Walking and Sketching in the Neighborhood

Fireplug and Flowers

Fireplug and Flowers

I see something that inspires me to draw every time I take a walk. On this sunny winter walk, neighbors were out tending to their gardens, and flowers were blooming in unexpected places, like surrounding the fireplug above on a busy street corner.

Cactus Trimming Day, Ink & watercolor

Cactus Trimming Day, Ink & watercolor

There’s a house a few blocks from mine where the front lawn was replaced long ago by a hundred different kinds of cacti and succulents. I wondered how they managed to keep the various spikey things trimmed and on this day I found out: carefully, with very thick gloves and shovels.

They’d trimmed their enormous Nopales (or Prickly Pear) cactus and piled up the “paddles” in this old wheelbarrow. As the husband and wife worked they acted like it was completely normal for me to be standing in front of their house for 15 minutes sketching their wheelbarrow. I’m not sure what they ended up doing with the pieces of cactus. As I finished sketching, the husband piled a few paddles on his shovel and walked off down the street with them.

Ready to party

Ready to party

Later I passed this cheery scene in someone’s driveway. I didn’t see anyone around, but the brightly colored chairs and containers of (?) on a tray looked awfully inviting.

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