In fact, the leaves feel like velvet - no exaggeration. And therein is a useful piece of information. I don't speak from experience, but it's common lore among wildcrafters that in case you are ever in the wild in those areas of North America where thimbleberry grows and you have to, uhm, you know, and then you have to, well, you know, then you can use the leaves know. Anyhow! Of course with all berries, the ones that get the most light as well as adequate wet are the best tasting.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Medium: Pencils 2H and B

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Some Quotes

"Here we might also note something that otherwise devout folks sometimes forget, that embracing the Cross in this way also excludes turning the violence of the world in on ourselves in the seemingly safe and pious turning of anger and scorn inside so that they become depression, anxiety, self-hate, and the sort of embrace of victimhood and misfortune that becomes a kind of rotten vanity. Jesus died and rose so that we could be free and happy, not so that we could sit around savoring the rotten luxury of our own misery, so long as we're not being hurtful to anyone else (even though we probably are hurting others by our attachment to our misery, but because we have become vainly focused on ourselves we fail to notice.)" --Brother Charles of minor friar in his post Immaculate Heart.

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself." --C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (I have come across this from Lewis several times before, but happened on it the other day at Homeless in America and it struck me anew, particularly this: You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.)

"When the dark shadow at the Gate withdrew Gandalf still sat motionless. But Pippin rose to his feet, as if a great weight had been lifted from him; and he stood listening to the horns, and it seemed to him that they would break his heart with joy. And never in after years could he hear a horn blown in the distance without tears starting in his eyes." --J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Saturday, July 2, 2011


The Friday before last was the opening reception for the annual juried exhibition at the Gallery, of which a drawing of mine was included. Of the few of these that I've been to, this one was the best thus far; not only regarding some of the pieces, but the general vibe was good. And people stuck around longer than last time.

My friend Bryan and I hung around for a bit and waited for the crowds to dissipate before taking pictures.

The following to be viewed to the music from Psycho:

I really liked the following drawing. I met the artist. As unassuming as his work.

My lips are sealed.

Freezing up for the camera.




Medium: B Pencil