Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



Vivien, who blogs from Leicester, England, challenged us to draw trees, or bits of trees.

Here are some of mine. I did warn her that it might be a bit like Palm Sunday, since palms are the dominant feature around these parts!

Although, having accepted this challenge I have looked more closely and should add that the towering Norfolk Pine dots our skyline, probably on a par with the palms.

But I’m kicking off with neither! This is commonly known as a Swiss Cheese, the Monstera deliciosa, growing at my friend’s home. Almost as big as the sapote beside it, this is, indeed, a monster! (And, yes, it does fruit, but the wildlife usually get in first!)


The reddish bits are dead leaves caught in the stems

white sapoteSome leaves of the white sapote beside the monstera.

On Tuesday, some of us drift over to Heather’s and, if we’re not working on prints, we sit upstairs on the deck and sketch and drink tea and coffee and chat about art, life, art, life, sketch…. Here’s the view…

view from H. deckIf this poinciana survives butchering by the new property owners (it looks grim as the Big-Chopper-Muncher machine arrived yesterday!) I’ll try to remember to sketch it in its summer garb.

Here’s an old picture… poinciana ( old camera)

To the left of the poinciana is a Norfolk Pine, leaning like a drunken sailor and disappearing off-page!

And this, my friends, is a scribbly sketch of the view from my front deck at sundown. 

Today, I went back to school. Yes, the school where, last year, I was helping with reading assistance and, one class, once a week, art…well, in the midst of “industrial action”, I have been asked to return to help Grade 6 (10-12 year olds)  writing and illustrating a project on Australian native animals. Because I try to keep politics off this blog….I shall NOT elaborate…#!!?#!**!

Edit to update: the threatened teachers’ strike  for more  money was ruled illegal as they had not given 7 days notice. So now, they have given notice take take action for 2 days next week.

Here is a tree (Norfolk Pine) which is beside the gate at the main entry to the school (foundation stone laid in the 1930s, so I’m guessing the tree was planted about that time)It bears an odd resemblance to a Celtic Knot!

IMG_0002Clicking should enlarge it sufficiently to read my ratty writing. (I was resting my sketchbook on the steering wheel and trying not to sound the horn!)

Y’know, now that I’ve been looking more closely at these trees, I’m utterly fascinated by their (usual) symmetry. Just around the corner from my house is one whose “side” has been cut away, presumably by the electricity board to clear the power lines; doesn’t seem to have bothered the tree one whit! And sometimes the branches have only tufty ends, sometimes, a thick cladding on every branch. But most stand tall and straight, true as a Coldstreamer. Maybe I’ll be like Van Gogh and develop an obsession!

Or not.

This is a page from another small sketchbook. Silly me did this on the reverse of a water colour sketch and it shows!

IMG trees_0002


I’ll leave you with “Nelson,” an owl who lived with us some years ago and whose image is currently on show at a local gallery, in company with some other fine prints.


This is a linoprint. Some readers already know Nelson’s story, but, in case you’re new here: he lost an “argument” with a windscreen and, while he healed reasonably well, the injuries had reduced his ability to live wild. Sometimes, we can assess this before beginning treatment, but the vet. thought this bird would recover better than he did.

Ordinarily, such wild birds/animals are euthanased, but I had a permit to keep Nelson and he did sterling service as an educator and companion to other birds which came into care before their release.

And now…I have some marmalade on the go, some blogs to read (while I have another cup of coffee) and then I’ll be “out to lunch.” *

* Literally. Of course.

This link was wonky yesterday-sorry ’bout that! But do pop across and see the collection of fubsy noses.


Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!


  1. I ate a Monster fruit last year. Loved it!
    Gosh, you’re good. 🙂


  2. Lovely sketch of the Delicious Monster leaves – they are excellent subjects for sketching and painting. It is lovely that Vivien has given us a chance to sketch trees and see all the other posts as well.




  3. I love peeking in others’ sketchbooks. Good post, Di. And I love the linocut of Nelson! I’m almost afriad to ask why Australian native animals is a political topic — something about conservation maybe?


  4. ryan…why, thankyou! So, now you’ve sampled monsters and dragons…what’s next?


  5. maree…yes, I’m learning the real meaning of “challenge!”

    andrea…Thankyou. And the strike is for higher pay. Not even a bolshi union would strike for wild animals! 🙂


  6. a lovely series and thanks for taking part :>)

    love the banner at the top of the blog


  7. vivien…when someone of your calibre leaves such a comment I do feel warm-and-fuzzy! 🙂


  8. Lovely sketches but that Monstera is really beautiful. I actually had one in my Sydney Eastern Suburbs garden but the possums and flying foxes always got the fruit. Suppose the same thing would happen here but the leaves are always worth having – maybe I’ll plant one.


  9. carol…yes, those leaves have such a sculptural quality. I have one here, but it’s up in a dark corner, completely overshadowed by palms and other big trees;I doubt it gets enough light to fruit.(And I much prefer pawpaw) 🙂


  10. denise…thankyou. Good to see you around the traps again! 😉


  11. Lost an argument with a windscreen — had me laughing out loud, poor owl. Boo. I have some tree drawings, where can I post???

    I would love to come to ‘stralia.


  12. victoria…aw gee! That tree challenge ran til end of July, but post on “The Night Shift” and I’ll tell people to look there.
    “Hey!People – you should read the Night Shift anyway, cos it’s amusing and pretty!” Especially the Shonibare work 😉


  13. A lovely series of trees! I love that delicious monster leaves!
    Oh, and wouldn’t I enjoy seeing some cane cutting!


  14. ronell…thankyou. And if you can’t manage to get down here I’ll see if I can catch some cutting-in-action. Mind you, the season is almost over now, but I drive past what look like 2 more uncut paddocks. Of course, it’s mechanised now, but you’ve given me an idea…:-0


  15. Thank you for the lovely birthday message on Pearl’s blog.

    I just love seeing what you’re up to and these sketches are amazing.


  16. I had a cheese plant once, it took over the landing and devoured small children.

    Lovely scribbles, show off 😉 xx


  17. zizzi…thankyou. And I do hope you have pushed/will push the boat out on the Big Day.


  18. ziggi… people are going to think someone’s been at the cooking sherry zizzi and ziggi? In tandem?
    And yes, I’m a show-off 😉


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