Woods at Brandy Spring (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)
6 September finds me gazing up into a steep forest of mossy boulders, stout Yellow Birch, Red Maple, Spruce, and Hemlock. Some of the larger boulders are the size of a small house, and all of the smaller ones are entirely carpeted with moss. Exposed tree roots are also mossy, as are the huge trunks of fallen trees and the mounds of nurse logs. Dark green, leathery fronds of Polypody feather the sides of mossy boulders, and yellow-green Dryopteris ferns grow knee-high where they can find a bit of well-rotted wood between mossy rocks. This scene continues all the way up the slope.
We pulled into a short loop of old highway that parallels Nova Scotia #357 yesterday at dusk, and when I stepped out of the trailer this morning I walked along the edge of the woods to identify a trickling sound, and found water flowing from a dark space beneath a large rock which is hand lettered in weathered red paint, BRANDY SPRING.
The water falls into a depression too shallow for dipping, but after a brief sparkle over pebbles it collects in a small pool and trickles from that into the grassy ditch, spongy with Sphagnum and laced with Cranberries, where it shortly sinks into the ground. The forested slope continues on the other side of the highway, down to a slow reach of the Musquodoboit (pronounced "Muskadobbit") River.
Water from Brandy Spring is clear and pale golden - the colour of watered-down brandy. It tastes fresh, clean, and cold - not soft on the tongue, but with a sort of mineral edge to it, a rocky sharpness. The colour will be from rain that has soaked through leaves and moss and the spongy web of tree roots over granite. I filled all of our water containers.
We have not disturbed the forest here by turning any cover, so we don't know what slugs or salamanders may be here, but Fred noted "autumn calling" by Green Frogs and Peepers.
This original painting is available for $275. For information on purchase and shipping, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org