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Oak Tree


I wanted to do something a little different here, maybe go for capturing the spirit of the tree or the setting, rather than just represent it.  I mean, we have cameras for that.

Thank goodness the weather broke a little here.  It is amazing how much softer the air feels at 33 degrees than it did at 12.  I’m actually going to venture OUTSIDE tomorrow morning for a workday.  We went for a walk in the woods a couple of days ago, my friend and I.  We were visiting her site which is remarkably high quality.  Crews were replacing some bridges across creeks and other fragile areas.  We were surprised to see Florida plates on the trucks.  Imagine~being sent from Florida all the way to northern Illinois to build a bridge!  They were pretty cheerful, all things considered.  Now if we could get the snowmobilers to stay on the bridge instead of running through the wetland next to it….

My big news is that I’ve found a new site to be steward of.  Yay!  The first one given to me was such high quality I was afraid to do anything to it, and it was an hour away which wasn’t practical.  My new one is more of a rolling savanna with a lot of scars that I will enjoy trying to heal.  There is a stand of pines that were planted at some point.  They don’t belong there but  they aren’t doing any harm and they make me feel like I’ve got a little bit of home here with me.  I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you,  along with new paintings of course.

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas

13 thoughts on “Oak Tree

  1. Melissa, I think the oak is hauntingly beautiful. I feel like I want a better look, seems to me the trunk and the outstretched limb have more to them than first meets the eye.

    I’m happy that you have a new piece of earth to love and look after.

    Those poor guys from FL. I didn’t say I wouldn’t help complain about your cold weather – that is just crazy cold. I can’t even imagine. We are having a warm snap here in VA today in the 60’s – wow.

    I know there is a fairy face in that tree trunk.

    Sending you warm hugs.

    1. Hi Kim,
      I feel better having you help me complain about the weather 🙂 60’s…I’ll be right there!
      Thank you, and warm hugs back!

  2. I like your painting of the oak. Several of the places we walk have very large and old oaks. They always remind me of ones from story books. It is easy to imagine fairies and elves nearby. Their stately limbs reach out as in your painting. Nice capture of the essence.

    Melanie and I have become frequent hikers in recent years. This year we are trying our hand at winter hikes progressing to snowshoes. We’ve never used them. A local store will rent by the day so we can give them a try. Last week, we were in IN, OH, and WV on a road trip to visit family. We did a lot of hiking in 2-3″ of snow with some teens and twenty temps. We have a post of the IN hike up today.
    More to come later.

    What do you mean ‘to love and look after’?

    1. Thank you Jim!
      Sounds like the two of you have been having a good time in the snow. I haven’t been on snowshoes in many years~ don’t know whether I could still do it.
      Put like that it sounds a bit like a marriage vow, doesn’t it? Being a steward means removing exotics like garlic mustard and buckthorn and generally keeping an eye on it. I think I’ll start monitoring dragonflies and frogs and stuff. Oh I do love all that stuff!

      1. We have the annual garlic mustard harvest in our back woods. I’ve put a dent in them. But, they are really prolific.

        Take good care of that piece of land.

      2. Thanks Jim, I will. Garlic mustard is a real pest, isn’t it? But kinda satisfying to pull…


      3. I wait until there’s been a little rain. You get more of the root. Feels successful then.

        Gotta go hit the hay. Catch you later. Get your snow shovel out and ready. We are expecting 5-8″ of the white stuff by Sunday. We will send the leftovers to you in N IL. 🙂

      4. Nooooo, that’s ok, you can keep it, really! 🙂 Sounds like it will be a good opportunity to try out the snowshoes.


      5. Yes, but. After the snow, it turns windy and -10˚. I’m not going out in that cold. It needs to get back into the 20s first.

      6. Oh, brrrr!  I agree, time to stay inside with a good book.


  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I love the new painting. And happy to hear that you have a new piece of land to be watch over.

    1. Hooray for you Angela! Here’s to an exciting 2014…

      1. Amen to that!

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