Encouraging Wellness through Art and Mindfulness
This mural was created for the children's corner at Greenwood Furnace State Park's Visitor Center. In addition to the paintings, it includes interactive name tags for all Pennsylvania State symbols:
Eastern Hemlock - State Tree
Grouse - State Bird
Mountain Laurel - State Flower
White Tail Deer - State Animal
Trilobite - State Fossil
Firefly - State Insect
Rainbow Trout - State Fish
Hellbender - State Amphibian
To encourage child engagement, this display is interactive. It depicts symbiosis in nature, focusing on the white oak tree and the various wildlife that have relationships with this keystone species. Included in the piece are dogday cicadas, a swallowtail butterfly, tufted titmice, bolete mushrooms, redtail squirrels and mycelium. Each panel contains an original oil painting with a hinged door that gives additional information about the species and its relationship to the oak tree.
As a three dimensional extension of the mural, the Children's Center includes an interactive pond feature. It depicts various types of wildlife typically found near ponds and rivers in this part of Pennsylvania. Stephanie pored resin to encase the aquatic life, giving the display a more realistic feel.
Here's a mural close up image featuring the grouse, hemlock, mountain laurel and trilobites.
Here's another mural close up image that features the whitetail deer, firefly, rainbow trout and hellbender.
Blue Jay - Bernel Park
Oil on Canvas
The sky was overcast and filled with a light, fluffy snow. At first I thought I heard a hawk making a loud "keekaw". Looking towards the sound, I was surprised to see a majestic blue jay in flight.
Interesting Discovery: Blue Jays aren’t actually blue. In fact, the pigment in their feathers is brown. Scattering light in the structural parts of the feathers cau
Lucy Lederer Statue - Lederer Park
Oil on Canvas
While exploring the Park's numerous nooks and crannies, we stumbled upon a statue of Lucy Lederer. Someone had lovingly dressed her in a knitted scarf and hat. In my painting I chose to add some beautiful Chickadees surrounding her.
Lucy was a talented artist, teacher and philanthropist who donated nearly 22 acres of land to cr
Crocus - Walnut Spring Park
Oil on Canvas
In early march, peering through the leaf litter, I spied a lone crocus introducing itself to the world. A clear sign of hope and new beginnings.
The stigma from crocus flowers produce saffron. It's the most expensive spice to harvest. The crocus was brought over by immigrants from Europe. It is a non-invasive plant.
Mourning Doves - Fairbrook Park
Oil on Canvas
Waiting for friends to arrive at Fairbrook Park, I could hear the distant coo of mourning doves. I discovered the pair spending time together in an open field surrounded by early blooming violets.
Doves are one of the few species of birds that drink by sucking up their water instead of taking a bill full of water and letting it tri
Duck and Ducklings - Spring Creek
Oil on Canvas
On a bright sunny day in May we spotted a mallard duck and her ducklings.
Mallards have yellow or orange bills and legs to show off for the opposite sex. The bright colors suggest that a duck has been eating right and has a strong immune system, making them attractive mates.
Ladybugs and Mushrooms -Patton Woods
Oil on Canvas
In late June, after much rainfall a magical mushroom garden had sprouted near the walking path. Ladybugs and buttercups enhanced the remarkable landscape with bright red and yellow layers of color.
Interesting Discovery: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.
The Bog Turtle is Pennsylvania's smallest turtle, growing only 3 to 4.5 inches in length. Its most distinguishing feature is the large orange blotches on each side of the head. This turtle is federally listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Bog turtles depend upon an open, sunny, spring fed wetlands with scattered dry areas, and can be an indicator of water quality and wetland func
The historically hardy Pumpkin Ash is native to Pennsylvania and can grow to 80 feet and live more than 100 years. Ash trees are a major part of eastern forests and urban streets, providing yellow and purplish leaves to the bounty of fall colors. Their timber is used for making furniture and sports equipment like baseball bats and hockey sticks. This once considered hearty tree became threatened d
Blooming when about about 6 inches tall, the dwarf iris is the smallest native iris in Pennsylvania. Violet in color, this iris is very fragrant and grows primarily like ground cover. In flower during the spring, the dwarf iris can be found in dry, open pine forests throughout Pennsylvania (United States Forest Service, 2019).
How to Help:
Planting this native plant in your yard or garden is one wa
The Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton) is a handsome black butterfly checked with orange and white spots. Its common name honors the American colonist George Calvert, who was the first Lord of Baltimore and whose family crest bears the colors of black and gold. Forested and open wetlands and any moist fallow meadow can provide essential breeding and nectaring habitat for the species. Deer
The Short-Eared Owl received its name from its diminutive "ear" tufts. It is about the size of a crow, 13 to 17 inches high, and has a 38- to 44-inch wingspan. Atypical for owls, shorted-eared owls nest on the ground, sometimes in colonial groups. It remains on the state endangered species list given its small breeding population and limited distribution. In Pennsylvania, suitable nesting habitat
Yellow Lady's Slipper produces a large flower with a pale to dark yellow (and very rarely white) pouch-like labellum, which sometimes has reddish spots on the interior. Once established, lady slipper plants will propagate on their own and live for many years if left undisturbed. Because a picked lady slipper will not rejuvenate itself, and the plant has a less than 5% transplant success rate, they
The Phoenix Rises From the Ashes
April at Kripalu
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