Hot off the press! A new postcard is now available featuring my watercolor “Lake Superior Shoreline, Marquette MI.” Painted en plein air, it represents my attempt to capture a sliver of time — one specific, vivid summer afternoon spent sketching on the shore of the greatest of Great Lakes, just south of the Chocolay River’s mouth. A sand dune stabilized by lush marram grass… calligraphic pines… and the hazed blue humpback of Migisy Bluff (slip-strike feature of the Marquette Synclinorium) rising in the distance. A slice of heaven, am I right? All you have to add is the postcard stamp, and a heartfelt message.
Fresh from the press: a new postcard depicting my 2012 watercolor, “Marsh Lake Wetlands.”
“Marsh Lake” is the nickname for a lovely, remote lake in the Yellow Dog Plains watershed. No roads lead to it, so it remains seemingly timeless and unaffected by humans, although because it is a shallow wetlands-fed lake, it is also vulnerable to larger surrounding issues of commercial forestry, climate change (drought) and mineral exploitation in the area. Still… it remains a spot where eagle feathers collect beneath a great sentinel pine, beaver lodges dot the water, and moose groom the trails. Next year, I plan to camp along that quiet shoreline.
PS: Am I the only one who still loves sending and receiving handwritten postcards? One wonders how long the post office will bother selling postcard stamps in a world where most images are sent as bundled pixels…
Fresh from the press: new postcards featuring my watercolor “Arbutus Pond at Dawn, Yellow Dog Plains” — these gems are vivid, high-resolution, offset-printed reproductions (with a UV coating to protect the surface from scratches). Ready for scrawled-messages-from-the-heart and postcard stamps! I’m just thrilled with them.
As I wrap up a hundred details (death by a hundred paper-cuts), I must say I am sad to be ending my magical time in Taos. The willow and cottonwoods are viridescent! Lime-yellow! — unfolding their moist, brilliant leaves. Small airy shrubs, still bare-twig, have suddenly burst into ivory-popcorned blossoms, and pink crab-apple buds are starting to open. Everyone in the neighborhood seems to be installing a patio, so the days have been filled with the hard music of hammers and concrete-mixers, which is only annoying in that it makes me long to be up on the Yellow Dog Plains, building something with my hands, instead of merely tap-tapping with my brain and fingertips (but that is my usual spring dilemma, it seems). I’m also looking forward to seeing friends in Minnesota, en route to being a visiting writer at Marian University in Wisconsin. In Minnesota, this time of year, the great oaks are black with crows. In Taos, great flocks of turkey vultures have been coming in to roost in the giant cottonwoods, at night, spiraling shadows with glimmers of gold as their wings catch the setting sun. Eerie and yet serene:
Friday, the beautiful spring weather (summer weather, by Upper Michigan standards, 75 and sunny!) beckoned me to leave my casita in the afternoon, for a beautiful hike up the “Devisadero Peak Trail” in Taos Canyon — so close, I could see the Mabel Dodge House and the great cottonwoods lining Kit Carson road from along the trail. And yet a world removed from Taos, high and dry, a rocky trail that winds gently but persistently upwards, gaining elevation from 7000′ in Taos to about 8300′ on Devisadero. A beautiful break! Today it is stormy — wind gusts of 40 mph — but only a handful of sprinkles falling in Taos. It remains a very dry spring.
Earlier this week, some of us took a walk up to La Morada, and walked the stations of the cross at sunset. The ‘stations’ are pretty subtle – just little piles of stones blazed with numbers, set in the sage and chamissa along the route. There were also prayer beads, circles and ribbons along the route. I mentioned La Morada in an earlier post, but here’s an artist’s site who briefly describes it (and has painted the infamous chapel, which is just behind the Mabel Dodge House, and on the edge of Taos Pueblo land): Ann’s Blog, “La Morada de Taos”