Painting Edges to the Edge of the Sea

The West Point Lighthouse Prince Edward Island, 30 x 24 inch oil painting, is now finished. The Storytelling Arbutus Tree Mayne Island BC, 60 x 40 oil painting, is now finished. A painting sketch was sold immediately picked up for delivery. The grounds have been painted on four blank canvases. And the edges have been painted on three medium size landscape and seascape paintings.


This is enough for one week don’t you think?

So do you want to skip out and come with me to the gather reference material by the sea? It is sunny. We should have the shores to ourselves, along with the birds of course. Yes? Okay! Off we go for a wee short break. Don’t forget your sunglasses and windbreaker.

Well, that was invigorating!

I suppose, I might as well show you to the latest two completed paintings while you are here.

West Point Lighthouse PEI 30 x 24 inch oil on canvas


Storytelling Arbutus Tree Bennett Bay Mayne Island BC 60 x 40 inch oil on canvas


Yes, if you remember from previous posts, this is a good-sized painting and will need a good-sized wall.

I will get them up in the online gallery soon and let you know over on the website at But today is a town day to get Seaside Mayne Island, the large 60 x 36 landscape painting, framed for the collector before I deliver the painting sometime in April. I will need to pick up more canvases and sleeves for the latest batch of greeting cards too. Then when I get back there are local group shows to submit work to and planning for the booth at Art! Vancouver Fair in late May where I accepted a request to be the lead artist showing in the Artists In Canada booth. Nothing too unusual really, just the rhythm of a landscape painter’s ordinary everyday life on a small island off the southwest coast of Canada.


What is the rhythm of your ordinary everyday life these days?


© 2017 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

A Start on the PEI West Point Lighthouse Painting

A warm grey ground has dried and is ready for the next work. I have decided on the West Point Lighthouse in Prince Edward Island for this 30 x 24 inch oil on canvas. I have been dancing around this work for a while. How does a painter get a lighthouse painting beyond a caricature of its own specific unique presence? Not an easy task but let’s see what we can do.

First we gather up a couple of reference images from the day at west point and a quick acrylic sketch of a location just south of the lighthouse.


The sketch holds more sensory images than the photographs and remind me of how muggy it was that day and that the back swampy area was already starting to hatch mosquitoes. The smell of the sea and the intricate lacing of greens and reds between the sand and the grasses were pulled into focus. But what was I going to do with that large black and white monstrosity!? Because of the structure I decided that I best start with a few brief lines in yellow paint to guide my hand into the composition.


Now what? Well, possibly the best approach is to sneak up on the lighthouse and let it fit into the environment rather than the other way around. I am going to need strong supporting actors to anchor this star subject.


I keep working and the palette needs additional paint now and again.


But an hour later, we are finally getting somewhere….


The painting is now blocked in. I am going to give it a bit of a break before I dig in and complete the work as I want to use it as part of an example for an advanced colour-mixing demonstration in this week’s painting class. There are lots of other wonders still to partake in though.

Maybe we could enjoy an evening sunset to watch the full snow moon rise?


Or how about a meditative walk on another day along shore by the sea? If you turn the sound up, there are sections where you can hear running water or the waves softly coming ashore or if you are really good at recognizing sounds, someone is cutting up firewood across Campbell bay.

My intention is to do more of these meditative walk clips from our wanderings. I find they hold much more sensory information then a simple photograph because of the addition of movement and sounds.

What natural wonders are stoking your creative fires?

© 2017 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

Cherry Blossom walk in Mayne Island Japanese Garden

Clouds of pink blossoms fill the morning sky with petals drifting slowly onto the garden paths. It is Cherry blossom season in Mayne Island’s Japanese Garden. Come with me and we can stroll along together!

Walking the paths Mayne Island Japanese Garden IMG_2227

Or we can also say: the season of sakura is here! Want to go hanami? Shall we go over the bridge?

Bridge Mayne Island Japanese Garden by Terrill Welch IMG_2224

We turn around in wonder until our gaze settles, just for a moment.

ink outline standing together in Japanese Garden by Terrill Welch IMG_2298

However, there are so many other supporting actors besides these pastel-crinoline-petticoat-wearing drama queens.  Take this dapper Dove Tree blossom for instance. Elegant and handsome as they come.

