Spring by Kathryn White

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nature Study: The Artist's Canvas

It has been a week of glorious weather here in southern Ontario, with temperatures averaging around 14'c or 58'f along with blue skies and sunshine.
One of my favourite activities is to go hiking and to observe nature.
Even better yet is to spend time with my best friend, my hubby, while we hike and enjoy the beauty around us. This past week we had the opportunity several times to go out and explore local trails. Although November is considered a grey and dreary month by many, that description could not be applied to this past week.
The only bird song we heard on our hike were the chickadees as they darted from tree to tree. I couldn't get enough of the beautiful palette of blue, tones of brown including rust and taupe, warm green and moss olive, ruby and garnet...
Although not an object of nature, the colour does fit in...taken for our friend J
Gorgeous warm tones of moss on the tree stumps:

These holes were made by a pileated woodpecker in search of insects:
Milkweed is soft, silky, velvety and beautiful:
Little weavers of the summer, with sunbeam shuttle bright
And loom unseen by mortals, you are busy day and night
Weaving fairy threads as filmy, and soft as cloud swans, seen
In broad blue sky-land rivers, above earth's field of green.
~Ray Laurance
floating seed balloons:
Beautiful shades of brown fungi formed on the tree:
Garnet and ruby-coloured berries
brighten up the brown background
and are a treat for the birds:

Peaceful babbling brooks:
Riverbeds are drying up:
Pausing for a mid-day snack,
this Canada Goose is enjoying her reflection in the water:

Cobalt blues and rustic tones:
Remnants of the harvest season
and brushstrokes of white wispy cirrus clouds
set against an azure sky

The farmers here have taken off most of their crops
and have been busy plowing up the fields
and spreading manure
as they take advantage of this beautiful weather:

And there is much activity in the way of building houses
as well as barns in this area:
The sheep are so content in their pasture:
Driving home again, this faithful sign
indicates the temperature,
although it felt warmer on our hike:

Even our hens are enjoying the sunshine
as they scratch for food:

These were some of the books we used with our children when they were young, as a tool to the study and appreciation of nature.
We have also used Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature-Study as well as Charlotte Mason's Companion which is a great study in music, art and nature appreciation.
A study on creation can be found here.
I also wanted to share one of my favourite seasonal books by british author Susan Hill, entitled:
The Magic Apple Tree,
as well as a favourite british artist,
Gordon Beningfield.

"O LORD, how manifold are thy works!
In wisdom hast thou made them all:

the earth is full of thy riches. "Psalm 104:24