Already a month in and I'm not so terrified this time as I was when I created the first 52 WEEKS project with the totem animals. I wonder if it's because I've fulfilled a commitment like this once before or because I am much more comfortable painting flowers? I've come to really look forward to working on these pieces. As a young girl in the north I was part of 4-H which, because it wasn't in farmland, included things like beading and weaving and photography. It was there that I learned to enjoy the process, not just the outcome and maybe it is because of this experience that I have never been as terrified to begin a project either. The outcome is what it is, and will get better over time with practice.
Anyway, fireweed (aka willow herb) always looks stunning to me, particularly in a burned out forest when we can see the beauty of life, of transformation from a wasted shell of land to a beautiful field of flowers. A sign of hope. It is the floral emblem of Yukon Territory, its young leaves can be used in salads, the plant can be brewed into a mild tea, and the inner pith can be used to thicken soups and stews.