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a january walk before the snow

The Rothschild family was  recently the focus of the BBC TV series the Aristocrats . Lord Jacob Rothschild doesn't like to be thought of as an aristocrat but he does like to give thought and support to the beauty of English landscape and modern art.  One modern artist mentioned was Richard Long, a Turner art prize recipient.  Long is shown in action executing a wall mural.  A porcelain coloured mud based paint is his medium, highlighting his skill of manipulating gravity, otherwise called an expensive drip at a million a brushstroke! The wall mural has fabulous energy.  That took me to Mr. Long's website where I discovered he loves to walk and documents these walks as art pieces.  Difficult to hang on a wall. However his documentation is also stunning .  So conceptual/performance art aside, and a tip of my tuke to Michael Snow's Walking Woman,  I decided to take a walk myself to battle the January blahs.

And off I went to the Clear Creek nature preserve located in the Ontario municipality of Chatham Kent where I live.   Luckily about 15 years ago the Nature Conservancy of Canada purchased the 100 acre woodland from a farm family  . I say luckily as only 4% of our municipality remains treed.  And thankfully,it remains protected from the invasion of soybeans, corn and industrial windturbines that now define our rural landscape.

I followed the no so Clear Creek from the north end and walked south following the west side. How could one get lost I asked myself following one side and returning by the other.   The creek oxbowed endlessly with small creeks flowing in.  No, I did not get lost, but I had a moment when I jumped over too many felled trees as bridges to the other side and was momentarily not sure which side was which.  Just thankful I don't smoke dope.  Disorientation comes naturally to me, but I welcomed getting lost in the the silence of the woods, its's somber dress of fallen leaves amidst the upright audience of trunks.  And here and there the loud applause of ancient green moss.  Doesn't the one above look like a beached prehistoric duck-billed platypus?  Keep walking, Charlotte.  With my compliments to the Nature Conservancy of Canada!



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