Hello, November: Beauty, Gratitude and Joy


It arrived with sunshine and warm breezes and won me over just



autumn, greyhounds, joy, leaves, play, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I thought that I'd be sad to see October go, but I wasn't. October was lovely, but so is November. I guess I've made my peace with autumn, or rather, with the loss of summer. Because that's what my reluctance for autumn is always about.

sunflowers, autumn, Seed Savers Exchange, seasons, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Recently Matthias and I went with my mom to Decorah, Iowa. While we were there we visited Seed Savers Exchange to buy our garlic for next year's garden (Matthias and I visited in June, too. I wrote about that trip here).

All I wanted to do was ramble around the (mostly dead) garden beds. I was captivated by their beauty, especially the spent sunflowers.

autumn, garden, sunflowers, Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Which shouldn't really be surprising if you remember these paintings I did in September:

watercolor paintings, sunflowers, sunflower seed heads, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I wish I could have seen the sunflowers in full bloom, but I was so glad to see them like this. Finished, yet still so beautiful.

I was smitten with the hops growing up the side of the barn, too, even if it was crispy and brown.

red barn, hops, Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I couldn't resist the (literal) call of the goats pastured nearby.

goats, Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It was a wonderful trip and I came home inspired by autumn colors.

watercolor, artist palette, browns, autumn colors, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Since then we planted the garlic, harvested some of the last of the garden's produce and cleaned up the garden beds. It feels good.

tomatoes, garden harvest, autumn, green tomatoes, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

This warm weather has been a gift.

autumn, greyhounds, barefoot, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Other beauties I've been grateful for lately:
  • glorious sunrises and sunsets
  • the changing angle of the sun that brings sunshine streaming into my studio
  • lettuce, arugula, kale and swiss chard still producing in the garden
  • parsley, carrots, a couple forgotten onions and a potato harvested and eaten
  • fresh apple juice made with apples from the farm
  • bald eagles spotted in abundance
  • a game of dominos with my family
  • flowers on my indoor plants: african violets, jasmine, jade, a bud on my camellia, flower stalks forming on my orchids.

And speaking of orchids, when I turned the page of my calendar this month I was happily surprised by November's orchid.

art studio, watercolor calendar, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Somehow I'd forgotten I'd chosen it for this month. I had to check next year's calendar, too, because I couldn't remember that painting, either!

A sweet little oxalis. (My 2016 calendar is still available here and here).

There's so much to be grateful for. So many little joys. I'm glad I've been paying attention.

What about you? What November joys are you grateful for today?


  1. Wonderful photos especially of your beautiful hounds - I just love their head shapes! You have some good things on your grateful list but I am struggling with mine today! Hope you have a lovely week! :-)

    1. Thank you, Simone. They are the sweetest dogs in addition to being very beautiful (though sometimes I forget because they can be so goofy!).

      I hope that you have found some joys to add to your list today and that your week is filled with all good things.

  2. Lovely! Wisconsin has surprised us this Autumn! :-))
    I love your dogs smiles.

    1. Hi, Carla! It has been an unusual autumn. Quite delightful. :)

      They are sweet dogs. We're always trying to convert people to be greyhound lovers (and rescuers). :)

      Have a lovely rest of your week!


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