Thursday, October 25, 2012

Time for the Hunt

It's that time of year. October and November are my favorite months to be outdoors. With the last two weeks of bow season right around the corner, deer activity is ramping up and signs of the rut are everywhere. Rubs line deer trails near thickets and swamps. Scrapes are briefly covered by falling leaves, but quickly cleaned out as bucks freshen them. Does are getting antsy as they seem to know bucks will be running them ragged in just days. Scuffles between the boys turn into knock-down-drag-out brawls when the older bullies on the block are involved.
My trail cameras are getting a workout and the anticipation of checking them for new images is sometimes more than I can stand. Still, it doesn't compare to actually being out there. Most of my days from now until the end of the season will be spent sitting 20' up in a small tree stand. I will stay from an hour before sunrise until well after sunset, only making my way back to the truck after I'm confident any deer in the area have moved on. Then it's back to the house for a quick bite to eat and a few hours of sleep before I head out again.
So far, I've been able to pace myself. It's easy for me to get burned out early in the season if I'm not careful. Now my drive has reached a crescendo of hunt all day every day if at all possible. If you call, I likely won't answer. If you visit, no one is at home. It's just that time of year.

Monday, October 15, 2012


"Sanctuary" 10x20 acrylic
This is the final painting for my Waterfowl Festival inventory... finished just minutes ago. Time to start something new!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Few Hours in the Autumn Woods

Some days are just meant for being outside. October has started out with quite a spectacular display of brisk weather and bright fall color. Not wanting to miss out, I took a few hours this week to do some exploring along one of my favorite streams. I left the fly rod at home for a change and took only my camera and hiking boots. For me... leaving the fly rod behind is not as easy as it might sound.
On days like this, the torments of my daily life are... at least for a while... lost among the brightly colored maple leaves. My thoughts seem to tumble along with the stream moving easily past otherwise sticky obstacles. For some reason, I find it comforting that the water at my feet will, at some point, reach the Gulf of Mexico.
It feels good to take in the cool air though the bright sun makes my fleece almost unnecessary. As I follow well-used deer trails, they reveal buck rubs and the occasional scrape. Though I take note of these, I'm not here to hunt deer today. My hunt is for painting inspiration... and I'm finding it everywhere.
Blue jays scold me as if I had some sinister intention, but soon lose interest and move on through the canopy. A pileated woodpecker cackles and I see the flashes of white on its wings as it moves from tree to tree. The forest is a flurry of activity. The critters seem to be enjoying the day as much as me, though I know that's likely my imagination. They are simply going about the tasks of daily survival. Still, I am a bit more appreciative than usual of days like this. Wind and rain took many of the leaves before their time last year, making the fall a flop for observing the colors of the season.
I'm feeling the urge to paint... as I often do. My mission to find inspiration has been a success. Now... with my spirit full... it's time to get back to the studio!

Friday, October 5, 2012

"Sign of Spring"

"Sign of Spring" 6x8 acrylic

Just off the easel, this is one of my final few paintings headed for the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, MD next month. Now... time to get busy on something a little bigger! Stay tuned...