Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Crooked Creek No Bridge (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.) Sold

25 June finds us in New Brunswick - in the Protected Natural Area called Caledonia Gorge PNA, for a two-week Bio-blitz organized by the New Brunswick Museum. We have driven in on an old logging road along Crooked Creek, to the washed-out bridge, and I'm sitting on a stone beside the old wooden bridge footings, looking across the creek to a graceful spruce which leans from its high perch, its red-barked roots entwined with its neighbour.

This is our first foray into the PNA. Fred has found three Red-backed Salamanders, one of them in a drift of twiggy debris from spring floods up at bridge-level. As I paint, four of the many orange and brown slugs that are so plentiful here crawl on the rocks near my feet, and I reach down to collect them. In addition to my role as visiting artist at the Bio-blitz, I am the "slug expert."

Sophie and Mary have forded the creek and walked farther up the road to check for other places of easy access to the creek for algae and fish sampling. A pair of four-wheelers churn across and scramble up the far bank, the first nearly tipping backward, and the second using a winch cable. What a contrast between our expense and effort in pursuit of knowledge and theirs in pursuit of thrills!

3 comments:

  1. How protected is the PNA if four-wheelers are churning across the creek and up the bank?
    Sad.
    I love this painting, Aleta. I wish I were in a position to buy it right now!

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  2. 4-wheelers are allowed only on designated trail, which are the two main roads through the gorge. Stay tuned for more paintings!

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  3. The ATV's seem to stay pretty much on the trails, which are the former roads and logging roads. However, if the roads could be closed to all traffic, some of the huge ruts in the more horizontal stretches of the trails/roads might become significant Amphibian breeding habitat - this place has so much topography that there's almost no place for the water to take a rest and support tadpoles.

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