Monday, December 15, 2014

Show Shots, Big Gratitude

We had beautiful weather, everything was sparking, crisp and washed from rain the previous day (YAY).

Here is a smattering of shots of our show. Most of them are taken at set up because, fortunately we get pretty busy and it's difficult to get action shots.

We all worked hard to have a nice variety to choose from.

A tradition I started last year I call my "Where's Waldo" 

I always have fun decorating, this one found a good home rose hips and all.

heart rocks

collection of leaves

My jewelry display is in my living room since my studio is too small but my studio serves as a dressing room for Kathryn's wearables so every bit of space is used.

decisions, decisions

Show banner planted in the blood orange.

view from the kitchen sink



Thank you so much to everyone that came out to shop, for supporting us and for appreciating or work. Thank you friends for sticking by us even if we have our noses buried in our studios too much this time of year. Thank you Marc, Bryce, Jeanmarie, Carol for lugging, packing, adding, smiling and being right there for us. Thank you to all my etsy friends for making this another fantastic year for me. We feel truly blessed to have you in our lives!

xo Ro

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Show Time

Rain is on the way but looking clear for the weekend. In any case, rain or shine we have the art !

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Crow Watching "The Gift"

xo cROw

Monday, September 15, 2014


  I've been thinking about circadian rhythms and about the master clock in our brains that make us function the way we do. Some of us are more productive in the early hours of the day like myself and others are the people that do their best work in the late hours of the day or even through the night like my husbands side of the family. My body clock is ruled by the light and I am always up before the sun, I start skittering as soon as my feet it the floor. I'm usually out the door with my dogs and now that they're older I find myself waking them to go.

I love the indigenous myths about creation, so many of them include the raven and the sun. I wanted to create "Dawn" since I know it like a best friend.

In my piece, Raven harnesses  the night and is ready to take it to the next portion on the globe while the sun is rising.

I've been dreaming up this piece for a very long time, I've had it next to me on my work bench, making sketches thinking and thinking and wondering just how I would do it.

Tell me about you, what are your natural rhythms? My son could have gone either way since these brain traits are inherited, he is a night owl.

Thank you for visiting! xo Robird

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Sucked and the Success

The very excellent news is my butterfly project, growing Monarch Butterflies has been a rousing success. I took this shot just a few minutes ago and I'm excited to continue monitoring the chrysalises that hang from the house the plants and every which where.


When I came home from a vet appointment I checked again!

  So I looked and found anther getting ready to emerge.

she rocks back and forth to dry her wings

This is taking place just outside my door on a cactus planter.

Isn't nature miraculous!!

The suckie news is this blog may be vanishing simply because I can't for the life of me or my husband or my son figure out how to keep my domain name through google. They sent me the most convoluted email I had ever received, go here, go there, password this, that, an old email I have not used for several years. So if you find Along the Trail has turned into a porn site or a place selling shoes, I thought I'd tell you why.

I may set up a new one but for now, I'm just going to let technology take its course. Thank you all for joining me along this trail and for you kind comments and support throughout the years, I really have appreciated you!

Happy trails to you!
xo Ro b.r. (butterfly rancher)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chrysalis in July

I am thrilled beyond words to be finding gorgeous chrysalises dotted here and there now, around the garden.

When the larvae are in this state, no longer active, quiet and seemingly lifeless, it takes but a few short hours…

 to turn into this. These are nearly impossible to find even though they are about an inch in length. They blend so well with the vegetation they can vanish in front of your very eyes. Who needs a Christmas tree when you can have a butterfly bush! My only regret is that I didn't just sit there to watch it unfold with my eyes, maybe I'll be luckier in the future.

In about 10 days time butterflies should emerge. THIS is EXCITING!!!

Thank you for staying tuned to the Butterfly channel, xo Ro

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Butterfly Project Update


The butterfly project has exceeded all of my expectations. I planted 11 milkweed plants in order to supply the Monarch Butterfly population with food and a place to lay eggs, just doing a little crumb of a my part to help bolster their ever dwindling populations. I also did it to see if it would be successful and for my own curiosity. 

*laying eggs

 The plants started out quite pretty and soon they were populated with small caterpillars…

who grew and grew ( their munching is sometimes audible like if you click your thumbnail and middle fingernail, try it :)

They were stripping the plants bare then they'd move to the next and the next one was already hosting a number of them.

I can't help but think of the Walking Dead, these little crawlers are like zombies moving slowly and devouring.

Things I have observed and questions I hope to solve..

Our lizards get excited when they see them but they must know the caterpillars are filled with toxic milkweed because they don't want to eat them. I'm not sure about the birds. 

I'm not planting any more weeds this year, in the wild they are but dotted on the hillsides so I'm going to see if they can recover.

The larvae have eaten all the fresh seeds and pods from the African plant causing it I would think not to be able to procreate. Our native milk weed develops seeds much later in the season.

I'm thinking once all the vegetation is gone the caterpillars will move to the trees and bushes and begin the next part of the cycle which is another reason I'm limiting the supply.

This one already has!!!! How wonderful is this!!!

Mama was back today laying eggs on the twigs. Next year I will plant more milkweed. If you live here in CA the best time to install native plants is in the fall. It's no too late though to add some to your garden, I suggest you add more than you might think.

I think the spiders are getting jealous, I had never thought to dust the mobile since I never saw the dust by the light of the day……look!…….spider art…..I sort of love that they are getting into the act!

Happy summer flitting to you, my friends!
Love, Ro

Monday, June 30, 2014

Casa Mariposa

I don't know what it took me so long…I've vowed to do this every summer and haven't followed through until this fall when I started collecting native milkweed plants. The plant pictured above is not our native but a native to tropical Africa (Asclepias Curassavica) it's a pretty plant and it seems to be visited by a host of pollinators, it also grows redily in our climate but I'm always strongly on the side of planting native species, particularly if you are planting weeds being that some plants can easily escape their boundaries and become invasive, crowding out the things that should be growing then becoming a problem so you might want to do a little research. I think this one needs too much water to get a foothold but I will most likely just remove them when the season is over.

We all know by now, the Monarch Butterflies are in trouble and I'm not going to go into a Debbie Downer litany here, I'm only going to say, if you plant the weed, they will come…..

and you will enjoy visiting your own project,

and taking a count each day of how many hungry caterpillars are munching away and you may even glimpse the "King of butterflies" (though it will be the queen) flitting about, laying eggs for a new batch.

*Even if milkweed abounds in the ditches where you are, you might want to invite some to live close to you so you can keep watch at the lovely summer events taking place.

I started growing butterflies in my studio, I'm having a blast making them and a moth, a bit of silver entomology …… now just what to do with them……brooch, pendant, ring?

Many hours later, one pretty cuff with three insects to go..

Who know's what will be next?

Flitting in the wind, Ro