Dove Tree blossom from China by Terrill Welch IMG_2343

Or maybe Rhododendron blossoms that are as large as my hand.

Rhododendron blossoms by Terrill Welch IMG_2284

Then there are the weeping Crabapple blooms.

weeping crabapple blossoms by Terrill Welch IMG_2350

But if we are honest with each other, I am sure we would agree that all we really want to see are Cherry blossoms!

Japanese Garden Cherry Blossoms Mayne Island by Terrill Welch IMG_2247

Of course, we could sit in the hut and contemplate the question.

ink outline of Hut in Mayne Island Japanese Garden by Terrill Welch IMG_2232

We could study the pond for a while as we debate the issue. But my best guess is that all we are likely to notice is the reflections of….. Cherry Blossoms!

Cherry Blossom reflections Mayne Island Japanese Garden by Terrill Welch IMG_2256

So, Cherry blossoms it is!

Cherry Blossoms by Terrill Welch IMG_2400

We close our eyes and what do we see?

Well, I don’t know about you but I see a cheese sandwich with a hot cup of peppermint tea. I am famished after all this walking, looking, composing images and then photo-editing Cherry blossoms!

What do you see if you close your eyes?

© 2016 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

The Joy of the Ordinary

When a cold/flu virus sends a couple to bed for the better part of four days, with large glasses of water and several seasons Grey’s Anatomy, it is the perfect recipe for appreciating the ordinary. We are maybe not really completely recovered yet today but we made it out of our pajamas with no fevers for 24 hours and down to the Bakery for breakfast. We gave no hugs, asked that everything we touched be wiped off and tried not to breathe on anyone. We are pretty sure we are no longer contagious but just want to sure. This bug was nasty! All I have to say is we have done a darn good job of building up our immunity. In fact, we were feeling so good that we went for a wee stroll.

It is only 9:30 am but the winter light is already changing and becoming harsher on a sunny day. So not too much to show you really, just the joy of the ordinary.

The joy of an old arbutus snag catching the sun in Bennett Bay.

Bennett Bay Arbutus snag by Terrill Welch IMG_8386

The joy of walking up and down along trails on the soft natural earth.

February morning trail by Terrill Welch   IMG_8395

The joy of looking out across the Strait of Georgia and seeing blue sky reflected on the water.

Sun came out for BC Family Day IMG_8401

And then there is the simple joy of taking a moment to reflect.

David taking a break by Terrill Welch  IMG_8417

I have no idea how I will catch up and be ready for everything that is scheduled for the rest of February. But I trust I will be better able to manage these tasks after enjoying just a little bit of the ordinary.


What ordinary pleasure did you notice today?


© 2016 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

Mystery of the Ordinary in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island

If you know only one aspect of my creative intention, I would like it to be my gift of the ordinary in our everyday. Yes, there are grand moments, brilliant moments and even tragic moments in our lives. But it is the everyday, the ordinary which holds the greatest mystery. On this day, Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I feel compelled to take you with me on a quiet walk of thankfulness in our local Mayne Island Japanese Garden. This garden is a work of volunteer love and healing in recognition of the Japanese Canadians who lost their homes and lands on Mayne Island during their interment during the second world war.

Through the trees in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 036

Looking through the trees and standing in between I am thankful for all that is.

Standing in between in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 031

Standing still and quiet as the winter birds shuffle the last of the fall colour on the ground, I breathe easy.

Last of the fall colour in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 020

Have a seat and we shall stay a while longer.

Have a Seat by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 012

Then, when you are ready, we shall walk across the bridge and out onto the small inner island of the Japanese garden.

Bridge in Japanese Garden on Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 022

There is evidence that the seasonal Christmas lights are being strung. Today though, it is just the natural warmth of winter light and the last bits of gold in contrast to a thin layer of ice on the pond.

What is your own most powerful mystery in the ordinary of your everyday today?

