For our prompt of “Oranges” today, I opted for a few still in the tree being admired by a Baltimore oriole. I’d seen an article that said the Baltimore oriole is particularly attracted to ripe oranges, hence the combo. Though, one would peel or cut them in half first, of course, for a backyard bird feeder. I don’t have a backyard, but if I did this would definitely be something I’d love to try. It’s probably best I don’t have a backyard as I would be trying to lure every piece of nature on the planet to come visit. We do have an outdoor terrace and I had a hummingbird feeder up a few years ago. It was lovely to watch them, but they eat so darn much and I kept forgetting to fill it. I swear a hummingbird looked right at me with a very sad gaze once thinking I must be an idiot. I have the best of intentions, but I’m just not a pro when it comes to domestic things. I get so sidetracked that it’s all I can do to make sure the trash goes out and that I have clean underwear. So, as much as I would love visits from beautiful birds, I think word would get out quickly that my home is the worst bed and breakfast on the block.

Philippe is also a master of the last minute thing, so we really do sort of live by the seat of our pants together. We usually just take turns being the adult when it’s finally impossible to avoid it. Yes, I guess I’ll make the appointment for the oil change since the mileage just clicked past the mark. Or, that roof leak didn’t sort itself out on its own and is growing worrisome now, so perhaps it’s time to have that checked. I realize this makes me sound perfectly dysfunctional, but it’s really just a matter of focusing on what’s truly important. If something becomes truly important it gets sorted, but domestic things don’t thrill me much beyond that. So, while I do appreciate visiting someone’s pristine home, I also have to appreciate the extra time I have to sketch and play by not making mine one of my hobbies. I already have enough of those and more than I can keep up with on most days. Philippe told me recently that he wants a house so he could have chickens for eggs. I told him this would be his hobby and his alone if that ever happens. Somewhere hens everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief.

This particular quirk of mine isn’t about procrastination, which I also suffer from most days. It’s just about prioritization. There are only so many hours in the day and I always want to be sure that I’m spending more of them doing what I love instead of the things I dread. This way, the dreadful things will still get fixed or sorted somehow, but they won’t become the main focus. That wonderful main focus is still reserved for things like writing and sketching and spending quality time with my husband and my lovable, but slightly demanding basenji dog. I realize this is a rather indulgent way to live, but it’s precisely why I’m so happy and positive all of the time. It’s a heart first way to live that’s served me quite well in life. Everything catches up to itself eventually. If Philippe and I let something go a bit too long, we suddenly both jump in and fix it and feel even better after having done so. Tonight as we were returning home, for example, the garage door opened on the first click. We’d spent weeks clicking it several times before it would open. I was totally amazed, and then Philippe revealed that he’d simply changed the battery. My hero! I was smitten. Yes, it’s totally ridiculous to be sure. And, we’ll likely just continue down our odd and questionable path of life, enjoying every little heartfelt moment, and dealing with a pesky problem only when it’s ripe.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Leaf Green and Indigo. Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Baltimore Oriole And Oranges Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


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31 thoughts on “When It’s Ripe

  1. Oh funny! When I was a kid my dad told my mom he wanted to raise a cow …she told him no way because it would be in their bed with the cat and dogs and there wasn’t enough room for another animal… Know what you can manage. 😉

  2. In the spring, upon the first flash of orange I see, I begin putting out orange halves and grape jelly. We have loads of orioles coming in all spring. I just love it! And this past year I had huge numbers of rose breasted grosbeaks too. It was the first time that happened. Birds enrich my life so much.

  3. So lovely! I love the dimension on your oranges. If I recall, I wasn’t so successful on mine. I did them a few days ago.;) Yes owning a home comes with lots of baggage. We are in the final estimate of replumbing our entire 60 year old home. I thought the money part was going to be the stressful part…..ha! Plumbers are stressful!

  4. I’ve only read the first paragraph, and I have to tell you I love it. It is fun and funny.
    And now I’m cackling again as I think of hens breathing a sigh of relief!
    One of your best ever, and you always set the bar high!

  5. This is gorgeous! Great painting, Charlie. I’ve always loved Baltimore Orioles and loved seeing them when I was a kid in New Jersey. Don’t see them here in California, so this lovely bird reminds me that somewhere they still make those droopy nests and raise babies who will grow to be orange flaming feathered creatures.

    As for the hummer stare-down – they aren’t picking on you – they do that to everyone. And they buzz at the same time, amping up the threat quotient. Pretty funny when you remember they’re about as big as a Hershey’s Kiss.

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