After a very wet week to end June, the beginning of July has turned out to be beautiful. As I sit here typing early on a Monday morning, the sky is brilliant cerulean blue. During these blissful summer days, there is plenty to do around the yard, which I appreciate. I need my breaks from painting.
The front and backyards both need trimming at least once a week. The weed wacker also comes out at least once a week. I also walk down the block and cut the grass of some neighbours who are stuck out of country because of Covid-19. Knowing they couldn't get home, I reached out and offered to keep their yard trim. Selfishly, I really enjoy it.
An almost daily task is to feed the small birds who have become familiar friends with a steady supply of food. Sparrows and chickadees with the odd American yellow finch are often queued up waiting to get their turn on the bird feeder.
Heather takes care of the abundant flower gardens in the front, back and side of the house. She is also on a mission to eradicate the noxious bellflower weed that is super invasive.
The deer are still around, though they don't come in the yard as much. Coco's yard is much harder to access with the gate being closed most of the time now. Our friend Rob built a ramp down from the deck to make it easier for Coco to come and go from the house. As we were finishing dinner last night, one doe gingerly walked up our sidewalk next to the studio and up the small hill to the big hill in the back. Heather deer repellent measures seem to be doing the trick, as they only seem to pass through now.
The squirrels are around throughout the day. I'm of the mind that they like to temp Coco and enjoy the chases that ensue at least a couple of times an hour. I noticed this morning that they like to scour the ground for bird seed bits that have fallen from the bird feeder. In that way, they are actually being useful. They also are a built in exercise program for Coco.
We have a family of robins that have taken over our front deck. Mom and Dad come and go throughout the day as four chicks grow and grovel in the nest built on top of our welcome light. Things become very noisy if someone comes up the front step unaware of the nest.
Rounding out our wildlife mix is a hare that shows up from time to time. This fellow was at the end of our driveway last night. He/she also loves to hang out in the mulch near the front steps.
Through all of this I continue to paint, pursuing creative instincts and working on commissions. Business is slower during the warmer months, but I do my best to keep moving forward and preparing for the crazy fall and winter months. I am mentally at my best when I am able to complete, or almost complete, a painting a day. There were 30 days in June. Twenty-one new paintings were done. In May, with its 31 days, twenty-three new works were completed.
We participated in our first Okotoks Elks Farmers Market on Saturday. It will happen weekly through the summer and into the first few weekends in September. We will be there for most of them, an exception being the one weekend that we head south for a family reunion. It is a great venue to share our work with the community and hopefully make a few sales. As it is happening just around the corner from our house, we get to make several walking trips to load in and load out. That helps us get our steps in. We try to shoot for 10,000 a day.