© 2015 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

A Narrow Artistic Perspective on a Mayne Island Morning

Let’s count them. There are eighteen photography sketches taken within 45 minutes of each other and no further apart than fifty steps along a chunk of the Mayne Island shoreline. It is a painter’s morning for gathering reference material. Why bother you might ask? Well, it is about seeing and mostly about how we see and choose to construct our world using sensory information.

I woke just before daylight. After blinking several times and making coffee I decide to go and see how the sun is making out.

Mayne Island late August morning 1 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 001

She is getting a little slower to rise on this late August morning but still beat to the shore.

Mayne Island late August morning 2 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 016

It is a gentle rising with a soft elegance that never fails to release the last bit of tension between my shoulder blades.

Mayne Island late August morning 3 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 033

I gather myself together and glance narrow and long… searching.

Mayne Island late August morning 4 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 039

And searching again.

Mayne Island late August morning 5 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 046

Low clouds play with the light as I look south.

Mayne Island late August morning 6 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 057

Back around I turn and venture deeper into exploring just this one aspect of the shoreline.

Mayne Island late August morning 7  by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 060

Which composition is most satisfying?

Mayne Island late August morning 8  by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 065

Which elements do we see most clearly?

Mayne Island late August morning 9  by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 073

Is it the sea or the land we most sympathize with?

Mayne Island late August morning 10 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 094

I want to reach into the camera and pluck out my own secrets!

Mayne Island late August morning 11 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 097

But I cannot.

Mayne Island late August morning 12 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 100

Like the blue heron I can only keep fishing using my past experience and best guesses. Maybe this one!?

Mayne Island late August morning 13 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 106

No not that one replies the heron.

Mayne Island late August morning 14 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 112

The sandstone chortles and then hefts a sigh, as if in commiseration, about this endless seeking.

Mayne Island late August morning 15 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 133

Calm but slightly dejected I turn around yet again. I haven’t unraveled this dawn yet.

Mayne Island late August morning 16 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 148

After a few steps, I turn slowly and then crouch low… there…

Mayne Island late August morning 17 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 155

and then again here….

Mayne Island late August morning 18 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 157

Morning has broken and the landscape is shattered by my viewer’s eye! I must leave now with my quick photography sketches. I must take these fragments and make something of them just as we do with every image we created in our mind’s eye. these are my few soft gestures of contemplation before picking up my brushes and rushing them over a canvas with heaps of expectation and too much substance to do any of it justice.


What has your morning brought to you?


© 2015 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

The Ordinary and the Painter

Our attention is called to focused on the grand, the absurd and the unbelievable while our everyday ordinary life is often trivialized and overlooked.  I mean who hasn’t seen a clip about the predator who lovingly cared for dinner that was still a baby? Or a new discovery of a brilliant someone who was overlooked or found in an unexpected place?

So what is a painter’s life about anyway? Is it stylishly waving a brush across canvases in the studio? Or is it acquiring art collectors, collecting fans, preparing for solo exhibits, wishing for galleries shows and meandering museums? Is it dreaming of having work recognized and valued enough to make a thriving living? Well maybe, in a small part, it is these things. Mostly for this painter though, it is about tending to the ordinary. In my response to a long time blogging friend Laurie Buchanan’s post “A Twist on Impressionism” this morning, I said “I like to think that I am leaving an impression about the value of the ordinary – the things that we have the best chance of giving and receiving freely and in abundance like listening, laughing, kindness, caring, helping, sharing, observing, being present and being thoughtful.” But what does this really mean? As a painter how are these ideals expressed? What is it to tend to the ordinary?

Come for a walk or three with me and then we will come back to the studio and a current solo exhibit. We shall see if we can sort it out together.

First let’s ring the bell in the garden for attending to what is around us.

A bell for attending by Terrill Welch 2015_01_15 015

It could be the heavy mist hiding a view next to the trail.

grainy dampness of land next to the sea by Terrill Welch 2015_01_10 024

Or a pair of reading glasses carefully hung in a tree for their owner to come back and find.

eye level by Terrill Welch 2015_01_15 166

It might be a hand-knit mittens that warm small hands left on a picnic table.

warming small hands by Terrill Welch 2015_01_15 162

Or it could simply be the winter light taking a sideways entrance into a Japanese garden.

