A thirty pound backpack filled with painting gear, ice cleats strapped to my boots, I am outside. The latest polar vortex of minus 20 degrees has finally been diminished by a warm front. No longer hunkered down in my tiny house, but in Nature's open air arena at Maudslay State Park. It was 48 degrees outside. Warm. I inhaled deeply, my lungs open freely and began my painter's walk from the parking lot.
I made my way down the sledding hill, rounding at the base to a partially melted pond. A brilliant sun cast elongated shadows on icy patches of left over snow on the wooded hillside: A plank was positioned over a burbling snow melt stream to an icy path that divided the pond into two parts. There I stood, eyeing both sides of the pond.
I painted the left side where I spied animal prints dimpling the snow bank.
Is that a woodpecker's rat-a-tat I hear in the distance?