Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cicada Coffin Sketch


Cicada Coffin

I found this little guy in the middle of the trail. He looked perfectly preserved. I knew right away I needed to sketch him. He brings me much joy.

The serenade of the cicada, when heard for the first time of the year, brings a smile from ear to ear. It represents more than just a mating call. It means summer. It means humid days, warm sunsets, and taking things a little bit slower.

When I hear that song, it lovingly reminds me of every summer gone by. So to walk past his corps and not make him eternal would just be thankless on my part.


Now he lives on forever in my sketchbook. I will release his body back to nature. Thank you cicada.

Paint and pray without ceasing,


Blessings and Fears at Bullfrog Lake


Clouds are rolling in from the northwest.
Diffused sunlight still sparkles and dances on top of Bullfrog Lake, despite all of the clouds.

It is a pleasant and cool breeze which brushes up against my skin and refreshes me. The same breeze that plays music in between the leaves on top of the trees.
And maybe still, it is the same breeze which triggers a deep contemplation…

So I ask the question… No, I actually write the question in my pocket notebook…

“What do you want me to see, Lord?”

Just then, the most menacing, gigantic thing (3 inches), which looks like it could take me out, lands on my arm and walks around. Lands on my ARM. God has humor.


I’m scared. It’s bigger than cute fuzzy moth from the other day, really mean looking and powerful, so I have to ask, “Lord, do you want me to pass out right here?”

Then I remember a verse that has been on my mind lately…
” Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thes 5:18

Okay, I am thankful for Your creature. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know what its purpose is and that’s fine, I don’t need to have answers right now, I rest in knowing You do know every. breathing. thing’s purpose.

Funny…I am no longer scared.

It jumps off my arm, onto my sketch, and then flies away.

The breeze continues to blow. Blades of grass wiggle all around me. I am filled with glee. I take a deep breath and fill my lungs with blessings. My heart sings and I am content.

Paint and pray without ceasing,

(UPDATE: Insect is a wasp, Cicada Killer Wasp, Sphecius speciosus. Kills cicadas, not humans.)


Fuzzy White Moth Watercolor aka Virginia Tiger Moth


Upon arriving to work in the morning, I was introduced to this very lovely creature…so white, so delicate, so foreign to any kind of moth I’ve seen before. It was our first meet. Who introduced us? God did when I heard, “look down”, as I was running late. Do you think that is crazy talk? Nah…. It just may be more crazy not to. Or more lonely, I don’t know.

This is the Virginia Tiger Moth, Spilosoma virginica. My watercolor doesn’t do it justice, and that’s okay it’s not all about me, but rather the spotlight is always on nature, so I’ve included the actual photo below. Male Virginia Tiger Moths have feather antennae which can pick up one single pheromone molecule  from a female. A pheromone is a chemical emitted to attract. Some perfumes today claim to contain pheromones to have the same effect….I’ve read it doesn’t work…but in nature it really does. Anyway, since my photo doesn’t show large feather antennae, I’m guessing this is a female, the pheromone emitter.


Isn’t she lovely? She was on a pane of glass low to the ground. This moth was about 1.5″. She didn’t stick around. In a few short minutes she was gone.

I am grateful to have met her.