This is what our back patio looked like three snowstorms ago.:
Since then the snow has gotten deeper and icier and depressinger and I didn’t feel like taking pictures of it. It’s really ugly out there. 50% of the human residents in my house have no desire to venture out of doors EVER. The other 50% is Top Cat, who had to clear a mountain of icy snow from the driveway with an axe.
The only tracks you’ll see in my backyard are made by little birdie feet.
We are dumping great quantities of bird seed out there to help the cardinals and chickadees etc make it through this horrible Winter.
In spite of all this misery I knew that I would make it to Groundhog Day with my sanity in tact because, come Groundhog Day, I was going to be in KEY WEST.
Ah, Key West. What do I like the most about Key West?
It might be the organic cocktail glasses:
Maybe it’s the local “color”:
Hey, look! I said to Top Cat, Majorelle Bleu! (At the time I thought it was exactly the color of the house in the Jardin Majorelle that I went to see in Marrakech.)
I think I’ll take A picture! I said to Top Cat.
The cat had other ideas:
Yeah, the cats of Key West are in a class all their own.
But mostly, I like Key West because of the Australian Pines on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor.
You see, I had business to do in Key West; I had to get in touch with the wonderful people who won the right to preserve this delightful grove of shade trees, against some civic and governmental hysteria over invasive species.
Long story short, I am in love with this grove of trees and I’m writing about it in my Damn Garden Book. The Save Our Pines people and I had a lovely conversation about the issue and I now feel well-informed enough about the whole controversy and history of this beach to do it justice in the DGB.
And, having refreshed my memory about the delicate and wonderful presence of these pines, I had to go home and re-do an almost 2-year old illustration I had made when I first wrote about this place:
P.S. This is another illustration of Australian Pines that I did about a year ago…but this grove is not in Florida:
It’s not even in this century.
But this is all that I am contractually permitted to discuss about the DGB.
I also decided that I had to do something about this:
This is another Key West illustration that I did a while back. The shadows from the railing are a problem. Those shadows look as if they came from a different picture. Or a different time of day. They certainly don’t belong here. Also, I painted this a little too honestly — from a photo of a porch of the guest house Top Cat and I rented the last time we were in Key West that included an orange cat that was ignoring me while I took the snapshot. I think it would be a better illustration if the cat weren’t cleaning itself because I’m not sure that, as is, that blob of orange makes sense. And yeah, the cat’s shadow is all wrong too.
I must make corrections. So far, the picture looks like this:
I mixed those grey colors from scratch: a little brown, a little blue, a smidge of white. The challenge will be to get that recipe right again when I collage the right railing (and cat) back into this illustration.
And on this pic…
…I have to do something about that nasty-looking tree in the right foreground.
This is why it’s been taking me years to get this Damn Garden Book done.
But not today! It’s Friday! Time to make a Mai Tai and take a mental vacation back to Key West!
P.S. This is my backyard:
It’s going to take a lot of Mai Tais.