Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures

A Magical Process

Fiddleheads growing up out of rotting cedar stump Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

Fiddleheads growing up out of rotting cedar stump Copyright Wendie Donabie 2011

Nature is amazing – how it recycles itself and can come back when we stay out-of-the-way. I notice this mostly in the forest where new life springs up from old cedar tree stumps. But often it happens in unexpected places like today when I discovered an unusual plant growing in amongst the garden cuttings we deposit behind our  garage.

Little Red Cabbage plant growing in the sun - Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

Little Red Cabbage plant growing in the sun – Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

We don’t have a compost pile but if I have over-ripe fruit or vegetables I sometimes toss them there for the rabbits, squirrels and raccoons. There amongst the dead branches, leaves and prolific periwinkle, stood a six-inch tall green and purple-leafed plant. I looked closer  and discovered it was growing out of a rotting red cabbage. The old cabbage lay in a pile of wet leaves so it was easy to lift from its birthplace. With spade in hand, I dug a new home for the brave little plant in the sunniest place in our garden where I hope it continues to grow.  Maybe this fall we’ll harvest a cabbage.

Strawberry plants starting to bloom

Strawberry plants starting to bloom – Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

There are also strawberries growing in our garden that we rescued two years ago from a similar situation. Last summer we hoped to enjoy a pint of berries from the small plants but the squirrels had other ideas. Before the fruit had ripened they had eaten the every berry.  The flowers are forming now which means luscious fruit will soon appear.We learned there is some kind of fencing we can install to keep the ‘critters’ out so maybe we this June we’ll actually get to eat those strawberries.

I love to watch any plant grow and blossom. One day all you see is the dark soil, yet only short days later a tiny spear of green appears. From that moment onward an amazing transformation takes place. I realize it can all be explained by science but I’d rather see the magic in it.   When I paint I feel the same mysterious process taking place as the blank paper or canvas transforms into a painting, as though the brush and paint are drawing forth images hidden in the fibres.

In my next post I’ll attempt to walk you through my painting process with words and pictures. It’s not always the same but there are some things that occur consistently like the point I reach where I’m ready to throw the painting away. That’s when I need to walk away, take a deep breath and hang on because I’ve reached the turning point where the real painting begins.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

Thank you to those of you who responded to my questionnaire. It seems you are enjoying learning about this creative journey I’m on so I’ll continue to write what inspires me.

If you ever have any specific questions, please email me at

© Wendie Donabie 2013



  1. The Fiddleheads photo is very interesting.Have you thought of paiting it? I bet it would look fantastic.

    • Actually Jovina, I did two paintings based on this photo. You can see them at my website in the Impressionistic & Whimsical Gallery. One of them sold last fall.

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