This week the weather began to feel like spring. The smell of the thaw was thick in the air, the warm breeze blew, sounds of birds chirping, children playing outside and sun broke through the layer of thick grey. If for only for a few days we enjoyed the inevitable coming of spring. I wanted to go out and capture the subtle signs of the change of season. After dropping LP off at school and realized a school meeting was rescheduled I headed up for a quick walk in the woods with my camera.
The morning reminded me of mornings back in Northern Virginia when I was in high school. The morning was still a bit cool and there was a slight mist hanging in the forest, the sun had not found its way out yet. I stopped at the trailhead, slung my camera around my neck and began to walk. I came to a fork in the trail and I had a choice to travel up a very steep rocky section or travel on a lovely flat pine covered trail that followed a little stream.
I looked down at my clog covered feet and realized my footwear was not ideal for the more difficult trail. I wanted to see if I could find a break in the trees to get a nice view of the valley so I headed up. I careful chose my foot placements but I still felt my heels slide out the back of my shoe. The morning was lovely and sounds of woods filled me up so I continued up.
I found mushrooms, clover; moss covered trunks, and various sprouts popping up from the thawing ground. As I walked the trail continued up. In the steepest section there was a log staircase breaking up the rocky trail giving stability where there would be none. I stopped frequently to look and listen to see if I could find little compositions, textures or vistas that may capture the sense of the morning. I continued up the short steep trail but there was never the break I was hoping for. I captured little close ups but nothing that stood out. I found fabulous textures that I will have a hundred uses for but most of all I had an unusual 40 minute period of pure peace.
I miss being out in the woods without any real purpose or goal. Not to tackle a trail or head to a route or to get the kids out for exercise. The only purpose was to enjoy the morning and take a few quick pictures. I did not capture any image that stands out to me as a special image or a portfolio piece. I did find a ton of images I would like to use in composite images and textures for illustrations and other photographs.
I continue to work on the illustration and I am starting to carve my new plate but I thought the images from my walk in the woods might be more interesting for people to view. As I walked through the woods I kept finding beautiful lines that will soon be covered by thick foliage. Seeing the skeleton of nature is a gift that we neglect to celebrate during winter.
The lines of winter remind me of one of my favorite painters, Clyfford Still, a master of capturing emotion through the simple element of art, line. On my stroll I found so many mini composition that spoke of his work; perhaps this was an inspiration or resource for him as well, a simple walk in the woods.