Today I'll travel to the swamp and woods
to do a little artistic sketching for those
painting projects during the warm summer.
As I leave with my thermos and bag,
a lone cardinal sits by the empty feeder,
snail trails arrive in the freshly tilled garden.
Gentle rains beget fresh greener grasses;
lichen and moss cover the old stone wall,
and fill the air with a fresh spring essence.
Crows are busy in their murder covens,
nibble on corn stubble before the next plow.
Songbirds arriving daily with warmer skies.
Smells of the forest are musty and damp
colored leaves weaving a winters quilt.
Ice sheets melting on the ponds and lakes
geese happily swim through coolish waters.
Frogs and turtles are returning from hibernation,
as will the black bears and woodchucks soon.
A puff on the pipe, and a sip from the flask,
take out my sketch pad from the canvas bag.
Two deer moving slow in the hemlock swamp.
It's now time to capture, using a charcoal black,
woodland creatures and trees during this moment,
like that Pileated woodpecker; tap, tap, tapping.
With a slow, steady hand, a raven takes shape
perched high in an ancient oak, his call a bit raspy
Trees are still bare, I watch lone leaves float down
like paper planes, some helicopter to the fodder.
As branches and twigs take shape on the paper
timeless moments found upon this spring day.
I watch the chickadees dance in the pine boughs,
the blue jays squawk, alert all to perceived threats,
gray squirrels gathering acorns for a spring snack
look toward the skies, as the clouds drift by slowly.
For it's not the beauty of what we see before us,
but it's in knowing whom to properly give thanks.