Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pumpkins on a Bridge #melissaenderle, #autumn, #madison, #wisconsin, #Halloween, #Yaharariver #pumpkin

Pumpkins on a Bridge

Autumn is finally making its appearance, as evidenced by hints of changing leaves and these fellows on a Yahara River bridge. This bridge is a popular one along a bike path that leads to the state capitol. Perhaps one of the bikers decided their course needed a little holiday sprucing?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Steeple Workers

Early in the morning, the workers were already busy performing exterior cleaning and maintenance to a local church. Reaching the roof and steeple was a quick and easy process. I immediately was reminded of a scene I had seen in Kerala, India. 

This worker utilized ropes (likely coir ropes locally made from coconut fibers) and simple scaffolding to climb up and around in order to do some maintenance work. Keeping it simple, he donned a lungi and went barefoot. 
I'd have to say, the Kerala steepleworker made a much more interesting photo....

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Tending the Sheep by the Roman Ruins

Now with a story about the shepherd.
Like my father and grandfather, I traverse through these hilly lands near my hometown of T├ębeousouk with my sheep. This time of year it’s easier to find grass for my sheep to eat. The grove of olive trees near the Punic Mausoleum provides some extra shade against the sun. My sheep seem to favor this area as well; the cut stones, once part of Punic or Roman buildings dating around two millennia, now serve as climbing playgrounds. To my left are the embedded pavement stones of a road, leading to the Capitol building that still dominates the hill of the ancient Roman city. Although Dougga is a popular tourist attraction, the officials guarding this UNESCO World Heritage site have graciously allowed me and other shepherds to graze our herds through these historical lands.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sportin' a new haircut - Post "Bob Ruff"

via Instagram
Still a pup, Marly was fairly patient when getting the rest of his body buzzed, but not so with his face. My sister finally abandoned the process when she realized that the furball had enough. We're hoping to snip a few stray hairs here and there when Marly is in a chillin' mood. Anyone up for the challenge?
Marly prior to his haircut
He was getting to look like a famous artist. Bob Ruff, anyone?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sunshine at the Sunflower Farm

A friend and I were eager to visit the sunflowers at the Pope Conservancy Farm, located just a short distance from Madison. Upon entering the parking area, I was already impressed; the large swath of grassed land was trimmed and had white lines painted to show denote parking spaces. A traffic attendant directed people to available parking spots. Signs indicated where we were to proceed. A few sprinkles on the windshield, we grabbed our rain jackets – just in case. As we walked up the slight incline to the sunflower field, I noticed a weak patch of blue amidst the very overcast skies. Perhaps things will change, I thought....
Neatly clipped paths led us along the outer perimeter of the sunflower fields. Every so often, some short sections of the field were cleared so visitors could walk into the field just a bit and take photos. Some took photos of their family; others selfies, and still others focused on the sunflowers. The nearly 500,000 plants were just waiting to be photographed, their heads proudly facing the sun. As we were putzing around taking photos (it's nice to be along with a fellow artist; both are eager to explore and take photos, rather than being bored after a minute or two), I noticed that the sky became increasingly more blue.  

Soon, the clouds had dissipated, and the sun was free to cast its glow on the yellow petals. The nine acres of sunflowers made such a beautiful sight. What a great place for sneaking in a photo of myself!

Bees were busy flitting from sunflower to sunflower, whose heads were heavily laden with pollen and ripe with nectar. Zooming in gave opportunities for capturing other views.

The clipped paths led visitors along fields of corn, soybeans, and prairie. 

A few monarchs were spotted fluttering about, landing on various wildflowers.

What a great place to spend the morning with a friend!

When talking with some volunteers at the site, I learned that the Conservancy is a popular place for school trips. Students (grade 4 is a popular year, as this grade focuses on Wisconsin history) have many opportunities to learn about how Native Americans and early settlers used the land and the types of crops they raised. Some thematic gardens had informative signs and some artifacts were also present. I learned that the seeds from the dried plants are harvested in late November or early December. 
The Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy help the farmer (see farm in the distance) through the sale of sunflower seeds to the public. Interestingly, nearly a third of the crop will have already been eaten by birds prior to harvest – nearly 4,000 pounds of snitching! 

There still are a few more days left to Sunflower Days (Aug 12-20). If you're in the area, come and visit! Great for the whole family!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Reflected Pavilion, Olbrich

via Instagram
My newest artwork: Reflected Pavilion, Olbrich
Oil Pastel. Madison, WI

Instead of painting the pavilion itself, I focused on the imagery within the adjoining pool. If you haven't visited the Olbrich Gardens with its Thai pavilion (the only one in North America), you're missing out on a scenic, free botanical garden.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Marly napping with his toys #teddybeardog #melissaenderle #pet #dog

Marly napping with his toys #teddybeardog #melissaenderle #pet #dog

Sleeping with the Chicken

All that fetching and chasing after balls with weasels has tuckered out this furry pal. While I was drawing in my bedroom, I caught Marly napping with three of his "choix du jour" toys: Poulet the chicken (Marly was using it as a pillow), Squirrel, and Weasel (a furry tail-like creature attached to a motorized ball). 

Gotta be quick! Just moments after I snapped the first picture, Marly awoke and slumber party was over.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Statuary of the Wisconsin State Capitol

For those willing to walk up the winding stairway to the base of the domed area of the capitol building, some additional artistic creations await. As you circumnavigate the observation deck, you will notice four groups of statuary made from Bethel White Vermont granite.  Completed between 1911 and 1915, they were carved by American master sculptor, Karl Bitter. The sculptures are arranged in pyramidal groups of three, with the central figure standing on a raised base and about 12 feet high. On each side of are seated figures, each about 5 feet high. Each group are meant to symbolize characteristics of Wisconsin and its citizens.
Overlooking East Washington Avenue is the group representing Knowledge. The seated figures, representing the inherited knowledge base, conduct research in scrolls/books. The central figure, reminding me of Michelangelo's male sculptures, is depicted as one who contemplates the significance of the world. He builds upon his own studies with past historians who have recorded their observations and experiences. Religious faith and knowledge is also emphasized here, along with worldly insight.     

Overlooking Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is the group representing "Faith" - an aspect that Bitter saw as an important in the lives of Wisconsin citizens.  These female figures bow their heads in humility and obedience, revering a higher power and respecting the civil law. Love, charity, and strength are also exuded by this trio.
This group of figures, facing the northwest direction towards Washington Avenue, signifies Prosperity and Abundance. As the second group of all-females. they are shown with symbols such as an overflowing vase of fruit and cornucopias of plenty. The standing figure extends her hand as if to give to others. This sculptural set emphasizes the rich farmland of the state, along with industrial and natural resources. Such abundance benefits the citizens and its government.

Strength is what the trio facing the West Washington Avenue embodies. The central figure holds a shield and sword, signifying his readiness to defend his country. One of the seated figures is very muscular, conveying physical strength and endurance. The other figure, although also muscular, is blind, emphasizing that the service and defence requires more than just brute strength; it also requires insightful, knowledgeable individuals.

Resource: Wisconsin State Capitol Guide and History

Milkweed and the monarch #melissaenderle #butterfly #tenneypark #madison

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Caught in the Act

Having a puppy around, you never know what surprises you might find.
No need to look into Marly's mouth; the carnage around is reminder enough that chewing is one of Marly's favorite pastimes. (Fetching is #1). 

Needless to say, I had to do a little "surgery" on a few critters.