Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Musquash Estuary Tide Rising (oil on canvas 12 x 16 in.) Sold

30 June finds me sitting at the edge of the marsh to paint a channel of the Musquash Estuary, on the Five Fathom Hole trail, 6.8 km east of Musquash, New Brunswick.

The tide has turned, according to the pen that Fred has stuck in the marsh mud. We have trampled a swath of marsh grass in our gradual retreat from the tea brown water as it wets our toes. Every few minutes of determined painting found me retreating again, moving the daddy which is my seat,
picking up my palette and the wooden tray that holds my cup of brushes and my bottle of water.

It has been foggy for days. We left the forest trail to find the marsh, and find here the very essence of estuary - as the tide creeps up on the scene, with conterflows of skimmy tidal water and foamy clear dark brook water going up and down the creek. The forest comes down to the boundary as billows of Moss and the mossy/licheny embedded tree trunks, then there's a sketchy space of a metre or less with Seaside Goldenrod and other herbs, and then a pelt of grasslike tubular Juncus with scattered Carex among it which rolls gracefully over the edges of the clay banked channel.  Narrow stands of woods go out between each of the creeks of the estuary, and we can see sky through the one we're facing. Most of the trees are densely-needled Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir) with their tongue-like branches fringed with bright young green.

A flock of twittering birds has arrived, invisibly, into the woods behind where we sit at the mouth of the creek, and Fred identifies one who has responded to his pishing and squeaking, as a Black-throated Green Warbler. Often several species of small birds forage together in small flocks in the forest. There may be Kinglets here among two or three species of Warblers.

I have stopped painting to write as we wait for the tide to turn, hoping that if it goes down before too long I may resume painting from my initial vantage point at the edge of the firm mud and grass bank. Now the water is at the tips of the sedges, quite submerging the spot where I first placed my caddy to sit upon only an hour ago. Fundy tides rise fast - the amplitude at Musquash is over 5 metres, and it rises and falls twice a day.

The Warblers have moved back into the forest, and now a Robin begins its vesper song. A breeze springs up from the coast, and the regular dripping of an overhanging Red Spruce into the rising black water to my right increases to a shower. Its needles are collecting the fog and dropping it as if it were rain.

The fog horn hoots lazily, just when I've forgotten that it's blowing. It reminds me with another blast. The breeze is chiling, and we decide to pack up my painting, which has become rather wet from the fog, leave my gear here. and explore further along the trail.

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What do you think of this painting, and what do you know about the subject that I have painted?