I started this post last June, but never finished it. Better late that never. Here are just a few pictures of our birds that make their home at the Mill. It defies conventional wisdom that so much wildlife makes it home at an industrial complex and thrives. It’s all about the habitat.
I chance upon these handsome fellas on the way home the other night. I stopped and chatted them up a bit with my call. They obliged by talking back and showing me a strut that would make a runway model proud.
To show my appreciation for all of you out there, I made you a turkey. Enjoy, it’s a guilt free turkey with zero calories, it’s vegan and it won’t give you gas. Thank you all for stopping by.
On a side note I managed to loosen up my painting a bit with this turkey. After the attempt with the bluebird post I had to take drastic measures. The secret technique I devised involved a bottle of Petite Sarah and while watching Dancing With the Stars. Please don’t tell anyone. No self-respecting Forester Artist should be caught doing such a thing. However, it did loosen up my brush!
No turkeys were harmed in the making of this post. Sorry, I can’t say the same for dinner.
Some days I need to experience the beauty in my world. Today was one of those days. Today was exceptional. Here are some pictures I would like to share with you. Today the sun shone warm. Tomorrow a storm is coming.
The forester and the artist both create landscapes. Only a forester’s canvas is far larger than an artist’s canvas. The artist uses pencils, pens, brushes and all the other tools that create the play of color and light on paper. The forester’s tools are far larger, louder and powerful. They are the skidders, feller-bunchers, chainsaws, yarders and seedlings. Okay, I know what you are thinking, what kind of baloney is this guy selling. When we look out at a forest we see a beautiful thing. Harvesting trees changes how that forest looks and develops. The conventional wisdom may be that harvesting trees makes a forest ugly and at stages along the way I would agree. That is all part of the process. When an area is burned in a wildfire and the salvage harvest is complete it looks pretty bad to most folks. This is only one stage in the development of an ever-changing picture. Soon the seedlings come and it is no longer a barren clearcut, but it is a brand new forest.
A new forest rising from ashes of a wildfire.
Each year the trees grow and the picture is adorned with deer, turkeys and other wildlife that forage in this new forest. As a forester I relish the changes I see with each passing year and how our work adds to the picture. For a forester the picture is never done so we have to appreciate it for what it is at this moment in time. Most folks have memories of that favorite camping spot in the forest that they went to as a child. Memories that are so striking and indelible that they cannot imagine them ever changing. However, these forest change every day. Mostly slowly, but sometimes in blazing moments. To the forest the changes are not good or bad, but simply different. To the forester it is a canvas on which to apply his or her trade. The forest changes and grows and our pictures change with it. We may not always agree on what makes beautiful art or a beautiful forest, but I hope as practitioners of the trade we are passionate and dedicated to the process.
I did this watercolor for the children’s book Firestorm In The Forest , a Red Tail Publishing book.
As an artist working in the forest provides an endless source of subjects to paint or draw. Never stale and always changing. I never know when I will come across a bear crashing through the brush or a dramatic vista that will make me pause for a minute to take it in.