Gene & Betty Buckles Programming Center

Gene & Betty Buckles Programming Center
This is the place the art studio is located

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yellows and Purples compliment...

Aster and Pink Edged Sulphur
Common Yellow Throat

Asters are the food source this week. Every plant had hungry insects on them. From Bees to this Pink- edged Sulphur Butterfly like this one. I also saw this little guy out on the trail. This I believe is a male Common Yellow Throat warbler, he with his yellow breast was well camouflaged amongst all the  fall  yellowed plants on the trail . He was hard to spot until he gave himself away with his quick deliberate movements in the low thick cover. He was fun to watch. I coaxed him closer by forcing air between my clenched teeth so I could get a closer photo of him.

So Lots of Yellows and Purples this week see you out there on the trail...

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Yes I'm back on the trail this week and it's fall at the Hartman Reserve. Lots of color and changes going on . Most summer flowers are no longer in bloom and have went to seed . The fall flowers now reign with  fragrance  so as to attract the insects that pollinate them. This week fall made it's presence but the colors aren't at there peak yet. So I plan on getting out on the trail and enjoying even more of these colorful scenes.

A reminder, I will be having an exhibit of my work at the
UNI book store November 1 and the original for Hartman will be on display.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


24 x 12

Here is the original for the Hartman Reserve. This painting will be auctioned off at their fund raiser November 4th.  I haven't been on the trail lately because I have been working on this painting. I choose to have several subjects to try and show some of what you can see and experience at the Hartman Reserve.

I do plan on returning to the trail to see the  Hartman Reserve in it's fall colors.  See you on the trail!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Royal Catchfly (Silene Regia)

This flower which is in decline among our prairies is Royal
Catch fly. It's stem and pedals are sticky, small insects will stick to
them.    Some butterflies can detect red, and the Catchfly is designed to favor the Butterfly as the pollinator.

    The nectar of the flowers attract the larger butterflies such as Black Swallow Tail and also the Rubbythroated  Humming Bird.
 The Crimson Red of this flower really stood out against all  the green foliage out  on the trail.

Also  I came across this very conspicuous wooded plant .  With it's  cluster of red berries. This, I believe is the Red Bane Berry. I read that the berries are poisonous.

So this week out on the trail it was about Reds...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

More than just birds .......

TBM Avenger 3E
There were more than just birds and butterflies flying around over the trail this week.  This TBM Avenger flew right over me and I definitely heard it before I saw it.  The engine made a very distinct sound. This,  the heaviest single engine Torpedo Bomber of World War 2 came into view. What a sight to see!  This plane was used at the battle of Midway. 
Giant Swallow Tail

 Back to the trail. Thistle was the food source this week. Every group of plants I came to had butterflies on them. I got real close to this Giant as it feed. They are the largest of the Swallow tails, hence the name Giant Swallow Tail. I also saw the two color phases of the Tiger Swallow Tail.  Notice the  faint stripes of the dark phase on the inside wing, below the beautiful Tiger Swallow Tail ( Light Phase).

There are two phases of the Tiger Swallow Tail here is the dark.  This is the first time I have been able to witness the two phases in the field. 
Tiger  Swallow Tail ( dark phase)

Tiger Swallow Tail

 So it goes to never know what you are going to see on the trail!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What have we here...

Grass Spider

 While walking the trails this week I saw this interesting fellow on the Kay Romanin Bridge.  It looked rather large and I estimated very carefully that it wouldn't have fit in the  palm of my hand. I believe this is a Grass spider.

Male Pileated

Here is a sketch of a Male Pileated.
Being out on the trail I haven't herd or seen them yet. I have seen possible cavity nest sites but their young are most likely fledged by now. I will  be out there on the trails and keeping my eyes open for  a glance at the magnificent bird.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meow meow


I heard the familiar call of the Cat bird out on the trail.
It seemed to be curios of my presence .
I  like the  rust color under tail covert feathers, other wise the Cat bird is a mostly gray bird.

I watched this bird for  fifteen minutes . It seemed to want to hang there with me and call at me . It wasn't afraid at all curious....


