Dark & Dreary — but fun!

“Winter Brackens” — plein air field study in oil on 8×10″ birch panel by Margie Guyot

It was sorta-kinda sunny all morning, but I was hell-bent on cleaning out the spare guest room to get ready for my new sauna. Which is a whole other story. After my “trough-size” salad at lunch I decided to go back down to Antrim Creek Natural Area and do some painting. Why waste a nice day?

Of course the clouds rolled back in and stayed. I’d planned on going down to the creek to paint, but changed my mind. Why not explore the path that goes north? I hadn’t been on that one in maybe 8 or 10 years. Along the way I was happy to see there were lots of mature red oak trees. Aha. That might be a prime spot to hunt maitake mushrooms next fall!

The trail kept going and going, deeper into the woods. I couldn’t even hear the lake anymore. My gear was getting heavy. I decided to turn around and head back. Maybe paint down at the creek as originally planned. At one point I veered off the path and hiked over to check out the dunes. That’s where I did this painting. Sure, it’s not a Kinkade, but I liked the movement of the lines. I set up my easel in a big snarl of wild grape vines and dead brackens. In the summer it would have been an awful mess. Full of mosquitoes, gnats, black flies, ticks. Argh.

Instead of heading back to the trail, I moseyed over the dunes and down to the shoreline. Nobody was there (as usual!) and I had the whole place to myself. As you can see, most of the ice and snow have melted.

Of course I kept my eyes open for Petoskey stones! Lake Michigan is said to be the only place in the world where you can find them. And I found one!

As I always say, “Someday they’ll be fighting over this!”

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