January sun in Mayne Island Japanese Garden by Terrill Welch 2015_01_15 028

Whatever it is that we attend to in our observation is occurring whether we notice or not. It is the ordinary everyday aspects of living. But we see them in fresh and frequently meaningful ways. The mitts reminded me of my childhood and the effort my mother put into making them for us. I desired to see them returned to their owner and placed the photograph above in a local private Facebook group. They were discovered on the post and retrieved by the owner. I have very poor eyesight without my glasses so a pair of reading glasses missing on an island where another pair can not be purchased sparked the inclusion of that image on the same post as the mittens. The image of the mist hiding a familiar view reminds me that no two days or moments are ever exactly the same and different does not mean less intriguing or valuable. This is reinforced by catching the lengths of low sun in the Japanese garden. Only for a very few minutes will it be there and then these tree too will slip into the background shadows.

But what do these experiences have to with being a painter of our natural environment?

Well, sometimes on a walk where this image was captured of the willow tree

Mayne Island winter rain by the willow tree by Terrill Welch 2015_01_05 074

I go back with my paints, paintbox and brushes to paint. But remember how I just noted that no two days are ever exactly the same?

Mayne Island willow tree in fog by Terrill Welch 2015_01_07 009

Even though the fog is so thick that it settles in damp layers on my skin, I set up anyway and go to work.

plein air painting down by the willow tree by Terrill Welch 2015_01_07 026

In fact, it the humidity is so high that the acrylic paint won’t dry enough to allow me to layer it on painting sketch. So in the end, I know without a moments worry or hesitation that it may be less than an accurate translation of my ordinary everyday experience of the willow tree. But it is still the result we have isn’t it?

“Mayne Island willow tree in winter fog” still wet plein air acrylic sketch 8 x 10 inches

Mayne Island willow tree in winter fog still wet plein air acrylic sketch 8 x 10 inches by Terrill Welch 2015_01_07 046

Back in the studio, I may visit the subject again. I will have my photography and my painting sketches for reference. Again, it may or may not lead to a successful final work but this we will both know – I have attended to an aspect of my everyday with observation, appreciation, curiosity and gratitude. It is a good day for this painter when this is so.

These collections of experience and memory are rendered in multiple layers using my full-sensory awareness of an ordinary day. This is what I wish to capture in my work. Here are three of the twenty-two paintings in my current solo exhibition at International Fine Art Collaborative – Zen Gallery curated by Sukhee Kwon that I feel are exemplary in this aspect.

Title: S t o r m . W a t c h i n g
Media: 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas

Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_11 003

Title: T h e . R o a d .t o . t h e . W o r l d
Media: 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas

The Road to the World 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2012_09_02 019

Title: B o w l . o f . W i n t e r . F r u i t
Media: 12 X 16 inch oil on canvas

Bowl of Winter Fruit by Terrill Welch 12 x16 inch oil on canvas 2014_02_08 099

Many of you know the stories between all of the 22 works in this collection but the sharing of these three here will do for now. My thanks to curator Sukhee Kwon for presenting my work so beautifully. Thank you for coming with me on an ordinary day, in an ordinary life of a painter.

What are you observing today in your ordinary life?


© 2015 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

Bennett Bay Silver and Gold on Mayne Island

It has been too long since I have taken you on Mayne Island walk with me hasn’t it? All this traveling about and painting trips has left little room for posting any part of these daily adventures. But there was a break in the heavy rain late in the afternoon yesterday. So I thought you might like to pull on your rubber boots and meander along with us for a short while.

The Place Between in Bennett Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2014_10_31 040

I never seem to tire of photographing this scene. You may remember one from last year with the sun coming through the fog.

Bennett Bay Gulf Island National Park Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2014_01_24 149

This image is in my latest MAYNE ISLAND TIME 2015 Calendar for the month of March. The calendar is also offered as part of the Mayne Island Virtual Travel Package that will be available for online Art Collectors as an appreciation for those that purchase an original painting 12 inches or more on all sides during the Open Studio event November 8th and 9th of 2014. There will be three appreciation packages. Two for online visitors and one for in-person studio visitors. I will be posting more of the details for this event on Tuesday this week. So please do keep an eye out for the post. I am pretty excited about getting this double online and in-person event put together for you. Getting everything ready is a lot of work but so worth it! But let’s get back to our walk.

