Today was the start of some improvements in our backyard. The landscapers arrived, measured and dug out the area for a new patio and covered an old dirt foundation from a demolished shed with pea gravel. The new patio will give us a level surface for our table and chairs. The newly filled gravel area will hold our grills, allowing for room to create a walkway from the existing patio to the new patio and gravel area. For the new patio we are using concrete pavers and blue stone. The blue stone is from a former patio in the area where our sun room is now located. Irregular pieces of slate, also saved after being removed for the sun room build, will create the stepping stones of our connecting paths. The slate will be surrounded by more pea gravel and confined by railroad ties. Our yard has improved over the years, but will now look like we actually thought about how we would use the space. We look forward to getting a fire pit and building a bench which will utilize a large piece of marble we bought at a liquidation sale.
Although I was interested in watching the landscapers and their progress, my daily walk with Bella beckoned. It was chilly enough to wear a winter coat and gloves and windy enough in the park (Robert H. Treman State Park) that a hat might have been a good idea, too. The fall colors are still bright and beautiful, but more leaves are down and the steady wind keeps them moving about. It won’t be long until all the leaves have fallen and a final yard (and park) clean up will take place. I look forward to that since deer ticks are rampant in the yard, especially under the piles of leaves. The ticks will go back into hibernation for the winter and we won’t have to deal with them at least until the spring. Anyway, 0nce we returned home I was motivated to break out the watercolor paints, both transparent and opaque, to work on another view of my park walk.
The picnic area closest to the natural swimming pool (fed by a stream and waterfall) is the half way point of our usual walk. In warmer days I looked forward to the shade and coolness of this path. Today, I was in a rush to return to the sunny areas. Since dogs are only allowed to a certain point in the picnic area, the view for my painting is seen as we return to the parking lot closest to the picnic grounds. I eliminated the visible parking lot and cars, and opted for a more nature inspired vista. A longtime fan of earth tones, painting autumn landscapes is always a favorite subject for me. As with any wooded locale, the light is usually limited, but peaks through the tree branches which have lost their leaves. Soon the trees will be completely bare and winter will be knocking at the door. Hopefully it will be colder than last year. In an area known for its winter climate, it snowed only once and although treacherous enough to close schools for the day, the snow was pretty much gone by the afternoon. I guess I should really enjoy the walks now, as a typical winter will limit my access to this great park.