I got up at 6:15 this morning and started my day with a nice long hike. I walked part of the Kings Highway and the entire Beaver Loop. Everything was covered in so much dew, my shoes were soaking wet by the time I got back. There was a beautiful fog in low-lying areas. I saw a couple of female elk, one deer and a variety of birds. I don’t know if any of my photos turned out of the bigger animals, but I did get some vibrant photos of a white admiral butterfly and several different dragonflies that were everywhere in a beautiful field of purple flowers. Sometimes when I’m on the hunt for a photo of something grand and majestic, it is quiet little moments like a butterfly on a flower that really make me stop and see beauty in something so simple. My hope for the week was to see something purple, the favorite color of my cousin’s young daughter who passed away last week. Near the beginning of my hike this morning, the woods opened up to the most beautiful rolling hills of purple flowers. It was just what I needed to see.
Enjoying this time up here alone is really making me appreciate the state parks system. People need a place to get away, to just be part of nature. I am so grateful for these few days in the middle of the week when it isn’t busy here. Even the weather is perfect today.
I stayed up until about 10 o’clock last night working on my pelican painting. By the time I went to sleep I finally felt like it was starting to come together. Today I finished up the background water and got the pelicans themselves done besides some tweaks that I’m sure will come. If my back will hold out, after I eat my dinner I am going to start working on the reflections of the pelicans. The reference photo I am working from does not have very good reflection. The water was very choppy the day I took the photo but I’m hoping I can fake a little better reflection than the photo has. If I can get the next coat of paint on for the reflection of the pelicans, there is a very real chance I could finish this painting tomorrow. I will include a progress picture.
I’m just doing the math and realized I spent 13 straight hours outside today. I literally only came inside for bathroom breaks and to grab food. The weather was perfect. Besides painting, I also met with the park staff to work out the details for the weekend events. I seriously don’t know if the staff here could be any better to work with. I wish I lived closer so I could come more often!
Time for a supper break and to move inside for the night. Tomorrow looks rainy so I don’t think I will be outside much. I will be meeting the executive director from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, so I am excited about that. It’s funny that we are both from Bismarck but will be meeting all the way up by the Canadian border!