From the Artist: Like many people during the pandemic, I have found solace in nature. My art generally reflects my love of and fascination with the natural world. Each piece is a learning experience. By looking carefully and creating detailed graphite drawings to work out details, and then moving to watercolor paints, I explore the beauty, growing habit, reproduction and other details that make something in nature unique. Puffballs are fungi scientifically named Basidiomycota and have fascinated me since childhood. Then it was a lucky day to find one and to poke it until the “smoke” puffed out. There is a place on my property where I have observed them growing over the past few years and this year, while constantly home and undistracted, I was able to watch and capture each stage of development. They appear white and are edible in the beginning. (Warning: Not to be confused with the poisonous “earthballs”!) Within days the puffball exterior quickly turns brown and the inside becomes powdery and full of spores. They eventually expel the spores naturally when pelted with rain and the wind wears away the outer structure. This year I didn’t miss a phase and enjoyed the exploration of these mysterious things that appear underfoot.