Signs of Spring

Spring has sprung in Minnesota. We are sitting through a snowstorm at the moment on Easter Sunday, which is typical Minnesota. Warm on one day, a snow storm the next! You never know what to expect….

I have a few sketches to share, done on nicer weather days. There is a park near my house that has some prairie restoration areas which include woods and marsh areas. I have enjoyed sitting there a few times and just observing the birds and listening to the frogs peeping. I sketched a pair of mallards there a few days ago. They were hanging out in a muddy area and the male was preening himself. I also recorded some birds I saw there and at a nature center yesterday.

ducks

A sure sign of spring is when you see the fire hydrants being flushed. I was hanging out at home and heard a noise out my window, so I peeked out to see water spewing out of the back of a truck and a worker in a neon yellow vest standing nearby. He had attached a fire hose to the hydrant and run it through a pump in his truck, thus the geyser spilling out onto the street. Since I don’t have much other excitement going on at home, I quickly grabbed my pen, sketchbook, and paints, knowing the moment wouldn’t last long. I quickly sketched the man, truck, and water, which was puddling in the street. Excited neighborhood children rode their bikes up and jumped around puddles. I sketched rapidly, trying to get in the main elements. The kids rode off before I could get them in the sketch!

hydrant

Finally, yesterday was a nice day, close to 60 degrees. I sat outside to sketch a few plants coming up along my sidewalk. While doing that, I noticed the 3 neighbor boys down the street, who are in elementary school. They had piled some large cardboard boxes on top of their red wagon and where attempting to pull one another on their bike. I watched their antics for awhile, as they pulled one another inside the box in the wagon, both on the bike and with their hands. By their laughter and shrill screams, it looked like a recipe for a trip to the ER. But they prevailed, and as the youngest one sat on a flattened box and waved the flaps up and down like wings while his brother pulled him wildly down the street, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. I love that kids were playing with cardboard boxes and a wagon and bikes, instead of inside playing video games. That’s how childhood should be. Eventually, a parent intervened, and they abandoned these toys for something else.spring

The same plants I sketched yesterday in the sunshine, are now buried in snow. That’s spring in Minnesota!

snow

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