24" x 28"
After hiking for hours through flat land I was startled by a huge boulder. It provided a dramatic backdrop for a Paper Birch and the bright canopy beyond. I couldn’t help thinking that the glaciers intentionally drop these boulders to restore some drama to the land after they have flattened it.
The Paper Birch is known for its brilliant white bark that peels off as the trunk expands. I enjoy painting birch trunks because they take on subtle reflections. On this day the rain-soaked leaf litter imparted a rusty glow to the bark. Eventually the Hemlocks will form a dense canopy under which nothing will grow. They will dominate the forest for centuries until fire or logging initiates another cycle. In the lower right hand corner of the painting is a massive stump, a remnant of the giant hemlocks that once dominated the region.
Paper birches (Betula papyrifera) and Hemlocks (Tsuga Canadensis) can be seen growing together from Southern Ontario, Québec, and New Brunswick down to Wisconsin, Michigan the New England States and throughout the high regions of the Appalachian Mountains into Northern Georgia. I discovered this particular scene while hiking with my family in Frontenac Provincial Park in Southern Ontario.