Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The Transcanada Pipeline crosses the South Saskatchewan River 8.2 km upstream of here. I settle on a view of castle-like formations directly across the river and perch my folding chair on a low grassy bank just back from the cobbly shore, near a seepage that leaves the pebbles crusty with alkali. Fred explores a bar of cobbles just to
Friday, October 10, 2014
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
clatter. This din is repeated
Thursday, September 18, 2014
21 August 2014 finds me perched on the trunk of one of a number of leaning Red Maples that overhang the south shore of Coles Island, on the north side of the south channel of the Caanan River, in south central New Brunswick.
Yesterday we were shown around this special part of the country and told its history. My parents' friend Hazen Hughes took time out from his busy schedule to show us the site along New Brunswick
Posted by Aleta Karstad at 1:21 PM
The island is pictureque - a pyramid of rock and trees, backlit by the afternoon sun. Paddling over to visit it, we find Leatherleaf and Sweetgale, leaning out to their reflections from lichen patterned rocks. Golden green mosses flow down over the shoulders of the granite rocks at the feet of tall slim White Pines and Cedars. As we paddle along the shaded north east side of the island, I notice open mussel shells glimmering submerged among the rocks, some wedged between stones and some in deeper water.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
I was enchanted by the sky reflection, and tried to capture it quickly on a small canvas, but the clouds moved rapidly, changing the complexion of the scene dramatically during the time it took me to apply my underpainting and rough in the far bank. First the sky filled with bright fluffy clouds,
Friday, August 29, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
I decided to paint them in watercolour. The the snail on the left has its aperture closed neatly by a horny "operculum" attached to the back of its tail, and the one on the right shows the eroded spire that
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
On 11 August 2014, Fred went out with Don McAlpine and Mary Sollows to Grand Point of New Brunswick's Grand Lake, to search for specimens of Lampsilis cariosa that might have been thrown up by Hurricane Arthur.
This was (before our surveys during this Bio-blitz) the one known Grand Lake location of the Yellow Lamp-mussel, which prefers sandy bottoms, mostly in rivers. It was at this spit of sand and fine gravel that the species had been taken from the lake in 2001.
I've always found beach drift exciting as a subject for painting, and decided to do
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Bumblebees and Honeybees visit the bright flowers of the small compact panicles of Swamp Loosestrife bloom, at head height for me as I sit beneath my sunshade. An Osprey
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Friday, August 8, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Saturday, August 2, 2014
10 May 2014 found me admiring spreading willows and a magnificent old Burr Oak on the bank of the Trent River at a Conservation Area near Glen Miller, Ontario. We'd come for spring drifted mollusc shells, and we only noticed the "Line 9" pipeline river-crossing signs just as we were leaving. Our colleagues Amanda Bennett and Matt Keevil evidently hadn't noticed the pipeline crossing either, during years of launching their boat here as they studied the turtles in this stretch of the river. Our formal description of this “limestone savannah rare habitat” is “lawnpark bank of rapid canal-river, in residential area.”
After a day of collecting spring-drifted shells from creeks and rivers in Toronto we zoomed alog the 401 to the parking lot here and slept in the seats of the van until dawn. While I made breakfast, Fred sprinted for our traditional drift sample up near the Trent/Severn lock. He found handsfulls of chaffy drift from the eddy above the bridge. Much of the deposit was chunks of Cattail leaves hung up on the bedrock shore below Eastern Red Cedar
Monday, July 28, 2014
On our hike in from Dobson Lane we heard a Gray Tree Frog call, and saw two adult Leopard Frogs along the grassy ATV-rutted track. Now at the river as I settle down to paint we hear the voices of three kinds of Ranid frogs calling from where they are hidden along the water's edge - the "jugaroom" of a Bull Frog, a few banjo-string notes from hidden Green Frogs, and a single
Saturday, July 19, 2014
We'd come in from Stewartville Road along the south shore of the river, and upstream of the pipeline right-of-way, we came through mixed woods to a sunny grove of large Aspen trees,
Friday, July 4, 2014
27 April 2014 found us on Devine Road, 5 kilometres southeast of Carlsbad Springs. along a Beaver-influenced wetland, listening to a lively Spring Peeper chorus north of the road, and enjoying the sunset, reflected vividly in the roadside ditch. An American Bittern was thunder-pumping somewhere off in the Cattails behind the screen of European White Birch. Canada Geese passed overhead, honking, and a Redwinged Blackird announced his territory with a last few calls before dark. A Swamp Sparrow was singing as I decided on just the right composition with the help of my camera. This one would have to be started quickly onsite and finished in the studio.
We'd been out with Laurie McCannell to discuss surveys of the perimeter of this tract of land, where a landfill is proposed, and now we were circling the site, listening for calling frogs and birds. Since the “proponent” of the dump restricts access to the site, all the inventory work must done from perimeter roads. As the candy red sunset deepened, we added the declining American Bittern to the inventory's list of birds.
Paints packed up when their colours could no longer be seen, and as dusk fell we returned to the van and ate supper to the tunes of Peepers, Wood Frogs, and Toads, and a couple of
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
19 June 2014 found me three kilometres northwest of Winchester Springs, Ontario, painting a view across the South Nation River from a steep grassy bank on its north shore. Tall grasses screened the river's edge. I flattened some of the Bromus and Reed Canary Grass into a nest for sitting to paint in the combined shades of a licheny sprawling Manitoba Maple and a stocky low-spreading Ash tree.
The purpose of this visit was to explore this part of the South Nation River where the Trans Canada Pipeline crosses it. You can read more about this idyllic spot and what we found there at our Vulnerable Watersheds blog.