Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice and a Merry Christmas!

Today is the first day of winter!  Sound excited?  Well sort least from here the days will slowly (agonizingly) begin to get longer and spring will be on the distant horizon to look forward to.  

OK, I don't really want winter to go away entirely, we all need a rest from spring/summer/fall chores, plus it is a great time to get work done here in the studio!  Besides, one gets really fired up during the winter, thinking about those wonderful things we have to look forward to...getting into the garden, or here, the prairie....being able to spend time outside in the warm sunshine.  These things are more precious when you have to wait for them I guess.

My studio time since I last blogged (sorry its been awhile) has been spent filling client orders, framing and painting commission work.  I have several paintings waiting on the back-burner here and hope I can get to them after Christmas has passed.

I did manage one feat of final fall work in the south pasture here about two weeks ago.  As some of you may know, the north pasture is a native remnant, and there are some native grasses in the south pasture but overall the south pasture has been degraded to the extreme by years of constant grazing.  

Georgie and I had been collecting seed from the north pasture this fall and the first week of December had our first winter storm front of "real" consequence coming in, so I seeded as much of the top of the south pasture slope as I had seed for.  We had burned this section late in November in anticipation of a fall seeding. We'll continue doing this each year until we have a good native stand of grasses and should look great eventually!

One great thing that happened this year on the prairies here down the valley was the Prairie Heritage Center was able to put together a Federal grant, and a REAP (Iowa) grant, to purchase the riparian and prairie area along the Little Sioux River in the valley below the center!  This was done with a great deal of help from various local organizations and the expertise of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.  But we still have loose financial ends to finalize the purchase and land exchange.  

Last year we sold a local calendar through the Prairie Heritage Center to raise funds towards this effort.  This year we are doing this again and the fun thing about the calendar is each month the PHC will draw names of calendar purchasers for prizes.  You'll be eligible for drawings 12 times throughout the year!  We're kicking off the first month with a $150.00 gift certificate toward any purchase here at the studio - drawings, paintings, prints or cards...whatever strikes your fancy!  Each month will be other great prizes too such as Tablets, Digital Cameras, Cabin stays, and more!

The calendar can be purchase for $50 by calling the Prairie Heritage Center at 712 295-2700.

Take advantage of this fun opportunity to support the new land purchase and not only have the reward of  neat new place to walk, fish, or hunt...but to support saving a wonderful piece of habitat and maybe get a prize on top of that!  Hey its Christmas after all!

Speaking of Christmas - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone out there!

See you next year!

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