The text and paintings on The Trowbridge Chronicles are taken from the illustrated journal of Violet Trowbridge, a shrew that once lived in a village deep in the Olympic Rain Forest. Each new post will represent a portion of Mrs. Trowbridge’s journal.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


This is the second in a series of lovely paintings by Mrs. Trowbridge in honor of her ancestors in the Polynesian islands. This is a frangipani, or plumera flower. It is a common species in Polynesia. I have encountered this beautiful tropical flower on my trips to the South Pacific for my research in tracking the migration path of the Trowbridge shrew from Mongolia, across Polynesia to South America, to their current home in the Northwest United States.

Have you seen my other blog, Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy?

Saturday, July 05, 2014


Mrs. Trowbridge was very intrigued by her ancestors. I, too, have become interested in Mrs.T's ancestral roots, which have been traced back many centuries to the Mongolian Steppes in Northern Asia.

It is thought that the Trowbridge shrew migrated over many centuries of time from Mongolia through the Polynesian islands to South America, then northward to Mrs. T's home in the Olympic wilderness of North America. By the process of carbon dating some pages from Mrs. Trowbridge's journal, we learned that she lived in the Quinault Rain Forest a little more than 200 years ago, about the time that the Lewis and Clark Expedition was taking place.

Inspired by her Polynesian ancestors, and the beautiful flowers that flourished in the South Sea islands, she set out to paint a series of florals depicting flowers that grow in the Polynesian islands. The flower above that she painted so deftly is a tree hibiscus.

The flower on top was hand-scribed, then the flower was rendered in charcoal. Mrs. T made her own charcoal sticks. Click here if you would like to learn how she made her charcoal sticks from Douglas fir needles.

The next post on this blog will be another of Mrs. Trowbridge's lovely flower paintings.

Have you seen my other blog, Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy?

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The Northern Realm of Trowbridge Chronicles

 Many of you know that about ten years ago I happened upon a tiny journal encased in a small gold box while hiking cross-country up Wild Rose Creek in the Olympic Wilderness of Washington State, USA. A glint of light caught my eye from the other side of the creek. I was puzzled that any solid object deep in the wilderness would reflect light. So I crossed the creek, climbed up a mossy ledge and found the little gold box resting on a bed of sphagnum moss. That's the short version of how I found Mrs. Violet Trowbridge's tiny journal that she called The Trowbridge Chronicles. Mr. Trowbridge was a Trowbridge Shrew, by the way. As a superb scribe and watercolorist, she journaled much of life as it was at that time (about 200 years ago) in the tiny forest village of Huckleberry Hollow on Wild Rose Creek. I've made several treks up Wild Rose Creek, which was Mr's T's home territory. It has always been a thrill to be "in her neighborhood".

I kept the journal for about three years, then decided to make it public, one page at a time. That's how The Trowbridge Chronicles was born to the world. I hope you've enjoyed Mrs. T's writing, scribing and watercolor work on this blog. I'm continually inspired by her work.

The above photo, taken by my good friend, noted photographer Ross Hamilton, looks south across Dungeness Valley and the town of Sequim on the North Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, USA. The snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains loom in the background. Mrs. T documented her journeys through the Olympic Wilderness with her family and friends, and some of her family treks took her to the northern boundary of the Olympic Mountains, which you see here. This is The Northern Realm of The Trowbridge Chronicles. I was born and raised in this valley, in the town of Sequim.

Have you seen my other blog, Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy?

Monday, May 19, 2014


With this episode, we bring The Legend of Shrew Khan to a close. Though Mrs. Trowbridge lived over 200 years ago, her almost-retro painting style seems to fit well into today's graphic novel genre.

Next week we will return to the regular Trowbridge Chronicles pages. I hope you enjoyed Mrs. Trowbridge's The Legend of Shrew Khan.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


After a spectacular observational voyage, a fire broke out in the Royal Balloon, which contained Emperor Nang and Keno. In last week's episode, Emperor Nang and Keno had landed safely after a rapid and fiery descent in the Royal Balloon. Now they are joined by their comrades.

Have you seen my other blog, Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy