Originally published in Strawberry Point News, Gustavus, Alaska.
Weeks of clear skies and no rain have left us all a bit disoriented. It just doesn’t feel right to have so much sunshine here. And the river is so low that the returning coho are crowded into just a few pools by the dozen, jostling each other and (I assume) eagerly awaiting the taste of fresh rainwater so they can push further upriver.
But it does make for good drawing weather. My friend Carole and I went sketching at the harbor yesterday morning, and it was idyllic.
And here’s a sketch from earlier this year…
Quite interesting to think these little guys are just the small, above ground manifestation of such a fearsome carnivorous tale. There’s so much going on underneath our feet.
I just got back from a great two weeks in Gustavus, where I was working with students and teachers at the school.The school is wonderful; there are just over 50 students, grades K-12. And Gustavus is a fascinating place: a broad, flat landscape, formed by outwash from the Glacier Bay glaciers over many centuries. The combination of flat land, lush meadows and wetlands, wandering rivers, and pine/spruce/cottonwood forest are an unusual mix in Southeast Alaska.I saw swans and herons, listened to a wolf moan under the stars, and got thrilled (even a little over-thrilled) by moose.
I'll post a series of Gustavus sketches next, starting with an iconic plant: willow.