Wetland at Risk, Ottawa (watercolour 4 x 6 in.) SOLD!

On 20 March Fred and I joined a hike out to the site of the planned Terry Fox Drive extension.  This willow swamp nestled among granite outcrops beside the railway tracks looked to me like prime Blandings Turtle habitat, and I settled down by the tracks, at the 4 kilometre railroad marker, where the water flows slowly through a channel in the slushy ice.  The area is said to support a major population of the endangered Blandings Turtle, as well as over 100 Butternut trees and also Wild Ginseng.  Behind us, on the other side of the tracks, a granite ridge rises up, treed with Maple and Ash, Spruce and Cedar, and decorated with ferns and moss.

Fred sat beside me on a pile of Beaver dam material that has been dredged away from the culvert by a railway maintenance crew.  The wind was brisk and cold, and I had to stop at a pencil sketch, taking photos as reference for the painting.  If I'd painted the bluff, which would be blasted away in preparation for the 4-lane highway, I'd have had the wind at my back.  But I was thinking Blandings Turtles, and insisted on a painting of the wetland.


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