Friday, March 10, 2017

Nature Journal Page: Randle, Washington

In February, Marlene and I made a trip to visit Marlene's family in SW Washington State.

We accidentally timed it just right. This winter the Pacific Northwest has seen more snow storms and snowing days than in recent memory. Marlene's mother lives in the Cascade foothills of Randle, Washington, 900 feet elevation, at the feet of Mt. Adams and Mt. St Helens. But it was mostly just cold drizzle when we were there, though we did get one nice day where the sun broke through. We missed the snow, which was just as well--we didn't want to drive the rental car on mountain roads in snow and ice.

The 5 days without Internet access [AT&T (Cricket) doesn't have cell coverage there, while Verizon does. We had to drive 20 miles to Morton, Washington for an affordable selection of groceries and to check our phone messages and emails.] allowed me to explore a little and work on my artwork. An image of my Nature Journal page is below; I'm quite happy with it. The miniature landscape ("landscapito") shows the view out the window (minus the power poles and lines). It was my first attempt drawing mist/low clouds. It was also my first attempt at conifers using a technique I learned from Jack Law's book and online tutorials (there's just a touch of dark green on the tops of the forward-facing boughs). The leafless tree over the fence was a new technique for me, as well.

The plants I chose to draw included a waterlogged Douglas-fir cone and two common evergreen shrubs with shiny leaves. I drew them as they appeared in my photos, but the Oregon grape looks variegated (two-colored), not shiny. I don't know the technique I need to show the difference. More practice, for sure. I thought the salal turned out quite well, with wet, shiny, waxy leaves.

Nature Journal page
My Nature Journal page for Randle, Washington area, February 2017.
Graphite and colored pencil. Greg Gillson. Click for larger view.
I also took some time to note the behavior of American Robins that I hadn't studied before. I had seen the behavior many times, just not articulated it into conscious thought. That's one of the stated purposes of Nature Journaling: ("to notice something you would not have seen").

One of the other purposes of Nature Journaling is "to remember details you would have forgotten." Now with this page I've captured views of common weather, habitat, and plants that I don't get to see very often any more.