 This is a thumbnail sketch of a possible painting for the final piece . Last December I watched the male wood pecker
  on downed old dead trees,  looking for insect larvae maybe.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

On the way to the lake...Butterfly photos

Tiger Swallow Tail

On the way to explore the lake I came across several different Butterflies. Some will hold still, some zoom off. These are the Butterflies that didn't zoom off on me. It is fun to be out and hunt for Butterflies. I try and find a food source and slowly walk up and take Photos . They are super sensitive to movement , so you have to move very slowly and be patient and take your time. The food for this Nice Tiger Swallowtail  of course was the Wild Bergmont.
Gray Comma

This Comma was rather beat up , but the light through his wings was cool to see and he held so I could  get a shot .
Red Spotted Purple

The Red Spotted Purple wasn't camera shy at all,  I think it new he was looking good and wanted it's photo taken. This is one of my favorites the Red Spotted Purple.
Great Spangled Fritillary

 This beautiful Great Spangled Fritillary below left was a good get for me. I haven't seen many of these , and a nice add to my butterfly photo collection.

 Here are the studies I did from the lake on the reserve. This Bull Frog sat very still in the water, he had an hungry eye on a Dragonfly that was trying to land on his head. The lakes edge was buzzing with Dragonfly wings . This study was of a Twelve Spotted Skimmer.

Bull Frog

Twelve Spotted Skimmer

 This final study this week is the Great Spangled Fritillary.
The weather is going to get cooler this coming week and I'm looking forward to hitting the trail to see what will be  my next inspiration,  just a study or a full blown painting...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Insects of the Week

Whitetail Dragonfly
  This week there were some interesting insects that I saw on the trail.  Upper right is a white tail dragon fly. At the  lower left these are studies of Scarab, I believe.

Popillia Japonica ( Scarab)
I don't know much about these beetle type insects even if I have ID them correctly , if some one can fill me in I would love some information about them. They were mostly a metallic green in color.
I caught this monarch in mid flight. The Hartman Reserve has all kinds of Butterflies. I will be posting  more species.

This study is of a Damselfly. Their wings are an exact duplicate of the other not like a Dragonfly 's wings which are different from each other

blue bird in a cavity nest

Here is the female  Bluebird at her natural cavity ,she was bringing food to her young. The Male Bluebird is close by he was a little camera shy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Field studies

Doug decided he wanted to get involved with writing on the blog, so the following comments are made by him in regards to him week...

This week I spent my time painting on the studies I drew out on the trail.
Day Lily study

This flower was off the trail a bit. I liked the shape and warm colors against the cool shade.
Tall bell flower

This flower I found at the Prairie on the Hartman Reserve it stood about 4 feet tall, hence the name Tall bell flower.

I believe these little  curious squirrel is a Eastern Red Squirrel .  They are about half the size of a Fox Squirrel.

Now these orange berries I have not identified yet, maybe you can help me. It was a high bush with green rounded leafs . The sun was back lighting them, that was why I was attracted to them and I also wanted to identify them so I did a quick study . I am still looking to ID them.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Walking the Trails-Week 1

This week was spent setting up the studio and walking the trails.  Doug spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday getting to know the reserve.  
Included below are some shots that he took this week.

Wild Bergamot
Black-eyed Susan

There were several stories that he shared that were pretty interesting.
Tall Bell Flower

As he walked the trail he noticed a bluebird cavity nest that was up in a tree.  We have so many bluebird boxes located everywhere in Iowa, it is pretty exciting to find an actual natural cavity where a bluebird family is nesting.  He was unable to get a shot this week because his lens wasnt working for him, but he will this week:) 
Dragon Fly

Monarch butterflies

The goal Doug has set is to complete as many studies as he can with the final painting for the auction. Our hope is to have a set of cards for folks to enjoy at the end of this residency.          
At the end of the week here is an example of one of Doug's studies.  Let us know in the comments, if you have any ideas for the final painting and if you like what you see.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A beginning of a great relationship...

Today we were able to meet with the fine folks at the Hartman Reserve for the first time.  This blog will cover the journey Doug Davis will experience during the next nine weeks.  Doug is the first artist to be chosen for the Artist-in Residence program at the Hartman Reserve.  What an honor!  I am Kathy his wife, who will keep you "posted."  Join us as he tries to capture the beauty and richness of the natural visual resources found here.

The visit included tours of the facilities and some brainstorming of ideas for this unique project.

The studio space included an artist table and easel donated by University Book and Supply.  The space is upstairs in the Gene and Betty Buckles Programming Center.   Doug also received $250 gift card to purchase supplies for the final artwork.

Many thanks for the gift basket of goodies and the warm welcome we received today.  

 Here is one of the cool shots he was able to capture today...he is always so busy catching that shot!

Look for our weekly blog entries...........................We will bee seeing you:)