Friday, July 13, 2012


Yesterday evening the sunset was a red one.  From the hill above town there’s usually a clear view from the Grand Tetons on the Idaho-Wyoming border to the east all the way to Diamond Peak in the Lost River Range to the west.  However, the wind has brought in smoke from wild fires on the eastern side of the state.  The Upper Snake River Valley is hazed in and the air has a burned taste.

Photo borrowed from the Idaho Statesman

According to area newspapers there are at least eleven blazes, mostly started by lightning, that are being fought in the dry, grassy areas along Interstate 84 between Twin Falls and Boise.  One fire jumped the four-lane highway and shut down traffic for several hours on Monday.  A steady 20 mph wind helped spread the fire to 15,000 acres and caused evacuations of homes and businesses.  Another fire covering over 190,000 acres of open range and sagebrush near an air force bombing range has been reported contained.

The low visibility from the smoke around here has not only messed up the view but we are being warned about the health effects from smoke inhalation. 

I’m reminded of a similar situation when I was picking up my grandson from school.  He came sprinting to the car and jumped in all wild-eyed.  He said the teacher had told him the air was dangerous to breathe.  He said it was a “Red Hair Alert” and since he had a head of copper colored hair he was extra worried.

Monday, July 9, 2012


"Passing Shadow"
The new crop of crow youngsters are noisy and busy.
I see them all over the neighborhood trying out their flying skills
and getting into trouble with the squirrels.

Since I like to paint what I know I used some of my photos of 
my feathered neighbors as references for my latest paintings.

"Morrigan's Companion"
Morrigan is a goddess of Irish mythology and her companion
is a crow.  A crow flying overhead could either cause fear
or courage in the hearts of warriors.  This painting is 
another one inspired by my crow, or corvus, neighbors.  I like
to watch them walk across our lawn searching for a breakfast
of crumbs from a picnic or an unfortunate bug.

For the Virtual Paintout I submitted one more sketch for Latvia
called, "The House at the Bend in the Road."  This month's 
subject for the paintout is Thailand.  I'm excited to 
do a virtual Google Maps tour of that place for inspiration.

Just a reminder.  You can see all the paintings I have for sale 
by clicking on the red "Watercolors by Leenie" icon in the 
upper left column of this blog.