My Tattoos Meet Their Inspirations

I spent a lot of time in the woods as a kid.

I used to pretend to make the frame of a house by arranging downed tree trunks in the shape of rooms. And I would routinely harass a crawdaddy by building it a house in the creek using wide, flat stones.

When it was time for me to pick out tattoo subjects, I knew I’d never get tired of those woods.

And here I am in central Virginia, very close to where I grew up, coincidentally. The photos on the left I’ve taken while we’ve been here.

This is running cedar, always green on the forest floor no matter the season. One year my mom brought some inside as Christmas decorations.

Ferns in various stages of growth: they speak for themselves.

I used to call these stalks “winter wheat,” but surely that’s not what it is. It does stay tall all winter, though, and is a pleasure to walk through.

The bluebirds Tracy and I have already seen here while camping, Tracy several times because he’s always watching. I chose them as tattoos to remind me of how much my mom loved birding, in the yard at home but also everywhere she went.

Here I’m hearing the songs she taught me to recognize:

Phoebe? Phoebe.

Chickadee dee dee dee

Drink your teeeeeeee

And I’d go to bed with the windows open and “whip-poor-will” on repeat until I fell asleep.

As for other local tattoo inspirations, the dogwoods surely are in bloom in people’s yards by now, but I haven’t been away from the campground to see them. They’ll start showing signs of life in the forest later in spring.

And I’m well acquainted with the raspberry vines around a fallen tree Banjo likes to get the leash tangled in if I’m not paying attention. I’m grumpy at them enough not to take a picture.

Let’s see … What else do I have on me?

There’re no bees active yet to match the one on my back, and no fireflies except the one we’re living in.

All tattoos look so much better in real life and were created by the kind and patient artist and friend, Molly Free, at Creative Images in Des Moines, Iowa.

12 thoughts to “My Tattoos Meet Their Inspirations”

  1. thats a beautiful way to describe your inspirations for your” artwork on self.” I dont want to say that you are a piece of work or to call them tatoos because they are more beautifulthan the average tatoo and tell such a lovely” art story” of your life.

    1. I would say thank you, but it’s all Molly. 🙂 But you’re welcome to call me a piece of work!

  2. I always think of your mom when I see bluebirds. I saw my first one of spring the other day.

    Interestingly, I do not remember the fort with logs, but playing in the creek – yes! (Last post, I think, just catching up). We did roam the woods!

    Stay safe.

    1. I’m so glad you think of her when you see bluebirds, too. She would like that. 🙂

      I think I made the forts (more like life-sized blueprints of houses) by myself, but we did roam those woods. Remember the creek where Flicka used to try to dump me every time? And the paths around the block and through the block? My favorite path of course was to your house.

  3. How cool. Always thought you have very tasteful tats. Now as for one of the others: if you get to meet someone from Star Fleet, that would be a coup 🙂

    1. I thought you graduated from Star Fleet Academy – so that’s you I’ll be honored to see in person once we finally get up that way. 🖖🏼