Saturday, December 26, 2009

Forest Defender

This is one of my more "whimsical drawings." As a youngster I loved and dearly enjoyed all fairytales, myths and legends. Coupled with a big imagination, I would often make up stories about the lives of the faery folk I imagined living in the forest. I was the staunch and brave defender of the woodland!
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The forest near where I grew up is beautiful. There is a small canyon, complete with tall trees, and a rippling, singing brook. In these magical woods grow snowdrops, pungent skunk cabbage, star flowers, vine maple and fiddle fern. The moss grows thick beneath fragrant fir and cedar trees, where vast bunches of green sword fern grow unrestrained. A few years ago, we found ferns growing near the creek, with fronds more than six feet in length!
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As children, my brothers, sisters, cousins and I played in Leprechaun Valley and Deer Valley. There were beautiful places we named Bambi's meadow, Reflection Lake, Castle Stump and Fairy Wing Pond. We would follow the distinct trails of the deer into thickets of low growth beneath the cedar trees. There we would find green-walled rooms, complete with lush moss carpeting. I remember the loveliness of delicate maiden hair fern and the rare find of an Indian Peace Pipe plant.
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I recall long summer days spent exploring, building forts and tree houses, eating blackberries from vines covering the steep hillsides, and red huckleberries from "Huckleberry Bridge." I can retrace wading in the cool stream and the way the soft mud felt when we would sink our feet deep into the Mud Flats formed by natural springs bubbling up from the rich brown earth.
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On this cold winter day, if I think hard enough, I can still smell the fragrance of the cedar trees and feel the green coolness of the forest on a hot summer day. I hear the stillness of the woods, spiked with bird calls, the creek's song and the crackling of underbrush beneath my bare feet.

10 comments:

A Dancing Mango said...

Beth,
I appreciate you visit.
Happy New Year to you!
Your story reflects much depth of love of your enviroment.
I understand so much.
I miss the woods where I lived for ten years. When hubby retired, he wanted to move. Uffda.. when I think of it! All I had to do is say NO and we would still be there.
Nestled in acres of woods, seeing wildlife daily, turkeys greeting me upon arriving home. The sounds of the forest dew drops the smell of everything. Finding lady slippers and blood root, Mayapples, and trilliums with white flowers and every so often red flowers.
The trees tucked us away from the wrath of storms and kept us warm from winter winds. I thought I would live there forever as planned. Surprise. I need to look on as I could cry thinking of God's nature that surrounded us.
Nothing can replace it.
Hugs and Love, Darlene xo

A Dancing Mango said...

Oh Beth,
I am so happy you are loving the print I painted.
You are soooooo deserving as you love so much. You are so much like myself. I can see it more each time I read something of yours.
You are so welcome!!
I am very proud that It went to you someone who loves deep.
Hugs, Darlene xo

Mekeel McBride said...

I clicked on the picture and the beautiful detail just took my breath away. The bow! WOW. Do you know this part of the story? what is happening with the dragon? I just love your art so much.

Lois said...

What wonderful childhood memories Beth! We used to build forts too and go horseback riding on the beach and through the woods. Unfortunately developers have taken over the area where I grew up and I won't go back because I want to remember it the way it was. This is a lovely picture and I really like that shade of blue she is wearing!

Tammie Lee said...

you have brought summers spirit to me~ Ummmmm
your life sounds as though it has overflowed with the magic of the breath of life. Your art always makes me smile!

Angie Muresan said...

Merry Christmas Beth! That is a beautiful drawing. I don't know how you do it. Such lovely detail.

Clytie said...

Beautiful drawing, sissie. I love the detail - especially the eagle on her bow.

Thanks for another walk down memory lane, we did have fun, didn't we?

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

I still lvoe to explore forests - and most especially wetlands. I share your fascination with Peace Pipes and was especially excited to find several thick stands of them last summer when I took a canoe trip deep into the wilds of La Verendrye Provincial Park.
Evelyn in Montreal

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Your drawing is beautiful Sissie. Wishng you and your family all the very best for the season!

tarzan said...

Beth I love this drawing..... You make me feel like I am there with you defending the forest, and the way you describe it, I know we must have played together as children.... thank you for another beautiful connection.