Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Spring 2011

Old-growth forest
The annual migration of this Homo sapiens is triggered by a compelling instinct to gather field sketching supplies, some food, a thermos and escape from the man-made to the nature-made.

Forests are my destination of choice, one of the places where cerebral hemispheres can feel whole again; allowed to act as one, to observe, sense, marvel, wonder, imagine and create.  Away from the incessant chatter and noise of humanity, the urban grey of cities of concrete, there is an immediate sense of calm and welcome noise.

I can hear my footsteps, crunching on leaves and twigs. I can hear the sudden silence as I pass by flocks of birds chatting in their natural skyscrapers. I pause. After a while, they resume their conversations.  A rush of excited calm as I watch nature's builders using natural materials to build their homes.  Amused, I wonder about their decision making process. What are birds thinking when they build and weave their nests? This twig goes here. Or is it trial and error?  Does this twig go here? I see nests woven into branches, precariously close to the very tip to avoid even the most agile predators. How do they remain there? How is that special branch picked? Do they assess sway and give?  Yearly construction of the impossible, without tools. Birds, one of nature's evolutionary architects and engineers.

I settle on a spot, arrange my supplies; paints, brushes, pens and pencils. A warm up with quick sketches and studies. Time and memory are no longer perceived. My lungs are learning to breathe deeply again, while my mind is focused on color, shape and perspective. The weight of thoughts is quickly discarded.

I will return, but nothing rivals that first renewal of the year.


  1. That first renewal of the year, Antares, is it like the first cup of tea in the morning, or deeper perhaps more like a gulp of air after you've been submerged for too long in the water?

    This is such a lovely, refreshing and 'green' post. Through it I can feel and hear the forest.

  2. Goosebumps, no joke. I LOVE nature and could not have described this better. The smell of the grasses and the bark. Chirping of the birds. So very little is better in life.

  3. Just beautiful Ant.




  4. The forest is always refreshing except of course when there are big cats nearby.

  5. I couldn't agree more. There's nothing like getting away from the concrete jungle for a while. No pressure or anything, but I'm looking forward to seeing what nature inspires you th create.

  6. Here is a link I found yesterday, Wordsworth and nature vs. formal study. Here is to all that is green and growing, to our place on the earth, beneath the sun.


  7. This time of year I can even find joy in just walking out onto the driveway and having the sun warm my face and body.

  8. @Elisabeth, I enjoy both tea and diving. Primeval forests in particular, provide me with sensory stimulation, rather than overload. Thank you.

    @Paulsifer, thank you. I love it too, took this out of my journal that day, but had to cut out just how content nature makes me feel, hard to describe.

    @Sprite, EXACTLY. Happiness and breathing.:)

  9. @Laoch. LOL. I try to avoid anything that can hunt me too.

    @Marylinn, thank you for sharing a wonderful reading. "That watches and receives". Goosebumped.:) I'll have to go through his other readings.

    Hear, hear, bandmate.

    @Robert, I know exactly what you mean, even chores become more pleasant under warming rays.

  10. @Vinny, yes, but I think that living in urban environments makes us appreciate even more. I've been thinking about that, not sure if I want to put my work in this public domain. We'll see.

  11. Love it and often wish I could capture such beauty (I'm definitely no artist). I enjoy myself while surrounded by it however.

  12. Beautiful use of the language to make the forest come alive in my mind. Very nice.
    Now if it would just warm up here!

  13. @Shelby, thank you. Even for artists capturing that is virtually impossible.

    @Al, stealing from nature:) I rarely make definitive statements, but rest assured that it will. Before we know it, we'll be complaining about the heat. Miserable species.

  14. "I pause." That said it all. This is what happens when we press pause and actually connect with our surroundings. Nice piece of writing.

  15. Wow you have a way with words. Nicely put. I adore forests and you seem to describe my feelings for them much better than I could. Thank you.

  16. I really envy your ability to go into the woods in spring ... than pleasure. A great source of inspiration. I think the important thing is to think of my pictures to the viewer. If you give explanations as I have done du lose all interest. A greeting.

  17. @dbs, Exactly! *resists urge to quote Bueller*, thank you, I appreciate it.

    @jono, thank you for your kind words, but have you ever tried to express it in writing? You might surprise yourself.

    @Leovi, nature is an endless source of inspiration. The viewer enjoys your stunning photography. Do you think revealing techniques reduces the interest?
    Gracias por la visita.

  18. lovely. for me, i can't wait to get out to the farm. i'm looking forward to picking fresh vegetables for dinner, taking leisurely walks down gravel roads, and sitting by the fire under the stars. quiet, calm, simple.

  19. This is just lovely. It makes me sad that I was stormed out of my monthly camping trip which would have coincided with the first spring weekend. The Girls tell me it is the only time that I am 100% relaxed.

  20. @manders, what is that saying? "The best things in life are free?". Thank you.

    @Leigh, thank you. I know what you mean, a 100%.

  21. You remind me that I need to savor nature, and I love the forest photo. Belize offered me so much as far as the serenity and time I had to slow down and breathe. Happy to see you take the time to enjoy the outdoors.

  22. I had almost a religious experience yesterday when I wore SHOES outside for the first time in almost six months.


    Your post made me think that a good long road trip is in order soon. I live in the city, but vacation in nature. Hmm. I can be to the Rockies in one straight day of driving...


  23. @GutsyWriter, we all need those reminders, except for the "ceiling fauna":). Every time I see your banner, I picture you writing near ocean and nature. Wishful thinking?;)

    @Pearl, for claustrophobic feet, shoes can be a novel experience. Will you be blogging from the road, Pearl?...Pearl!?...Hello?


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