Sunday, September 25, 2011
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.