Happy Earth Day!

To celebrate Earth Day, I’m recycling this post (originally from last June)

It’s a beautiful day. Go outside and hug a tree!



Have you ever looked at one of those massive, towering Douglas firs or western red cedars—the kind with roots that grip the forest floor like giant toes and crowns that disappear high in the sky—and wondered to yourself…what stories could this tree tell?

(A forest sketch I did while pondering my novel “The Hollow Cedar“)


Vulnerable new life

Every tree has its own story to tell. A new seedling faces a thousand dangers every day in the wild, unpredictable forest.

A Douglas fir seedling and beetle I painted for a signage project at Federation Forest.


The few who make it

The true forest giants—the ones that live for hundreds of years—have something to tell us about success in life…about being a survivor, and about beauty and strength in old age.

Six hundred years later, the seedling and its neighbors tower over a bull elk.


It all fits together

Life in a mature forest seems to go on forever, with layer upon layer of living beings—from the teeming soil to the bustling canopy. Some life-forms are tiny, ephemeral, nearly invisible. Others seem impossibly big. It’s a study in contrasts.


Where do we fit in?

I may be biased, but the forests of the Pacific Northwest are the most beautiful, fascinating places on earth. In any season, they are enjoyable—but when I’m in an old-growth forest on a bright summer day, I want to grow roots, sink them deep into the forest floor, and stay there forever.

A snippet of a working sketch for “The Hollow Cedar“.


What are you doing to celebrate the Earth today?

6 thoughts on “Happy Earth Day!

    • Thanks, Katherine! I paint both outdoors and in the studio. Working outside is more fun, but getting a good result is trickier…there are so many things to deal with like wind, rain, being uncomfortable, and the worst…no bathroom!. It’s best when I free myself from expectations and just go with the fun of it. That often leads to better art, too, in the long run.

  1. Iam looking across the street where a large capomo tree stands. Before the Mayans had corn they used the nuts from these trees …ground them up and baked them.

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