Today, the mystery of fog has vanished but the last of the heavy rain is still dripping through the trees and sloshing under our feet.

Bennett Bay Mayne Island breaking at evening by Terrill Welch 2014_10_31 045

The sea turns silver copper in its reflect while we walk the shore. It is a good day, this day with the brilliance of natures display.

Bennett Bay Silver and Gold Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2014_10_31 066

Now it is tomorrow and we watch and wait again to see what is on offer. I am hoping for sun or at least bright skies around midday so I can do the final photograph for THE OLIVE TREE painting. But we shall have to wait and see.

May your weekend allow for a long walk in a place that feeds your well-being.


Where do you find your silver and gold in nature?


© 2014 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada


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A More Contemplative Year Ahead

My best guess is that I shall paint fewer paintings in 2014 and release more photographs and painting sketches. This will be partly due to three months traveling and living in Europe. We plan to leave sometime near the beginning of April. The tickets will likely be purchased by the end of the week.

The 2013 year was a good solid success for my paintings but I want to go deeper into the learning curve of how my specific historical experience impacts my work. I want to go deeper into how I can paint the spaces in between light and shadow. I want to find ways to bring you, the viewer, farther into my work until you can clearly formulate the poetry of landscape. I want us to know and understand our embeddedness in our natural environment.  Human life, as we know it, may depend on strengthening that one relationship. I suspect that my trip to Europe and its museums and countryside combined with my camera and brushes is going to help me find answers to these searches.

Oh, there will always be new work to release in my Artsy Home online gallery, such as the two new paintings entered over the weekend. But I find it is not really important but rather a task similar to organizing the books on the bookshelf for a research project.

What is important then?

There is quote attributed to Buddha that I saw this morning which seems most succinct:

In the end only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

My only commitment today is a long walk. With the heavy rains water is rushing to the sea.

Rushing to the Sea by Terrill Welch 2014_01_12 037

Quite possibly it is a stone in a stream that will hold most of my attention today.

Stones in Stream by Terrill Welch 2014_01_12 016

This , and a few of the lines from the Mary Oliver “Morning Poem”

If it is your nature

to be happy

you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination

alighting everywhere.

And if your spirit carries within it

the thorn

that is heavier than lead –

if it’s all you can do

to keep on trudging –

there is still

somewhere deep within you

a beast shouting that the earth

is exactly what it wanted –

reference; p. 106/7 of New And Selected Poems volume one (1992) by Mary Oliver

What are your focus and intentions for the year ahead?

© 2014 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

Morning walk along the Stuart River – a tribute to my grandfather

It has been more than ten days since you have heard from me here on Creative Potager. There is a good reason for this. My grandfather passed away and I have again just returned from Vanderhoof.  Though this post is a tribute to my grandfather it is really not about him much at all. Sometimes the best way to honour a person’s life is to do what they taught you and what they most loved to do. So this is what we are about to do – take a long walk along the Stuart River on my parents’ farm with my mother leading the way.

It was a gorgeous early fall morning. The sun was just catching the old cabin near the cow pasture that is now used for storage.

Thick fog is still clinging to the river.

The night before it had frozen. We had arrived home to the farm shortly after dark with clear skies and a temperature that was just above freezing. Like a family raccoons we headed to the garden and greenhouse to pick corn, cucumbers, tomatoes and melons. The only difference was we had headlamps and flashlights.

Before it got so warm that the foliage wilted, I wanted to catch a few of the beauties still blooming in the garden. This is one of the prize sunflowers with its face up to the September dawn.

Then there were the smokey rose gladiolus…

And the Joe Pie plant…

To be very honest with you, my grandfather appeared to care less about flowers and I can be fairly certain if he was walking with us he would have headed out without so much as a pause in front of these cultivated beauties. But I like them.

