Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Among the Tamaracks (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

25 October finds me among the Tamaracks at the tracks on Bedell Road south of Kemptville Ontario.

Standing among the Tamaracks their yellow is like a lamplit room after the gloomy grey roadside. Chickadees call "dee - dee- dee" in little raspy voices and flit about among the branches hiding food for winter. Their memories have been cleared of last winter's larder catalogue as happens each year and they're starting afresh, using their powerful tiny brains to keep track of thousands of hiding places. A Robin flies across the road calling "churp, churp, chuck". A small swarm of Chironomid midges seem to me to be holding a Ceilidh dance, weaving and bobbing above my head, their whiny music too tiny for me to hear.

The Poplars are leafless except for large round leaves at the very tops against the grey sky. Roadside wildflowers, except for a few stout littel plants of purple asters, have gone to seed - all brown and golden, variously prickly and lumpy with burrs and capsules.

This is "Station 12 of our 42-station auditory monitoring transect. In 1992 and 1993 there were a few open-habitat Chorus Frogs calling from here, but none have been heard since then. Woodsy species, Peepers, Grey Treefrogs, Wood Frogs, and Leopard Frogs do most of the spring calling now as the forest grows up from the fields of 30 years ago and folks are squeezing houses in all along this gravel backroad.

This original painting is available for $275. For information on purchase and shipping please contact me at karstad@pinicola.ca

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