Saturday, April 23, 2011

Late April Mist

"Two Hemlocks", ink & watercolor (listed in the shop)

Yesterday I gave some thought to what today's post might be, but the unfolding 
of the day took me in other directions. I opened my eyes at dawn to hemlocks 
heavy with snow. By mid-day, thick mists had settled into the forest. 

I took a short morning walk around the garden, sliding on slush and sinking into 
mud, and noticed the daffodils bent to earth. 

The first load of next year's wood was delivered, and yesterday I moved the pile 
back to make room for one more load. It was dry and ready to stack in the shed, 
until today that is. A few sunny days will be enough to dry it out again so I can  
stack it for winter. 

It was surely a morning for a long warm-up by the wood stove. Pasha was 
in and out, often curling on his little rug by the fire between cold outings in  
drizzle. On one outing, a lengthy avalanche of wet snow cascaded to the ground, 
sending him for cover. Soon afterwards he was inside and in need of attention. This is often my view when he has settled on my lap and relaxed into purring. Moments later, 
though, he jumps down and rings the door chimes to go out....

In the relative dark of the morning, I was struck by the contrast 
of in and out

Slowly, white snow gave way to blurring mists, and the day softened
 into muted tones of grays and browns and greens.  

Late in the afternoon, I went out to greet the dusk, and was drawn in by the 
forest's veiled and shining beauty. A peek just beyond the trees - a little bit further, 
and without noticing, I was in the depths of mists and emerald green enchantment. 

A few images painted years ago when I first moved here were clearly inspired 
by just this kind of day. I enjoyed finding these again, having not looked at them
in a long time. I really SEE them now. 

"Hemlocks & Birches", ink & watercolor (listed in the shop)

There might be nothing as beautiful in this forest as days of low light and lingering 
mists - it seems the damp brings out the woodland's sylvan mysteries. 


Snowbrush said...


Donna~Q~ said...

What a mistfully enchanting day and a thoroughly beautiful post!

Penny Berens said...

Beautiful misty moisty morning.

steven said...

valerianna your words and these images richly describe the feeling of the woods - these kinds of days - the enveloping softening mists and indirect light - are among my favourite to be in woods. the trees whisper, the ground softens, rock and moss seem to settle back deeper into the soil. the space between those scenes and your art is almost non-existent. steven

Unknown said...

I agree. There is something so wonderfully magical about a misty morning in the woods. Your photos are beautiful.

diane said...

Mystifyingly beautiful photos and prose!

Windsongs and Wordhoards said...

A surprise to see you have more snow! The misty forest is very primordial seeming isn't it, a hush of listening, what a wonderful place to be.
Lovely paintings as well, and I love those wonderful green striped fungi...

Danielle Barlow said...

What beautiful paintings. You can almost feel a silence in them (if that makes sense!) It is so strange to see you with fresh snow, while we are sunbaked here.

bb said...

Truly gorgeous forest and delicious Pasha :-) But I admire your old paintings, I think the trees and light are very alive, perfect colors and strokes to hold this atmosphere.

Lunar Hine said...

Wow - those bracket fungi are amazing. Coveting a skirt in those colours...

yew tree nights said...

Mist + very green moss + a dusting of snow must be the formula for perfect happiness. Lovely!

Velma Bolyard said...

spring is certainly playing with us humans this year.

Valerianna said...

Everyone - thanks for your words and thoughts. Snow has melted totally, now we're in a week of rain!

I love what Lunar Hine said - I think a skirt inspired by those fungi might look like one made for Frida Kahlo - layered, Mexican affair with lovely swing to it - what do you think? I think it would be really great!

Unknown said...

V - I really enjoyed "sharing" this day with you and Pasha. Best wishes, sus

Nikiah Seeds said...

What a beautiful post Valerianna!
The images are inspiring and enchanting as usual~ I LOVE the images you took of the deep green fungi*sigh* I wish I could come over for tea--your forest is drawing me in....

Reading Tea Leaves said...

Just look at the mist shrouding that lovely little hut and the mossy ground - just beautiful. I love misty mornings with the promise maybe of sunshine breaking through....

So glad your snow is disappearing Valerianna - at last! - Spring will be arriving soon in your enchanting forest.

The picture of Pasha's upturned face is lovely.


Tammie Lee said...

wonderful to see your art
wood pile beginning for next year... good on you!
last week we got snow most days too
this week rain
after a gorgeous weekend!

Donna Iona Drozda said...

Every image here is like a soft wrap. Having lived in a similar landscape for all of my life, until moving to the ocean edge some years back, I find my heart open, open, opening to each silvery, misty frame.

So gorgeous. I love watching Pasha wandering.

Karen said...

Beautiful x

Sharmon Davidson said...

The misty forest has its mysterious magic, and your words and images evoke it so well. thank you for sharing this wonderful magic with us.

jude said...

nothing like a good mist, the paintings are really wonderful. water color just suits the subject.

Joanna said...

You have totally captured the mood with your paintings.

layers said...

So many of your images could be right here where I live-- in the Pacific NW-- we have so much in common in terms of cold snowy springs, lush forests, and wood stoves to cozy up to. beautiful images for sure.

Valerianna said...

susan - Glad you enjoyed the misty day.... we've had quite a lot of them lately... I'm looking forward to the sun predicted for tomorrow!

Nikiah - that fungi is pretty amazing... it was electric green on that day. I must go back and see it again to see if its still that green. If you're ever in the area, DO stop by for tea and a walk on the mosses!

Jeanne - We had more cool weather this week, I think soon it will shift, luckily, no more snow since this post!

Tammie - got all my wood now - four cords plus whatever is left over from last year. Now comes the fun part!

Donna - The day was rather like a soft wrap, I think I'm ready for different texture for a bit however! I enjoy catching Pasha's wanderings on my camera, I'm glad someone likes to see it, he is soin his element on our walks, he really loves sharing time in the forest, he gets sooo excited!

Karen - It was, quite!

Sharmon - thanks and you're welcome!

jude- watercolor is definitely a good medium for watery days!

Joanna - thanks... I think I'm ready to do a few more in this vein. I've been painting mostly the long views lately, I'm feeling the desire to paint the intimate forest again.

layers- I've often thought there was a sort of connection between this area and the Pacific NW, I think we get colder for longer, but the forests here surely look like what I have seen of out there. Someday I'd like to see it, it looks beautiful!

Gwen Buchanan said...

subtle beauty.. like a place time forgot!

Sara Bowen said...

Dear Valerianna, thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog! I'm really glad you liked my boats... I've really enjoyed reading your blog too and I LOVE your photos of the fungus - what an amazing colour! I'd like a skirt like that too. A few years ago I came to your part of the world (or near by) and loved it: I'll always be a northern-hemisphere person in my heart, with a love for the snow and the woods, although in this part of my life I live in the sub-tropical rainforest of New South Wales, Australia, which is also a magical place to be. I look forward to dropping by again soon, best wishes, Sara

Valerianna said...

Gwen - I do like subtlety! And maybe also, places that time forgot.

Sara - thanks for stopping by, yes, your boats were really amazing! I keep meaning to go back out to that fungi to see if its still really that green, it was quite surprising. I just watched a film set in Australia last night, there is something amazing about that land as well for sure!

jasmine said...

So much beauty in this post Valerianna. I especially love your picture of the fungus. Have a wonderful May xxJ

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Beautiful images and artwork.I can't imagine still having snow at this time of year.

All best wishes!