The area I walk around my development is well-landscaped, but in no way a forest. Even so, the variety of trees along the way is exceptional.
There are many different types, including old and majestic, smooth and gnarly, harsh bark, thin limbs, leafy and twiggy. Basically a ton of fun to gaze at around my long, circular path.
Back when I was working and traveling, I used to bring my sketchbook with me on every trip. The first thing I would work on was whatever local tree was close by.
Trees are a particularly fascinating study in graphite, with the surface of the tree alone a great opportunity for relief or shading. Add the snowflake-like uniqueness to the way limbs and branches spread away from the trunk and my only problem was getting so involved with the drawing as to be late for whatever meeting I was supposed to be attending.
During my walk today, I took extra special care to note the tree limbs and how they curled and knotted. I studied the broken relief patterns of different trees’ barks. In others, it was the leaf pattern. Despite my brisk pace, there is enough repetition of tree families for me to compare and contrast.
Sadly, my GNABRT will not be allowing me much time for idleness between trips, except perhaps for the stopover at Yellowstone. However, never having been there before, I think I will be more likely walking the trails in awe as opposed to sitting down and sketching.
Still, I think I’ll throw the sketchbook in the car anyway. It’s entirely possible I will see a tree too cool to pass up.