Monday, April 15, 2013

Paying Attention

“The capacity for delight is the gift to paying attention”.  (Cameron, Julia. The Complete Artist’s Way, 2007, pg. 66).  I woke early and took myself and Phoebe for a long walk in the bush this morning.  Time was the essence as there was still a magnificent crust on the snow but it would quickly disappear as the day wore on.  Temperatures are rising, and today was a different type of day for exploring.  The trail was opening up with large pools as snow melted, falling in on itself.  

Pretty flat rock, on the hill

There was plenty of activity in the bush, a myriad of tracks and movement.

A large moose had come down from the hill to get a drink in one of the pools formed from the spring thaw.  
Phoebe investigates.

There were different signs of deer activity from the tracks of a buck dragging his hooves, to that of a smaller doe. 

Wild turkey tracks were also evident, possibly passing through looking for food. 

 We wandered down to the pond and came across a lone mallard; skittish and wary.  I was not able to get a picture as he erupted in a flurry of wing beats while Phoebe and I approached the bank to get a better view.

The lagoon is almost open now.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I happened to scroll through my posts and realized that I hadn't posted the finished piece of Turtle Lake.  So here it is.  It will be one of the paintings featured at the upcoming show this summer, at Wood's End Studio.

This is the link:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Remembering Chippy Short-Tail

It feels like we’ve had a very long winter.  Spring continues to stall.  Early this morning, my little dog Phoebe and I took a walk in the bush and we were able to walk on the crust.  This is unusual for April; however the temperature was -5 degrees C.

Although, there is still a lot of snow in the bush, we are seeing slow signs of spring; the ice on the pond blackening, the cooing of a mourning dove and five Canada geese flying V formation to the marsh on Peace Valley Road.  During our walk, we came across a saucy red squirrel running for cover.

Yesterday, Phoebe and I spotted a chipmunk in my back yard, one of Chippy’s babies.  I called to the chipmunk, as he sat on the bricks watching us with interest.

Chippy Short-tail as I called her, was a curious little soul that first introduced herself five summers ago by jumping into my lap one spring afternoon as I was outside sketching.  She came by her name as most of her tail was missing.  I presumed bitten off, or caught on something.

Sketches of Chippy Short-tail. ©Eleanor Thorel

She became a constant companion each spring, summer and fall, looking for treats such as sunflower seeds and peanuts.  Rambunctious and daring, she thought nothing of climbing onto our laps, running along an outstretched hand and onto a shoulder.

Two summers ago Chippy brought her two babies whom I nicknamed Percy and Chippy Long-tail to visit with us.  These little rascals were constantly running into the house and then getting frantic trying to find a way out.  Last spring was the last time we saw Chippy Short-tail.

Sketch of one of the chippies in the garden.
©Eleanor Thorel

She had lived to be a good age; greying and silver backed her coat still shining and healthy.  We won’t see her this spring, but she will always be remembered.