Nature at Your Own Pace

Nature at Your Own Pace

I’m almost always the hiker at the tail end of group hikes, sometimes a quarter mile behind the hiker in front of me. No matter, though. I’m with my dog, having a great conversation.

Hiking slowly is my pace. Except when I find myself pursued by a cloud of gnats, hovering around my head and face. Then, I’m quite speedy. I figure I can outrun the pesky critters, even while flailing my arms—after all, they have shorter legs than I do. The hysterical shrieking is just an added bonus.

Hiking at a slower pace allows me to notice the plants and flowers, take photos, and make mental notes about what I’ve seen so that I can use them in my illustrations and designs. Rushing through nature means I’d miss the beauty out there in all four of the seasons. I’d never have noticed the lovely symmetries of dried flowers and seed heads in the late fall and winter if I were in a hurry to get there. Flowers and plants don’t stop being beautiful and enchanting when they’re cloaked in snow.

My home decor and apparel designs feature illustrated plants and flowers from all seasons. You’ll find designs showing spring bloomers like Mariposa, summer beauties like poppies, and fall and winter treasures featuring seed heads and seed pods that are every bit as lovely as the flower that bore them.

Enjoy nature at your own pace—a slower paceand you’ll find so much to delight you.

Mari Loose Tee

Pink Passion Outdoor Pillow

Nancy's Fancy Silk Scarf

Promise Duvet Cover and Pillow Shams

 

Jean Calomeni
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Nature: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Nature: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

My mother’s motto has long been, “Nature is Hostile.”

And, if you hike regularly, it certainly can be. But most often, I look at Nature as being a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Bad is heat exhaustion, which I suffered coming back from a recent trek up to Mount Kepros here in Idaho. Mount Kepros is one of the four “Grand Slam” peaks that also include Lucky Peak, Cervidae, and Mount Heinen. Heinen is the only one I haven’t done yet.

The Ugly? Well, I could say it was the pitiful way I looked on the way back from Kepros Peak. But, that’s being unkind to myself and to anyone else who has experienced the early stages of heat stroke.

photo of me on Kepros Peak

Me at the top of Kepros Peak

No, the Ugly were the hundreds of Mormon beetles we met on the way back down. If you’ve ever seen a Mormon beetle, you’d agree. I won’t post a pic here because I haven’t the stomach to do a search for one. I’m convinced that the Mormon beetle was the inspiration for the creature in the movie, “Alien.”

The Good—there’s lots of it in Nature. I find so much inspiration for my patterns and illustrations during every season. Some people might not notice the beauty in summer and early fall wildflowers. After all, the colors have faded and the palette seems so drab. You just have to take a second or third look, though, as I did on one hike when my friend Nancy pointed out the delicate tendrils of the dried Goatsbeard waving in a warm breeze. And, so, it inspired this pillow cover:

An array of dried seed heads, each with its unique symmetry, are found in my bedding called “Promise.”

Don’t miss out on the Good in Nature in all seasons. Like all aspects of life, you have to take the Bad and the Ugly with it.

Watercolor, "Run," by Jean Calomeni. Shop for my watercolors at Saatchi Art here.

Jean Calomeni
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Hiking Among Wildflowers: The Mariposa Lily

Hiking Among Wildflowers: The Mariposa Lily

This spring in the Mountain west has provided so much inspiration for my fabric patterns! We had a very wet spring season, so it must have made the ground very happy. We've been rewarded with a tremendous variety of spring wildflowers, some of which I've never seen before. While hiking both in Oregon's Smith Rock State Park and here in the Boise foothills, I encountered the Mariposa Lily--two varieties! Mariposa is Spanish for "butterfly" and to see these flowers fluttering in a welcome breeze is really delightful, especially during a long, hot hike.

Because the mariposa lily grows from a bulb it's able to survive wildfires. Boise had a bad fire year last year, which explains their abundance this spring. After a wildfire, the bulbs produce greater numbers of flowers than in average years. Apparently, they take advantage of the nutrient-rich soil and the lack of competition from other plants.

It makes climbing hills a lot more pleasant when you can stop and admire the beauty around you. 

These are the two varieties I've seen so far on two separate hikes.

Picture of mariposa lily

Picture of Sego (Mariposa) Lily

I designed this pillow the other day to add to my collection. It's called Mariposa Bright. You can find it here. I'm working on some watercolor renditions next!

Jean Calomeni
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