Sunday, September 25, 2011

Boundary Wetland (oil on canvas 10 x 12 in.) Sold

19 September finds me on the boundary of the South Nation and Kemptville Creek watersheds, painting the view across wetland from a roadside Beaver pond at the corner of Limerick and Forsythe roads. I perch my low folding stool on the narrow gravel shoulder and poke the pole of my umbrella easily through to the rocks, or logs, beneath. Across the pond I can see exposed ends of logs that were once part of the road - a "corduroy" road that crossed the wetland. It must have been incredibly bumpy and in constant need of repair.

When we arrived a Great Blue Heron was standing right where I have painted it. Before I could get my camera out it was gone, but the image of the straight neck and shadow-striped back stay with me, so I paint it in. As I work, a large Beaver rafts across the pond, wet-furred and blunt-headed, carrying green plants in its mouth and keeping a beady eye on me. This pond is like a living room for the resident Beaver family. They don't build anything here, but someone is almost always at home.
Forsythe is the road south to Robuck, the "main line" of the management road for Limerick Forest, but not maintained or plowed during the winter when we first moved here. Before 1989 there used to be a great flow north through the culvert under Limerick Road, placing the part of the wetland I have painted in the Rideau drainage. From 1992 to 2008 our notes record an alternation of flowing and plugged culverts, Beaver dams in different sites on the ditches, and various activities of backhoes, grates, and baffles engaged by the townships against the Beavers. Since 2008 the culverts have been plugged by Beaver mud, and the stream across the road from it (into the Kemptville Creek drainage) has been stagnant.

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful...this painting really has life!

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  2. These boundary wetlands are characteristic of eastern Ontario, with it's flat topography. In additions to the real changes in the boundary here, we've observed deviations from the mapped watershed limits in the Long Swamp Fen north of Manhard, which drains west into the Rideau (Kemptville Creek) and east into the headwaters of the South Nation.

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  3. Aleta says she's afraid this painting is garish, and wonders what I see in it. I think it looks like the scene in a bright sunny afternoon (weather conditions she generally shuns), and that all I miss in the painting is the long gradual slope of the wetland to the horizon, where I guess it begins to be called the Groveton Bog - but this is due to her doing the painting sitting down, so that the hedge of Cattails breaks the continuity one sees when standing on the road.

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  4. Aleta, This painting is lovely. It feels so familiar to me.

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  5. It's very much home to me too, only a few kilometres from our house, and visited often through all seasons!

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  6. I like the painting, Aleta, as it captures well the "feel" of northern flatlands.

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  7. I guess it does - I've had a comment from the maritimes that it could be anywhere! Around home in the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain, south of the Ottawa Valley, the land is very flat - in fact the drop on the main line of Kemptville Creek is only 14 centimetres per kilometre. The flora and fauna is so homogeneous across Canada that one of the games we play while traveling is "How can you tell this isn't Prince George?" In fact, the wetland I painted here tails out into the Groveton Bog, which looks just like a typical northern Ontario Black Spruce bog!

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  8. Aleta, I've been looking at your paintings through this blog and they are all beautiful, but this one speaks to me. Thanks so much for sharing it and the rest of your paintings.

    Edelweiss

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  9. I love this one, Aleta. I've been looking often and commenting seldom, but this one I really like.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

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