A Quabbin Summer Solstice

You’d think, with all this extra time, I could keep up with my sketchbook … I’m not even drawing that much right now. So be it. Quabbin Reservoir is amazing … you can look it up … Western Massachusetts’ watershed, wisely protected and guarded (don’t even think about wading), it’s pristine and uncrowded. We drive 5 minutes, walk 1/2 mile, and settle for hours.

The text is a big bit of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire,” which tends to go on and on. I’m fond of words that never seem to end.


A young girl age 6 asked her mama to tell her what she did at the university where she went every day. “I am in the art department. I teach people how to draw and paint,” she replied. “You mean they forgot?!”

And speaking of “?!” – that’s called an interrobang. Also, no one ever told me the exclamation point is called a ‘bang’ in printers’ jargon. This is definitely something I should know! (?!)

Osprey Talons


I haven’t been drawing in awhile and I wonder what’s up with that. So I’ve headed myself back into my sketchbook stack, just to think about pages. This one gives me something to think about.

On the left, draw while you eat, always fun. Later, a visit with Max, my grand-nephew.
(No, it doesn’t look like him.) But I often don’t “complete” a drawing, and these soft pencil sketches that float around in my pages … feel good to me.

On the right, an amazing experience on our river of finding a dead osprey on the road.
(It turned out it was killed by an eagle.) Before the wildlife center came to collect him,
I took the opportunity to draw. Can you see that I have patched the page where I just didn’t get it right the first time? Another little sketchbook trick.

It’s not easy for you to turn the page to read, so I’m going to transcribe that sideways text, because it matters: “June 10 ¶ Trying to catch up w/ your own sketchbook is like trying to catch up w/ your life … it can’t be done. Well, ok, then, in medias res, it is: A moth has been outside our blue kitchen door all day. I am exploring how to draw it. The beauty of it is in the shadowy grays and blue-grays of its very white body. ¶ Last night, a dead osprey on our road. Greg brought him down and today we examined him. His blue-gray talons are a wonder. Now, wildlife center is coming to collect him. ¶ Astoria’s friend, Carolyn Dunn, died Thursday.”

If you follow the arrows, you are able to finish the text.