Shield Lichens (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

7 May finds us at a boat launch on the Blanche River, north of New Liskeard, Ontario.  This is the clay belt, extensively cleared and farmed, but there are still enough licheny granite to feel like boreal forest.  Fred found the mussel Leptodea fragilis in the river behind me as I sit at the side of the boat launch entrance road, gazing up at the glacier carved Canadian Shield, painted, carpeted, and tufted with lichens of many kinds.  Now he is clambering around up there, collecting samples to identify.

I feel so content here, where very little seems to change.  The water is clean and so is the air, and lichens feed from the rain with the assistance of the cells of green algae within their bodies.  Here the White Spruce grow in so many shapes that it's hard sometimes to tell whether we're in Ontario or British Columbia.

This original oil painting is available for $275. For information on purchase and shipping, please contact me at


  1. Actually, the mussels I found here were Lampsilis radiata siliquodea, just old shells, though we know this species of old from the Blanche River near here. The Leptodea fragilis were in Lake Nipissing in North Bay, confirming a 1999 discovery.


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