Monday, June 30, 2008

Nature Freakiness While Bog Trippin'

Today we visited a mountain bog. 

At 9am all of the class piled in the van (except me- i took my own car)... I could tell that nerves were starting to wear thin... when Y couldn't be found... and then V wandered off... K was telling me that older people are worse than kindergartners when it comes to listening... After spending the last week with this class, I'd have to agree. The older women in the class just do what they want when they want.. and never really pay attention. It's amusing... as long as I'm in my own car. (the pic below is the van)

RJ lives on a hippie/Quaker commune, Celo. It's really a neat area. He was trying to explain to me how the community operates... but everything was so hard for me to understand, because I've never even met someone who lives in a communal area before. It's an absolutely beautiful area by Mount Mitchell. 

His studio was great. He had a lot of his paintings... and nature journals. He had some paintings that he calls his "post-psychedelic-therapy paintings." His paintings are still a bit psychedelic, he says that's probably because of all the tripping he did when he was younger. 

Then we walked out to the bog. We spotted a turtle. I've NEVER seen RJ that excited (K... yes. But RJ is much more laid back), he said it's the first time in 3 years one has been spotted. 

We took off our shoes to walk in the bog (well, most of us did). I felt like a little kid with my feet and legs squishing in the muddy trench of the bog. There were a lot of rare plants... several insectivores... and also endangered orchids. We had to watched where we stepped because it was hard to see where the tiny endangered plants were... most of us were careful... the rowdy-more-uncontrollable-than-kindergartners-and-older women were out of control stepping on everything, unaware.

I had two different salamanders crawl over my feet... One was bright orange with black dots. The other was yellow. I wasn't scared of alligators (because there aren't any) or snakes (because I didn't want to ask if there were snakes), I was having too much fun with my toes sinking in the mud. 

We sketched a bit... and collected plants to sketch at the studio (none of the endangered ones - well, unless they had accidentally been totally stepped on and squished). I think I'm finally getting over the anxiety of drawing in front of other people... And I really see how this class will and already is helping me to grow as an artist and connect with my environment... it's amazing how much it has already.  

Also... now, I stop at every plant (flowering or not), to appreciate its beauty. Like K says, "it's better if it's not flowering, so you focus on the beautiful leaves." 

Yep. It's official.... I'm now officially a Nature Freak.

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