Thursday, June 25, 2020

Quiet Summer in Florida

Outdoor sketching in the summer here in Florida is touch and go.  Many days in late June the predicted high is close to 100 degrees and that's the real temp.  The humidity is stunning!  

So I head out by 8:30 if possible and close up by 11.  
This week we had 5 of us out sketching around Pete's yard (which is next door to my house!  (How convenient is that!).  

Just barely behind Pete's striped awning you can see a tall strange plant (called an Agave) that is in my yard and is now about 15' tall.  Much taller than the house now and it's blooming (even as I speak) odd yellow spiked flowerets are popping out up there.  Two days ago there was no color.  What an amazing Dr Seuss plant!  

The stalk looked like an asparagus on steroids for awhile..growing 6" a day for two weeks until it sprouted out what look like a hat tree at the top.  Then the pods and now the flowers.  

So on Tuesday morning the group scattered around about Pete and Katie's lovely yard sketching.  Keeping our social distance but chatting now and then.  Listening to the splashing fountains and sipping iced drinks.  

This being our first summer here (even though we've lived here for 13 years!) we find the flowers that have bloomed all through the park to be fascinating and new...things we've never seen before. 

The languid way that life evolves in the new...even if it were not a pandemic...things start moving so slowly.  Like moving through a thick liquid.   The clubs and and activities are always really limited in summer.  But they used to have shuffleboard and bingo and the art room would be open and exercise groups and day trips planned for lunches out.  You know.

This year there is nothing that involves a group except the pool.  Statistics show the virus on the uptake again in FL and no one wants to take a chance.  People get together on screen porches 6' apart to have cool drinks in the evening and chat.

 I love curling up in the late afternoon to read and keep tabs on the beautiful clouds that move in and often bring brief and hard rain.

Yesterday a small (4') alligator climbed out of our pond in our yard to have a bit of sun.  YIKES.  

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Only More So

A small collection of thoughts describing one day where I slipped through "a-day-in-the-corona virus-life".
(note Greg and I are trying to fix our weather radio which has not been working correctly.) This seems important as we are now in the hurricane season.  

The Leesburg "En Plein Air" groupies met  on May 28th in downtown Leesburg to sketching "about the town" doing more urban sketches.  I slipped into a tiny little garden across from the library where there were 3 bubbling fountains and a nice old house that had been restored for Beacon College to use as their Ad Building.  So quiet there.  I experimented with some mixed media on this one: crayons, wc pencils, ink, wc.  

After sketching the group met at the local coffee house (otherwise deserted except for us and two young boys who were serving us.)  We were able to spread out "fairly well" to social distance.  My first time in a group for months. You start to feel "shaky" when you get into groups.  

We laid our sketches out on the table.  

Three of us at Hawthorne Park met down by the Fruit and Veggie Truck last Tuesday morning.  We got lucky with the weather as it was sunny but with a breeze and not too hot.  

The events of this week with protests about police violence and racial inequity have compounded the angst and frustration we already have been feeling as we watch over 100,000 people die in our country of a virus that haunts our world.  In between these monumental and cataclysmic international events, our normally strange and amazing  lives try to continue.  But we know we are all changed now.  Life will never be the same as before...

Babies keep getting born, people get sick, people are lonely or are afraid, people show enormous kindness and love, people have anxious and frightening problems, we make good and bad choices, we are happy, sad, lonely, amazed, and anxious.  Living in electric- like snippets of time just like before all this happened...only more so.