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.

Monday, January 21, 2013


For those of you who are new to this blog, Violet Trowbridge was a Trowbridge shrew who lived about two centuries ago in the Quinault Rain Forest in Washington State, USA. As a young shrew, her mother taught her the art of calligraphy and watercolor. Using her pen and brush, she recorded life as she saw it through most of her life in the village of Huckleberry Hollow. 

A number of years ago, while hiking up Wild Rose Creek in the Quinault Rain Forest, I found a tiny gold box on a mossy ledge that contained a toad-skin leather cover book, which was titled The Trowbridge Chronicles. I had found a myth-shrouded treasure, which today provides us with a glimpse of life long ago among the small creatures in the rain forest. These journal pages are her story, in her own hand-scribed words. 

Today's story: Woodrow, Violet's husband has taken up rock climbing and has brought his new rock climbing equipment along on their family summer outing in the high meadows. Mrs. Trowbridge has deftly sketched her handsome husband as he enjoys the view from atop a towering five-foot boulder.

Mrs. Trowbridge captures Woodrow in charcoal as he rappels down a boulder. I have spent many days and nights in the high meadows of the Olympic wilderness. I have, in fact, made a number of treks into Wild Rose Creek, where Mrs. T lived with her family. My times in the Olympic Mountains have been among the most special and memorable times of my life. 

Have you seen my other art blog? It's called Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I photographed these Monkey flowers (Mimulus tilingi) growing alongside a stream in the beautiful Grand Valley, one of my favorite meadows in the high Olympic Mountains. Monkey flowers are a common sight in sub-alpine meadows, dancing merrily in the summer breeze beside a rushing stream.

Mrs. Trowbridge and her family spent many memorable days on summer outings. Sometimes they would go to the nearby Pacific Ocean. Other times they would hike to the high meadows. She referred often to their "special boulder", a boulder that served as their destination when they followed Wild Rose Creek up to the high meadows. She painted this picture of her husband, Woodrow, napping on the boulder among the Monkey flowers, while the children play nearby. I hope her painting brings thoughts of days in the coming summer season when you too will be sunning beside a stream in your special place.

Have you seen my other blog, Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy. Check it out.

Monday, January 07, 2013


Mrs. Trowbridge returns to show us her portrait skills. I admire her because she always lived her life on the edge. She was given to experimenting with new directions to expand her skills. I have always aspired to follow her shining example of the well-lived life.

She devoted many pages in her journal to painting her ladybug friends with tattooed shells. Her portrait of Mrs. Shellwick is one of my favorites.

Mrs. Fernwick, the subject of the above shrew portrait, was one of Mrs. T's best friends. She, too, was an artist. She and Mrs. Trowbridge spent many happy summer days together sketching along Wild Rose Creek and in the high meadows. The rose in Mrs. T's portrait is a Nootka rose (rosa Nutkana). They are a common site in the Quinault Rain Forest.

Have you seen my other blog, Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy? There you'll find many sample pages from my upcoming childrens' book, Monster Safari.