Fistful of Summer Flowers
Magic in Nature, Photography

Wildflower Vagabond

Most people don’t need to be told to Go Play Outside as much as they can in the height of summer. My pre-teen son, maybe, when he’s eyebrow-deep in videogames and YouTubes of other people playing videogames. But otherwise, we all know July is a playground, don’t we?

Example: When you find yourself free for half an hour while your kid is in drum lessons (in person again, thank God and Goddess), walk up the hill so steep you have to zig-zag in switchbacks to spare your ankles.

Find an intriguing path through unfamiliar woods.

Follow the path as it loops around a park, empty but for an ancient swing set, made of wood and rusty metal, replete with one broken swing.

Count four varieties of butterflies. Pause at mossy trees, like twisted skeleton hands, among the riot of green life. Get scolded by a blue jay. Startle from an animal crashing through the woods, across your path and into the bushes on the other side, so suddenly and loudly that for a moment you aren’t sure what it was. A dog, surely, as you are surrounded by neighborhood and farmland. But those woods, that whip of a tail, that speed….

It was a dog, chasing a rabbit. Must have been a dog.

Stumble across daisies. Dare to pick a few, hoping no one in the neighborhood that is not yours will notice, or mind.

Find a complicated purple flower bubbling up on fountains of green leaves. Learn by a Google Lens search that this has the romantic name of “crown vetch”.

Wonder what a vetch is, and whether it’s some sort of curse or blessing.

More daisies, glorious daisies, all the daisies you could dream of picking. No neighbor would scold you for collecting them, for no handful could be missed in this vast galaxy of white and yellow stars.

With your fist gripping your bounty, recall that summer, and wildflowers, are free.

All the best,

Ella Arrow Author
Photography

Schoolhouse Rocks

The rocks at Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island, Wisconsin, are so smooth they feel almost soft. The unique silky texture makes the rocks precious; you’d get a $200 fine for removing one! On a chilly day, visitors built rock stacks with these smooth, flat stones well-loved by the waves, instead of swimming. This stack was ours.

I worked hard in post to get separation of color in the individual rocks. Plus doesn’t that swirl of cloud at the top look a bit like an eye? Look out for the VFD.

Visit my store at society6.com/ellaarrow to find art prints, canvases, and other cool stuff made from my art.

All the best,

Ella Arrow Author
Magic in Nature, Photography

Oak Tree Canopy

Oak tree paths twist and turn above our heads, on a walk in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

My son and I got up a plan to walk the whole town, since we were doing a couple blocks every day with the dog, and we’d walked every block near our house so many times it was boring. I searched online for a detailed map, printed it on several pieces of paper, taped them together and posted them on my bulletin board. When we walk somewhere new, we mark it with a highlighter. My son especially likes the mapping part of it. This means we may need to drive to our starting point, whether a couple blocks or a mile, and then walk our dog together on a few new blocks. It’s still houses and sidewalks, woods and lawns and driveways, but there is novelty in it, and in a lockdown, your brain needs novelty to keep alert and break the unbearable sameness of the day-to-day.

We have not completed our goal of walking every street in our small city, which only covers about 4 square miles, because some days we just go around the block to get the dog (and us) quick exercise without fuss. But whenever we do, we discover something new. Stoughton has a great number of Victorian houses, for instance, and the architectural details never bore me. Plus we observe chicken coops and gardens and all sorts of unique choices. One block had no less than three large houses painted a very similar pink of the “dusty rose” variety. The vast canopy of an oak tree was one of those finds.

Visit my store at society6.com/ellaarrow to find art prints, canvases, and other cool stuff made from my art.


All the best,

Ella Arrow Author

Fairy Tale, Photography, Tiny Stories

Snow Apples

It was the snow that made the apples irresistible. The icy glaze obscured any hint of discoloring poison, and heightened the longing for the last sweets before true winter gripped the forest. Now a sprinkle of magic to make the crabapples grow. There. Three of them in an old woman’s basket. White as her skin, red as her lips indeed. The girl would never suspect a gift so perfect, so like her fable.

Visit my store at society6.com/ellaarrow to find art prints, canvases, and other cool stuff made from my art.

All the best,

Ella Arrow Author

Photography, Tiny Stories

One Thing Clear

The spider watched the fog catching in her web, each bright bead another dying breath of the misty September morning. Frankly, she preferred dragonflies, but at least it made one thing clear: sometimes you cannot admire your creation until you stop working.

Visit my store at society6.com/ellaarrow to find art prints, canvases, and other cool stuff made from my art.

All the best,

Ella Arrow Author