Sunday, April 22, 2012


New Hampshire Scenes: Along the Trail
Finally, April 13 and 20, time to hike,  and the choices were Mt. Stanton Trail to Mt Stanton and Mt. Pickering, a shorter hike with two possible low summits because I've been recuperating from a skiing injury, and second one, Mt Chocorua because my foot is evidently fine! Halalulah!  In time for the start of early wild flowers.

First treat was the Trailing Arbutus. To really appreciate it, you need to lie flat on the ground, practically, and lift the leathery leaves to expose the often hiding flowers.
Then put your nose bumble bee close. The reward is a scent sweeter than honeysuckle and hyacinth combined.


Second treat was yellow violets, first singly, and then a hillside.  
Beech leaves, last year's left overs, add the contrast.

Glad to be back on the mountain trails,
I continue to wonder at at what I call
the "macadam" paths...
They look so planned, 
so "officially landscaped!
In fact,
the "macadam" paths
are exposed bedrock
looking so tame!
to look at the sides of those paths 
to think how little soil 
above that bedrock
and to think how long and arduous
the task of making
 the soil we see 
the life it supports!

Though these are not examples of the typical  trail, 
when they appear they seem like old friends, 
user friendly,
always welcome,
and likely to appear 
on some of the toughest hikes.

Check my website for paintings of "less tame" paths and trails.

Monday, April 16, 2012


New Hampshire Scenes: CLOUDS

Does anyone go to North Conway or travel north on Route 16 without trying to get a glimpse of Mount Washington? 
Of course there are specific events that watchers look for:
First Snow,
Snow Covered,
 Snow Leaving, 
Only Patches
and all the drama in between... mists and clouds that enhance the views...

And the inevitable...

 Mount Washington Missing in the Mists

As an artist I know that clouds can make the painting,
but as a plein air painter I've wondered about how the clouds seem to be so perfectly placed, shaped to enhance the composition. Then, from a geology presentation I learned the words:  orographic, orographic clouds, and orogenic
having to do with mountains, clouds forced and/or shaped by mountains.
The shape of the mountain and its valleys, the moisture on its slopes and in its streams, ponds and breathing trees...these all shape and often form the clouds above and around...
Looking south to MW...

If you know the mountain, and its shape, 
you can imagine how it sits beneath its mists,
and how those clouds swirl and tumble, 
above the mountain, around the mountain, and, 
as in the case above, up the mountain.  
The dressing, the scarves adding to the mystery,
The dance of the clouds.

Check out my website for the paintings in this blog and more ,