How we got started on this adventure was because I wanted to take some reference images of the tall lean poplar trees for painting when I get back to the studio. My sister asked if it would be okay if she tagged along. Of course it would be and then I asked mom if she wanted to bring her camera too and join us. My daughter looked from one to other of us and slipped into a pair of my mother’s rubber boots and we headed out.

I got my reference shot.

As you can see, it is nothing special. I just wanted the structural bones of the tree. I announced with satisfaction that all I had intended was accomplished and I was happy to follow along with whatever everyone else wanted to do. My mother got that thoughtful look – the one I have seen on her face for all of her almost 75 years. It means she is mulling something over but that it has already been decided.

The morning is stunning. With a slight shrug she turns and heads out across the top of the pasture towards the river on the far side.

I am pretty sure at this point that we are headed out around Sturgeon Point which is about a mile of river frontage on the home place. It is a beautiful walk but on years such as this that the river floods it is unusable during the summer. Also parts of the banks are sometimes  washed away and there is a fair bit of brush that will cover the trail. As mom looks up river to see what she can see, I am certain that, if the trail is dry enough we are taking it.

I look down at my waterproof garden clogs sensing their inadequate though comfortable structure. I should have grabbed the other pair of rubber boots – too late. If one is to dawdle it is to find yourself following glimpse of the others through the underbrush.

Several times I pack my camera back into the backpack camera bag as I poke it through the brush in front of me or slide through a mucky spot along the river-bottom land. My sister looks back as if to say – are you coming?

Mom points of things along the trail such as wild mint that we should pick if we want it for tea later. She scans her way along the area keeping an eye out for moose, bear or maybe a beaver or muskrat on the water. She warns us to follow her footsteps so we stay on reasonably solid ground.

As usual I at one point do not heed this warning and end up with my clog stuck in the mud. I step back in my sock foot pick it up then scrape out the mud and wipe my sock foot on the grass, reunite the pair and continue on.

My sister spots some mist rising on the creek across the river.

While she is changing lenses I take this and it is a good thing because the mist is gone by the time she is ready.

I coax my daughter into standing for a moment in the warmth of the morning sun.

“Baby Too” is due in the third week of November.

With my pockets stuffed with wet wild mint leaves we are almost around the point and ready to head back along the old trail. However the water is still a bit high in the draw so mom takes us out to continue along the riverbank trail instead. I get her to hold up while I capture the natural riverbank on the far shore.

And another photograph of Fishing Creek.

We are wet and muddy almost to our knees.

But happy.

We can hear the tractor running as dad sorts cattle. Mom comments that her trail is now well packed for the fall. Above all, we know we have done the most important thing we needed to do this morning.

I take one more photograph of the poplar trees that I had come out to capture.

All is right in the world for another day.

My grandfather, Charlie Baxter Davidson, was born May 29th in 1916 weighing 1.5 pounds. His twin did not survive. During these fragile first days of his life his mother kept him in one of her shoe boxes inside the warming oven of her wood cook stove feeding him with an eye dropper. He was so small that her wedding band fit around his wrist. With such a strong heart and will to live, it is not really surprising that he was 96 years old when he passed away on September 9, 2012.

He arrived on the Stuart River with his parents to homestead when he was five years old. This is where he lived until he was ninety-one years old making a living as a guide to hunters, trapping furs, raising cattle and doing seasonal work such as hand falling trees. His children, step-children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren have had the good fortune to inherit through the generations an appreciation and respect for the outdoors. This walk I share with you today may even seem familiar in some ways for those of you who have been taking walks with me in the southern gulf islands over past few years. Walking in the woods or along the water is a strong thread in my life which has its roots with this man and his daughter – my mother.

The photographer for the photograph I share with you of my grandfather is unknown but my aunt, Anne Davidson, has taken the time to scan many of the old photographs in recent years. My thanks go to her for printing me a copy of this one which I have rendered as a black and white digital image.

SPROUT: If you were to give a tribute to a family member who has greatly influenced your life, who would it be?

P.S. I know this post is long but it seems to me necessary. I hope you have enjoyed the adventure…. My mud-soaked garden clog was dried out in front of the wood stove and is as good as new.

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

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