Moleskine watercolor journal

Settling back into Maine life

Now that I am no longer in tropical Bali, I am having to adjust my palette to capture the more grayish greens and blues of Maine.

Small bouquet from the grocery store. In Bali flowers grow all over the yard, Frangipani blossoms fall off the trees and float in the pool, orchids grow on all the trees and Bougainvillea spill over the walls so I never need to buy flowers to have in the house.

This is Bobo one of my two 13 year old cats. Being senior kitties they have slowed down quite a bit, sleep a lot and are on a big diet. Still hungry for more crunchies they meow like this "meow" and then lie down on the kitchen floor staring at the empty bowls. Eventually giving up and finding a chair to fill.

Unlike my big old American cats, my little Bali cat, Howard, couldn't weigh more than 4 lbs. When she wants something she meows like this "yeeeeoooooooow" along with serious ankle biting. She always gets what she wants!

Exploring Bali

It took a while for my mysterious Bali virus to work it's way through my system. I was finally feeling better when good friends and family came to visit from the USA. We've had a full house so we have been busy exploring beautiful Bali.

Some of us took a thee day tour with our friend Astika, a Balinese manku (priest) who knows all the ins and outs of Bali.

Sketching the local villagers when we stopped along the way.

We spent a night at a sweet hotel in the tiny seaside town Amed on the east coast of the island. These two Running Ducks, Ollie and Punky are clearly in charge. They run around the open-air dining room quacking for food, then run over to the infinity pool for a drink or a swim. Quack.

View overlooking Lake Buyan at the top of the mountains. As we climbed the steep winding roads newly harvested cloves and coffee were drying on large mats in front of all the houses. The cool dry air was thick with the wonderful smell of cloves.

Sunset ceremony at Pura Tanah Lot

Astika is a manku (priest) for the beautiful scared temple Tanah Lot on the west coast of Bali. The little temple sits a top an outcrop of rock in the surf that can only be accessed at low tide. It is supposedly guarded by sea snakes and thankfully I did not see any when we crossed through the water in our sarongs and flip-flops. Because we were Astika and his family we were allowed to have our ceremony at the top which is not open to the public.

Sketching the temple from the land while waiting for low tide. I had a pretty good audience while I did this little drawing.

Our friends Ben and Sarah after the ceremony which involves meditative prayer, holy water, incense, rice and offerings of flowers. After each prayer a flower is tossed to the alter and one goes in your hair.

Astika, his wife Made, an elder manku, Ben, Sarah and I after the ceremony. That's me second from the left.

Last light before we headed back down to cross through the surf to the mainland.

A very special day in Bali.