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.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Mrs. Fernwood lives just down the lane from Mrs. Trowbridge. She grows wildflowers and herbs in her garden, then sells them to the market in Huckleberry Hollow. On her way into the village she often stops by Mrs. T's cottage to give her a bag of Cat's Claw, which helps ease grandma's arthritis. 

The flowers growing in Mrs. Fernwood's garden include Douglas spirea, Foxglove, and Olympic Rockmat. The Rockmat are the little white flowers growing in the window box to the right of the door. The Olympic Rockmat are endemic to the Olympic Mountains, found nowhere else on earth. I saw my first Rockmat clinging to life on the summit of Mount Townsend. 

I decided to include a detail (above) from Mrs. T's painting to show you her delicate and subtle brushwork. 

All of the flowers that you see in Mrs. Fernwood's garden can be found in the Olympic Rain Forest, except for many of the herbs that she grew, some of which were native to other areas. I found the Olympic Rockmat that you see below in full bloom on Lillian Ridge, near Obstruction Point.

Check out the Little Beasties at my other blog, Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


This page from Mrs. Trowbridge's journal includes a touch of romance. I was a bit surprised when I first read it. Shrews and pink nighties? Somehow I just can't put the two together. But I'm not a shrew, so what do I know?

Mrs. T liked to paint flowers on the vases in her cottage. Painting flowers seemed to send her into great heights of joy. I put this page under my magnifying glass and identified the flower on the night stand pitcher as an orange honeysuckle. That's a monkey flower on the large vase behind the bed. I wish you could better see the small details.

She usually did a tight pencil drawing, then painted a watercolor wash on top of it. But sometimes she would let her pencil drawing stand alone, as you see in the drawing of her bedroom above.

If you would like to see my other illustration blog, where you'll see my work, not Mrs. Trowbridge's, go to

Saturday, April 07, 2012


Mrs. Trowbridge wrote and sketched many pages in her journal documenting her trips to the sea. She was very vocal about her love for the seashore. On this page she sketched one of the many games that they played on the beach. If you can find a map of the Olympic National Park in Washington State, you can actually follow the route that Mrs. T and her family traveled from Wild Rose Creek, down the Quinault River, across Lake Quinault, to the ocean. Unfortunately, Google Maps doesn't provide an adequate map of that area. Huckleberry Hollow is the village where Mrs. T once lived on Wild Rose Creek, just a short distance upstream from where it meets the Quinault River. 

If you enjoyed The Trowbridge Chronicles, you might like to check out my other art blog, Bron Smith's Flight's of Fantasy.