Author Archives: RyanMcGurl


I get ridiculously excited about snow. At least I do now that I don’t have to shovel it. Or worry about the train being delayed and making me late. Here in Coastal North Carolina we don’t get snow very often, and this is the first time I’ve seen actual accumulation in the four and a half years we’ve lived here. Usually its less than an inch, and it melts quickly. In this storm we got about 3 inches, and it has started to melt, but its mostly stayed around for several days. Its been really nice taking the dogs for walks in the snowy woods, a change of scenery without leaving my property. And of course working from home means I don’t have to travel around on the dangerous roads. Of course, I did stock up on beer and cookies before the storm hit. That left me free to roam around the yard in my pajamas at 7:00 am to take pictures because I was afraid it would all melt.

I was hoping for some ice. We got some a few years ago, and it was really pretty. We didn’t get much ice this time, but there was enough to create these beautiful crystal covered branches.

This is a yaupon holly, a native plant that was used to make a caffeinated tea. There are several of them growing wild around our property. I love the bright red berries in the brown winter landscape, and I frequently bring branches into the house for decoration, but I think they look extra pretty with this light dusting of snow.How is your winter going? Do you love or hate snow?

Winter Artwork Collection

I’m a bit disorganized this week, but it feels great to be getting back to normal after the holidays! And we actually got snow yesterday. We only got about 3 inches, and its so pretty, even if it has started melting already. Its the first time I’ve seen actual accumulation on the ground since I’ve lived here. Obviously, this storm wasn’t as big a problem for us as for other parts of the country, like my parents, who live just outside of Boston and had their street flooded. The real problem here is that the cities don’t have the equipment to clear the roads, and because the temperatures tend to be right near freezing, we get alot of black ice.

And until I finish editing my own snowy photos, here are some pretty winter artworks I found on Society6.

Curated Collection, Autumn

I’ve actually been working on Christmas stuff this week, which seems unbelievable to me because its still mid October. But I want to have any new artwork and greeting cards for the holidays finished and posted by early November. And I really should get my Christmas knitting started. Actually should have started that months ago. At the same time I’m still taking fall photos. Can you tell I’m a little discombobulated right now?

So here are some lovely fall artworks for you to enjoy. Check out the whole collection here on Society6.

Fall Foliage Epic Fail

  Does this look like mid October to you?

Last weekend I was in the Boston area, to visit family, not for the purpose of photographing the changing leaves. Fortunately, because I would have been really disappointed. I was still a little disappointed. When I looked at the foliage report a few days before I left, it was supposedly going to be peak color during my trip. As you can see, that didn’t happen. Most of the trees were still really green, and the ones that were changing seemed to be dull brown, not brightly covered.

It was still a good weekend. My grandparents are doing well for the most part. They are all in their mid to late 80s, so they do have health problems, but nothing new or catastrophic at the moment.

I had planned to walk around Boston and take pictures, but since the color was a disappointment, I mostly stuck to some parks near my parents house, south of the city. One new place I checked out was Mount Auburn Cemetery, which is where I took the picture of the Boston skyline. Its a really pretty place to walk, and if you like cemeteries, the old gravestones are interesting.

A dead Queen Anne’s Lace wildflower. One of my favorite wildflowers, I even like them after they are done blooming.

Virginia Creeper. I did manage to find some fall color, this bright red vine growing on the side of a trail.

I love all different pumpkins and squash. I took advantage of all the pumpkins displayed at a garden center to take some photos.

Birch Bark. This doesn’t grow in North Carolina, not where I live anyways. This is from a park near my parents house. I used to walk here all the time, but I don’t ever remember all the birch trees. There must have been some, and maybe I just never noticed because they aren’t that unusual in the New England area. Either way, its been about 15 years since I lived nearby, so what were a few seedlings, has turned into a grove of trees.

How is the foliage where you live? What are your favorite subjects for fall photography?

New! Maple Leaf Illustration

I’m really happy with this new illustration, of a maple leaf, that I finished. This all began with the silver maple tree in my yard, I love the shape and detail of the leaves, so I started drawing one in my sketchbook last fall, but didn’t finish it until last month, which you can see in this blog post of my sketchbook. Then I used my sketch as a basis for a digital illustration.
Now I’m contemplating a pair of these leggings created with my artwork on society6.   Shameless self promotion aside (although I really might get these leggings), there are a ton of great artists on society6, if you haven’t checked them out you should. And the artwork is available on a bunch of items, including wall tapestries, cell phone cases, and t shirts. So far, the only item of purchased is a tote bag. I’m happy with the quality of it, nothing special, just a canvas bag with handles, but its been on several trips to the farmers market and days at the beach.