Hiking Hand in Hand

8″x10″These girls are so strong, and so sweet. I loved that they were hiking holding hands on the amount Massive Trail. However, if I were to be completely honest, I painted this because their shadows look like little yetis, and the shape delighted me.

Occasion for Hope

10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper”The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” -John Buchan

A Day at Turquoise Lake

10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper, Plein AirLeadville, Colorado- 10,200′Today was a fine day for fishing, or canoeing, or paddle boarding, or sailing, or hiking, or picnicking, or painting! Or just enjoying the view!

Sunset, Bandera Texas 5:54pm

8″x8″ oil on canvas panel

We have made an annual camping trip to Bandera, TX the second weekend in January for the last dozen years. My trail running/backpacking husband says there is no such thing as bad weather, only improper gear.

Those funny little plus marks under the cloud are ICE! Perhaps there is such this as bad weather.
My sons are running the 25k trail run…AND I can’t bear the idea of them finishing tired, alone, and cold. So I am becoming a plein air painter that has dealt with some pretty tough painting conditions. Anyone know where to buy a paint brush with a heated handle?



I managed to paint only one of the many cairns on this beach. This is the first beach on the Kalalau trail, it is very rocky and the surf is rough…so the rocks are wonderfully smooth. Previous hikers have stacked many, many rock cairns on this beach. If you are a hiker you know that a stack of rocks on a trail is called a cairn, and it symbolizes that you are to head that direction on a trail. To find many of them together, is not only impressive, given a tremendous surf, but inspiring and encouraging.

Campsite in Paradise

That little tiny yellow green triangle is a tent. The thin white lines are a waterfall. It is facing one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – but you have to earn the view…getting there requires crossing several mountains and valleys on foot. This is perhaps the tiniest painting I have ever done, it is 3″x 2″ and the paint set is about the size of a pink pearl eraser (we were backpacking).

Wading Into The Last Light



Splendor of ended day floating and filling me,
Hour prophetic, hour resuming the past,
Inflating my throat, you divine average,
You earth and life till the last ray gleams I sing.

Open mouth of my soul uttering gladness,
Eyes of my soul seeing perfection,
Natural life of me faithfully praising things,
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.

Illustrious every one!
Illustrious what we name space, sphere of unnumber'd spirits,
Illustrious the mystery of motion in all beings, even the tiniest insect,
Illustrious the attribute of speech, the senses, the body,
Illustrious the passing light–illustrious the pale reflection on
the new moon in the western sky,
Illustrious whatever I see or hear or touch, to the last.

Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
In the superb vistas of death.

Wonderful to depart!
Wonderful to be here!
The heart, to jet the all-alike and innocent blood!
To breathe the air, how delicious!
To speak–to walk–to seize something by the hand!
To prepare for sleep, for bed, to look on my rose-color'd flesh!
To be conscious of my body, so satisfied, so large!
To be this incredible God I am!
To have gone forth among other Gods, these men and women I love.

Wonderful how I celebrate you and myself
How my thoughts play subtly at the spectacles around!
How the clouds pass silently overhead!
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun, moon, stars, dart on and on!
How the water sports and sings! (surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up, with strong trunks, with branches
and leaves!
(Surely there is something more in each of the trees, some living soul.)

O amazement of things–even the least particle!
O spirituality of things!
O strain musical flowing through ages and continents, now reaching
me and America!
I take your strong chords, intersperse them, and cheerfully pass
them forward.

I too carol the sun, usher'd or at noon, or as now, setting,
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth and of all the
growths of the earth,
I too have felt the resistless call of myself.

As I steam'd down the Mississippi,
As I wander'd over the prairies,
As I have lived, as I have look'd through my windows my eyes,
As I went forth in the morning, as I beheld the light breaking in the east,
As I bathed on the beach of the Eastern Sea, and again on the beach
of the Western Sea,
As I roam'd the streets of inland Chicago, whatever streets I have roam'd,
Or cities or silent woods, or even amid the sights of war,
Wherever I have been I have charged myself with contentment and triumph.

I sing to the last the equalities modern or old,
I sing the endless finales of things,
I say Nature continues, glory continues,
I praise with electric voice,
For I do not see one imperfection in the universe,
And I do not see one cause or result lamentable at last in the universe.

O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated adoration.

"Song at Sunset"
By Walt Whitman

Confection Perfection

I spent my weekend playing in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. My husband ran a 100 mile trail race through the woods called the Arkansas Traveler 100. The thermometer never dipped above 42 degrees, and it rained, or poured almost all weekend. He had a great race, and we, a great time, in spite of the weather. Around midnight we stopped at an aid station to wait for Matthew, and we were invited to warm ourselves by this fire. It was seriously the best campfire I have ever seen, these campers had been tending it for 3 days, so the rain did not dampen its lively spirits. The glowing coals were probably 8 feet in diameter, and they had s’mores!

Many thanks to the strangers in the woods who offered us hospitality. Here are some poems for the rest of you to enjoy.

Toasting Marshmallows
I am a careful marshmallow toaster,
a patient marshmallow roaster,
turning my stick oh-so-slowly,
taking my time, checking often.
This is art—
a time of serious reflection
as my pillowed confection
slowly reaches golden perfection.

My brother
grabs ‘em with grubby hands
shoves ‘em on the stick
burns ‘em to a crisp
cools ‘em off
flicks soot
eats quick.

I’m still turning my stick.
He’s already eaten six.

By Gregory K.

The campfire burns. It’s 9:08.
I feel so good cuz I just ate
Two graham crackers, and chocolate, too,
With marshmallow turned to warm, white goo.
A treat indeed, a dripping mess.
A touch of melty joy — oh yes!
It’s bedtime soon, but I’m not done.
I simply cannot stop at one.
Because, you see, it takes three s’mores
To make a night of happy s’nores.

“Let’s Go Dutch”


Fall is the reason to live in Texas. We spent a wonderful weekend camping, and much to our delight we stumbled on the Dogwood chapter of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society. These chefs had amazing Dutch oven set-ups, and were making the most delicious smelling food. I received a crash course in Dutch oven cooking, and an invitation to join them for lunch! Camp food never tasted so good. For more information visit the Dogwood Dutch Oven Society

If you are a Dutch oven chef, I would love to hear about your favorite recipe.