Friday, July 19, 2013


Bastille Day 2013
The heat wave continues and it's been hard to get motivated to get out and sketch. But then a few days go by and I feel like I've lost touch with the passage of the season. It's summer, with a vengeance.

The river is at seasonably low water levels. The floods are over for the time being. Rocks are visible and rapids and yesterday I saw a young family of mallards dabbling near the island as in seasons past. It was nice and reminded me of old times.

Mallard and ducklings
colored pencil
As I sat on the park bench and drew this small family, I was surprised by a young raccoon who approached me from the bushes near the river. He seemed to have just remembered the not-quite-licked-clean food container that someone had left by the bench the day before. We chatted and the masked animal scuttled off bewildered no doubt.

The sun effects us all. A few days before this encounter, as I was walking to the dam after dinner I spied (or nearly tripped over!) a large family of skunks. The nine kits were sniffing and jostling about in some bushes very close the road. They tumbled one over the other and made low chortling trills. Their mother was nervously waiting and scolding them from the foundation plantings of a house. I warned the oncoming traffic of the skunk peril and the drivers slowed down and smiled. I even tossed a few pebbles and sticks to warn the exuberant babies back in the direction of Mom and safety.  That must have been Sunday, Bastille Day and the moon floating high above the park next to the river.

The herons are hunting again now that the water level is lower.

A view of the South Natick Dam
Another view of the dam from about the same spot. You can see the rocks emerging from the shallows below the dam.
The canicule will break briefly this weekend. That may bring some thunderstorms. I'll be traveling though. I hope it doesn't seriously alter my plans. And I hope you have a peaceful and relaxing weekend too.

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