Southern Edge

Along the southern edge of our land is a narrow strip of forest between our home and the road.

"August", "Mid-Day" , "Last Light" and "When the Spruce met Nina Simone" are all paintings depicting parts of this forest. The cedar spire in "Last Light" towers over the surrounding forest, as does the spruce in "...Nina Simone" ; two of the trees who survived the loggers who moved through here a century ago.

Since the forest strip is narrow (approximately 100ft) the light is distinct. When I painted "Mid-Day" I was inside the forest where it was slightly cooler than out under the summer sun but because of that forest cover I shared the space with ten million mosquitoes all escaping the midday heat. At first I swatted and flailed thinking I could decimate them - until the sun lit up a patch of the air twenty feet or so from me and I laughed, seeing how ridiculous it was to try to win that battle. Instead I dressed for success (I was only mildly successful but thankfully West Nile has not arrived here yet) and shared the space. The whole time I painted "Mid-Day" a few ravens sat in the branches above me, laughing at my folly. It was great fun. The green in the distance is the effect of the midday sun upon a stand of young alder.

"August" depicts the hemlocks at the edge of the forest at it's narrowest, just where our driveway connects with the road. Heat crackled the air consistantly and left me drenched while I worked on it yet just behind those hemlocks it looked invitingly cool.

The Southern Edge is well known to us. It was the only section of forest I allowed our children to play in unsupervised when they were small since they could not get lost, yet despite this, it too is still a wild place. I have seen evidence of moose bedding down in it. Ravens claim the topmost spire and eagles, hawks, owls and black bears are frequent visitors.