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Golden Gate+

Golden Gate plus. A big snowstorm was inbound but I thought I might catch a little window this morning so I headed out, only to see that everything over 10,000 feet is in a cloud. Meaning any view of Longs is out. The skies grew increasingly overcast but I headed for Nott Creek to put in some time before the real weather hit. I'm usually pretty set on what I'll be making when I leave the house but today I took the whole studio: canvas and oil paints, paper and watercolor paints and this time some larger drawing materials. With hardly a shadow cast anywhere, I decided on drawing. For the next 90 minutes I wandered the forest making drawings of various details of tree branches and such. It felt fantastic to have the space and time to let things breath a little, to be aimless. No one was there, no wind to deal with, no paintings to worry about. Who cares how the drawings look? The act of walking and sitting and looking felt reason enough.

Heading back to the car I stumbled on an old pile of bones. Lichen had developed on one of them so they must have been there a while? Some vertebrae and a jaw bone with a few teeth intact were the highlights. I'm well aware this is prime lion habitat but it's always thrilling to see evidence of their workings.

Before driving off I ran 35 minutes up the Mountain Lion Trail. Flurries were visible coming over the mountains across the river as I started out and they quickly overtook the entire canyon. Windless, gently falling snow, always special.

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After scarfing down the buffet at Sherpa House I drove up 93 to a couple pull-outs to make a small watercolor in the landscape book, and test the Twinrocker paper samples. Marginal efforts, but one turned out in that magical way where you can't understand how it happened, why it works, or what it is.

Total working time today : ~2.5 hours

Highlights: windless snow flurries, Stellar's jay, medium-sized woodpecker, black squirrel (with the pointy ears), mountain lion kill (old)

Twinrocker cold press paper is a winner