Monthly Archives: April 2013

Wolf Road Woods Watercolor Sketch

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I escaped to the woods. I am on the hunt for I don’t know what.
Will I find peace of mind?
Will I find a revelation?
Will I just explore?
I pray it is all or any of these!

It is a mild 55°F. There is no wind and the sky is overcast. The air holds a faint sweet smell, I breath it in slowly and deeply.

Blue Jays look down on me as I pass on the yellow trail. They bellow their echo-like melody and my ears perk up. If the Blue Jays are the lead singers, then the Chorus Frogs are the backup vocals. From my ear drums to my mouth, a smile transpires.

Looking down beneath the dense shrubbery, I notice an Eastern Towhee skipping backwards through leaf litter making a loud scraping sound. He doesn’t know I can see him. Looking around him, I am exceedingly glad to see some spring woodland wildflowers! The first of the year for me. It’s about time.

Taking the yellow trail to the black trail, I am right where the red trail connects and I hear rushing water in the distance. Where is that coming from? I don’t know of any bodies of water except a small creek. I must explore. Walking off trail and down a ravine, I find a natural waterfall made by a felled tree. The recent rains are held back by this very large log, creating a plunging waterfall ringing in the depth of the ravine’s walls. I am lost in my own world.

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I continue my way back to the black trail. This beautiful tree awaits me. I am guessing it is made my a Pileated Woodpecker as I did see one in a tree a few feet away. I put my fingers on the cavity opening. Such strength and power needed to create this… I would have paid to be in the audience watching this kind of talent.

I head back to my car, coming away with much more than I came with, thanking the Father all the way. Having peace of mind, a restful heart, new revelations and discoveries, my cup is overflowing.

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A Very Late Spring Sketch – Papoose Lake

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Oh tired and sleepy trees – wake up! It’s Spring!

Winter’s death grip has finally loosened up in the Chicago area. Wheeeew…it’s been a long one. The grass has responded  but the trees are still silent. Maybe this week of constant warm weather will liven them up?

Yesterday I went to Papoose Lake because I wanted to sketch something with water in it. I fell in love with this tree because of it’s limbs which resemble arms and elbows!

Later I drove to Country Lane Woods for a hike, because Papoose does not have trails. I was delighted to stumble upon Spring Peeper frogs calling in an ephemeral pond from last week’s downpour.

Here is a video…just for the sound of their call as I could not see them up close…

Spring Peeper Frogs and a few Chorus Frogs as well.

At Country Lane Woods I also observed many tiny Ruby-Crowned Kinglets flitting from twig to twig eating flying insects glowing against an afternoon sun. Once in a while they would briefly stop and I did get a glimpse of that ruby crown! Yesssssss.

Who’s ready for Spring?!?

Lesser Scaup Watercolor Sketch

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While at Lake Katherine a while ago, I noticed some ducks that looked like loons from far away. I knew they weren’t loons, so I took a picture intending on looking it up later. Wouldn’t you know it, my memory card was NOT in my camera and since the cord is long gone…getting that picture out is not happening.

Later that day while inside the nature center, Lake Katherine just happened to have a poster on their wall with this guy’s picture! Yessss…identification made…the Lesser Scaup.

I made this sketch at home after looking at several pictures. The REAL sketch on location is not nearly as impressive….

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Here’s the real deal. A quick scribbly mess. They just don’t stay still when asked.

The Lesser Scaup is a diver. When feeding, his whole body dives below the water and he’s MIA for quite sometime, later popping up a few feet away. Never where you expect him to…haha.

Anyway after making my sketch, I started to ponder on this waterfowl’s dive. Relating to my own life, here is what I came up with:

He is a diver.
Not a lackadaisical, carefree dive as in a pastime hobby, no, a powerful, quick, forceful dive to survive, to gather food. A very purposeful intent for existence.

I too need to take this same intense dive to propel me to the next level in life. It’s game time.

I’m at a point in my life where everything is turned upside-down  and I can float into the dangerous current or I can forcefully dive for the goal. 

I choose to dive.

I pick the plunge over the float. With God’s help, I will get there. It might be slightly uncomfortable at first, but always in my best interest for the long run.

I guess you can say it’s my lesson from nature. That’s what I love about this passion for art and nature! It makes me so happy, I can jump up and down! The things I learn are priceless.