Category: Animal-Vegetable-Mineral

Rereading the mapUnited States

50 States pictorial map illustrated and hand-lettered by Chandler O'Leary

I finished this map before the airwaves were inundated with red and blue election maps—and today it’s a good reminder that America is more than its electoral divisions. That there is good in every state, and that there is so much to love and celebrate in every nook and cranny of our nation. This is… More

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Butte-ifulTheodore Roosevelt National Park, ND

Theodore Roosevelt National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Like Saguaro, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is divided into two separate units. Unlike Saguaro, the North Dakota badlands are an old, familiar haunt of mine. Greener and less weathered than their craggy South Dakota siblings, these buttes have a similar mystery to them, all the same. It’s not hard to see why they were dear… More

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Alien forestSaguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ

Saguaro National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I visited Saguaro National Park for the first time last year, and between being a veteran national parks tourist and seeing a zillion photos of the place over the years, I thought I knew what to expect. Aaaand of course, I was way wrong. (No surprise there.) For one thing, Mary-Alice and I arrived in… More

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Painted desertGrand Canyon National Park, AZ

Grand Canyon National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Of course, with all this talk of national parks, leaving out the crown jewel of the Park Service would be downright criminal. But until last summer, I’d never been to the Grand Canyon. When I finally go there, I did my best to remedy the heck out of the situation. And the weather did its… More

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Hollyhock havenSanta Fe, NM

Santa Fe hollyhocks sketch by Chandler O'Leary

While lavender will always remind me of the Pacific Northwest, I’ll forever associate hollyhocks with Santa Fe. Maybe it was being there during their peak season last summer—or maybe I love Georgia O’Keeffe too much. Either way, for me hollyhocks will always go best with adobe, rather than English cottages.

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Purple hazeSan Juan Island, WA

Pelindaba Lavender Farm sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Here in the Northwest, we’re in the thick of my favorite season right now. I don’t mean summer, per se, but lavender season. Our climate is pretty much perfectly suited to growing lavender, so other than maybe the south of France, there’s no better place to stand on a purple hillside, awash in scent.

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New kid on the cobMitchell, SD

Corn Palace sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Last year I had the chance to revisit South Dakota’s world-famous Corn Palace for the first time in nearly a decade, and I had quite a surprise waiting for me. It’s common knowledge that the maize museum gets all new corn mosaics every year—but today’s Corn Palace has had more than a simple facelift. If… More

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Dino you are, but what am I?Cabazon, CA

Cabazon dinosaurs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Now, I’ve seen a lot of roadside dinosaurs in my day, but for me, nothing can top the iconic giants of Cabazon, CA. For one thing, unlike some others that come to mind, these guys are beautifully crafted and amazingly realistic (and no wonder: their designer, Claude Bell, created all the statuary at Knott’s Berry… More

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