The design*sponge nature drawing contest was a lovely excuse to get outside yesterday. In honor of the warm weather we are finally having here in the northeast, I wanted to draw daffodils. Daffodils are the first sign of spring, if not botanically (I’m sure some other flowers bloom first), certainly aesthetically. Who can look at the sunny yellow color, and slightly ridiculous looking shape, and not feel hopeful that spring is here to stay, despite recent frigid temperatures, and late march blizzards? Walking around my very urban hometown, however, I noticed something distressing: all the daffodils and other blooming flowers were behind bars. Fenced in to protect them from careless pedestrians, incontinent animals (and pedestrians), and inconsiderate flower pickers. Not wanting to draw through iron bars like some jailhouse visitor, I decided instead to draw a tangle of branches conveniently dwelling by a park bench. Happy with my drawing, I abandoned my flower search and decided to head home. It was on the way out that I came across a giant patch of yellow flowers on the side of a grassy field where anyone could join them. So I did, and made the drawing shown above. These were not the perkiest daffodils, a little bedraggled and faded, but they were free and out in the open. To me, nature is really at its most beautiful when I can be a part of it, and not just an outside observer.