Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Heading South?!

"Low water Morning"
oil painting - 6X12" - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view

This is pretty much a re-posting from my studio blog...the conditions here on our own pasture and in area prairie remnants are continuing to "head south"!  I certainly don't mean that term as anything derogatory to "regions" - in this case I'm making an exclamation to our drought and heat this summer!
We've only had 2 tenths of an inch so far in July here...after less than an inch in June and with weeks of being in the high 90's - some in the low 100's, adding in some days of dehydrating winds, and things are getting nasty!  This isn't on a par of the droughts in other areas though...especially what Texas experienced last year.  Its just affecting more of the continent this year than has been seen in quite some time!

I'm grateful I'm not farming here this summer!  But if I were, the crop insurance would be the only blessing available!
Our native pasture is often my stronghold of inspiration...I'm sorry to say it is not the inspiration of past least not since about 3 weeks back.  The prairie will certainly get through the drought just fine, but the plants are now going dormant as they literally dry up before our eyes!  Another aspect of this is that we'll get little viable seed from the summer drought and heat.  The grasses and flowers are drying up as they go from the flowering stage to fruiting and maturation...many of the warm season grasses are simply losing flowers are they form...all drying up for the season.

Our early bloomers that I've been following through the spring and early summer are now becoming stunted or just plain drying was fun while it lasted.  Well "unusual" any way!

The painting at the beginning of the blog was inspired in part by the dry summer we are struggling through this year.  I suppose if I were to go to this same spot today, it'd be even lower!  I do like the gravel embankments as an element of this painting - as well as the drama of the early morning light and the longer shadows.  I'm not sure if I'd feel the same about it as the water levels drop even more...but maybe treating the composition and light differently would make an engaging image as well.
Here's to finding inspiration in adversity!  Keep cool out there and hope to see you on the Tallgrass!

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