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!