The Wildflower Calendar

Chicory blue and creamy Queen Anne's lace give way to the hot happy yellows: first the Mullein, then state flower Tickseed Sunflower. But it's the first young tendrils of Goldenrod that cause my heart to pause- September and back-to-school is nigh. It's bitter-sweet, this moment, every year.

To Stand Under

How do we learn to live with people who aren't like us? Mahzarin Benaji researches unconscious bias at Harvard. She discussed her fascinating and important research  this week on the podcast On Being. Dr. Benaji uses the word "implicit" instead of “unconscious,” because of "the implication that the unconscious is this incredibly motivated, smart process that is constantly trying to do things …

Cherry Blossom Joy!

I try to get out and paint plein-aire from the Yoshino cherries during their brief and glorious blooming. It's always unpredictable! This year it seemed imminent, then a cold front delayed their progress, then BAM! an explosion of flowers. When I first came to Washington, I expected something gaudier. I was amazed by the subtle …

Even the Desert Blooms

The March Equinox Arrives At this moment of Equinox (latin 'equal night'), the Northern Hemisphere crosses out of winter. Preparations for Passover and Easter are underway. Dormant buds are preparing, or indeed bursting, into bloom. I'm poised for my annual cherry blossom painting frenzy. The ospreys returned last Thursday, immediately busying themselves with nest-building. All living …

How to “Not-go” to that Dark Place

“You have to not-turn to anger, not-turn to resentment.” That advice comes from a man who spent 26 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, to kids who find themselves entangled in the juvenile justice system. He's helping them know themselves through writing, and to learn to manage their chaotic lives and hopefully survive the system. Stay I was …