Sketchbook – Summer Observations

Here are some quick sketches completed in my new sketchbook over the past couple of months.  We have a local, 23-acre, county park very nearby in which we take many walks.  Even though it is on the corner of two very busy streets, once in the park you forget all that hustle and bustle.  The park is also unique in that the majority of the trails are paved and handicap accessible, complete with braille signs and waist-high gardens.  Other features include a pond, wildflower prairie, a small bamboo forest, and a barn for park programs.

natures-niche

This is a sketch of the old homestead at the nature preserve, and the house now serves as a gift shop.  This is a view of it through the trees near the entrance.

fire-pit

Here is the fire pit area where many programs are held and where naturalists cook maple syrup during Maple Sugar Days each year.  When the kids were small we took many family walks at the park, and because not much was happening at the fire pit on weekday evenings, my kids took the opportunity to use the area as a stage and would perform “shows” for us after our walks.   Note part of the bamboo forest in the upper right corner of this sketch.

Bunny.jpg

We saw this cute little guy hopping around, and this is a female cardinal sitting on her speckled eggs.  We also see deer, turtles, snakes, frogs, many varieties birds, and all the other usual critters that live in this area.

cardinal-in-nest

One section of the park is home to numerous sassafras trees, which have an odd twisting characteristic to their trunks.  They really are quite fascinating.  I remember learning about sassafras trees when I was in grade school because a teacher said the leaves look like mittens.

sassafras

I’m looking forward to the fall weather and watching all the changes take place at the nature preserve, and I’m glad we have such an extraordinary place so close to home.

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