Alltrails is a great app that I use to find hikes that fit me. Looking at a 30 minute or less travel time led me to New Jersey. So this week I went to Stokes State Forest to try out the Red Maple and Steffens trails. About halfway you can add extra distance and go to the Ladder Trail, which leads to the Appalachian Trail and a scenic overlook from the Kittatinny Ridge. I decided to save that for another day.
I wasn’t disappointed with this hike – a bit wilder with a much less traveled path, and only one other person seen on it. And that person was on a bicycle, which was quite a surprise.
The weather was warm, but too windy to stop and try a sketch, so these were done later at home. Fallen trees did not block the trail, instead there were some to climb over and some to go under. A white fluffy deer tail was all I spotted as it bounded away, same with the back end of a large turkey who did not like me so close. I saw lots of eastern skunk cabbage, which added nice pops of green along wet areas.
Shortly after starting I stopped – to rest, of course, but also to really appreciate my surroundings and give thanks for being able to enjoy the fresh air, nature and solitude that replenish my spirit. Grateful!
So yes, elephants are amazing and exquisite, but there were also other wonderful creatures. The giraffes, so tall and stately, and when they tipped their head to reach the leaves, they were just one fluid line.
My sketches don’t do them justice, so here’s the real thing:
With Zambia temperatures in the high 90s, the heat and dust made me wish for cooler weather. Waking up back home in upstate NY, the cool rain was exactly what I needed.
But – Africa, right? It’s now in my heart and in my dreams.
There is a lack of focus in these posts, so let’s blame it on jet lag, okay?
I’m not sure where to start, to share parts of this experience. It feels like words aren’t enough to describe it. Well, of course there are sketches, but maybe I’ll start at the beginning.
When you’re my seat mate, or in an airport, know that you are fair game to be a sketch subject.
Arriving at Thornicroft Lodge near Mfuwe, we had a perfect view of the river, with hippos and various birds.
Our safari rides into South Luangwe Park started on Tuesday. My dream on this trip was to see elephants, and they did not disappoint! So as not to overwhelm you, I’ll only post some of the sketches today. There were many fantastic opportunities to sketch, and we took advantage of them!
In spite of a lack of posts, I am still sketching, but haven’t been posting much.
Let’s catch up and see what I have been working on. Way back in January, the same day I found out that my second grandbaby would be another girl (yippee!), I was also thrilled to meet Heidi and Mary-Anne from Art Safari! This is the company that I went with to (amazing) Morocco last fall.
They were touring NYC with a small group, and we were able to coordinate a short meeting at the Museum of Natural History. They are just as friendly and charming in person as they were via email. You might notice how much I enjoyed the dinosaur exhibits by my sketches here…
PS – Granddaughter #2 arrived recently and all are doing well!
My 3rd sketch at the museum – I feel like I warmed up with the first two!
My 2nd sketch of the day
Dinosaur at the Museum of Natural History – His head was sticking out of the room to show how large he was!
I’ve had this plastic skull for a while, waiting for the right time to sketch it.
I’m technically not “snow-bound”, but with a hill on my way home, I prefer to stay home and not risk having to walk the last leg of my return.
Staying home has led to much more art getting done, which makes me very happy!
I plan to do more sketches of it/him, but I was pleasantly distracted by my next post…