Sunday, February 26, 2012

Put Down the Camera for a While

Too many choices.  On yesterday's hike with the Adventures in Nature Journaling class, I forgot to bring my camera.  The result was that I took a few notes, and probably interacted with the students better.  They indulged in varying degrees of sketching, note taking, and photography.  We had lunch together and did an informal "debriefing" of the outing.  I was mostly glad I hadn't brought my camera - with one exception.  At the foot of a little spring where water poured out of a crack  in a rock face, there were pieces of shale in the puddle below.  I compulsively turned them over, one by one, looking for caddis flies, salamanders, or anything else that might be moving.  Found a very large and active hellgrammite.  This is the nymph of the Dobsonfly of which I have several really nice photos in the adult stage.  I am now longing to go back with my camera in hopes the hellgrammite will be there for a few more days for a photo session.
Otherwise, the experience motivated me to rearrange my day packs, and have one primarily dedicated to my portable art supplies.  The one I used yesterday that carried colored pencils, a set of pan watercolors, a waterbrush, and some other odds and ends, accompanied me to a coffee shop this morning.  Out of habit, I brought along the laptop as well.  The pack that usually carries my laptop is otherwise filled with what I'd call office supplies.  Oh my, decisions....  Meanwhile, I've decided I need to take up the drawing and painting habit more seriously.  Here I have photos of a moss page from my journal, finally completed, and a painting of damselflies mating.  I've been ambivalent about that painting ever since I did it.  I wanted to show it in the gallery, then made a bad choice of frame, then became dissatisfied with the painting itself.  This morning I removed it from the frame and decided it was good enough to show off here.  Meanwhile, the photo of my various day packs and a tote bag show the dilemma I'm trying to resolve.  I need to prioritize my portables and choose matching day packs within the next week or so before the wildflowers start to show up in force.


  1. Just wanted you to know that after all these years I'm still trying to find the "perfect portable solution"---so you are not alone. I think every naturalist struggles with that problem. If you ever find the perfect solution, do let us know.
    Sincerely, Roseindigo

  2. PS: I think the damselfly painting is lovely, but needs to be cropped a little bit on the left. With the right matting and framing it could be a lovely painting. It has beautiful negative spaces.

    1. Interesting point is that it was the damselflies that created the negative spaces. That's really the way they mate.