Sunday, December 27, 2009

Not Quite an Ice Storm

26 December 2009     4x6 inches    oil on canvas   

Such short days we have, and especially when they're cloudy!  My Birthday December 26 has been darkly overcast with freezing rain.  We drove out to "The 18 & 20 Bridge" to see whether the scene was interesting enough to paint, and I figured that it was, so Fred walked ahead to the Scotts' place, to give them a loaf of Stollen, and I sat in the drivers seat with the passenger's window open, two wheels deep in the snowbank by the guardrail on the south east corner of the bridge.

The striking feature of this scene was the corrugated drifts of snow on the yellow-green slush below the bridge.  It's hard to imagine what aerodynamics would have caused this series of drifts: perhaps wind blasting under the bridge as the creek was slushing over.  Upstream of the corrugations there was a 2 x 3 m patch of thin clear black ice, which must have been the area that froze over most recently.

The trees were all burdened by what may have been about 6 mm of excess diameter ice (seemingly more here than around Bishops Mills), but the temperature has remained marginally above freezing so that most of the drizzle doesn't accumulate, but rather drips off without a net removal of the ice that is already present.

After an hour to work I lost my daylight, so I packed up and drove down the Scots' lane (nearly slid into their ditch!) to meet Fred. We visited with Scotts for a while, admiring their Christmas tree.  The heat from their woodstove felt wonderful!   We returned home in the dark through Limerick Forest where we spread two buckets of bedding from our chickens to fertilize the trees at the Headquarters - home to steam Blue Mussels for supper from our "30 Years Later" visit to Bar Road, St. Andrews in New Brunswick.  It's been a happy birthday - my 58th!

The database entry for this painting reads as follows:
Canada: Ontario: Grenville County: Oxford-on-Rideau: Co Road 18/Middle Creek, 3.1 km NNE Bishops Mills. 31B/13, UTM 18TVE47 458  717 44.89865N 75.68608W.  TIME: 1533-1630. AIR TEMP: 0.5, drizzle, breezy. HABITAT: slushily frozen-over slow creek/Red Maple swamp@rd embankment & bridge. OBSERVER: Aleta Karstad Schueler, Frederick W. Schueler. 2009/335/a, visit () (event).  natural history, oil. birthday painting of channel & swamp below bridge.
Co-ords corrected from 44.89865 N 75.68608 W to 44.897753, -75.686215 on the basis of Google maps.

Best Wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2010!

Love, Aleta


  1. Ever so lovely. Braving the cold - Happy Birthday!!

  2. Absolutely STUNNING, Aleta, and what a wonderful entry. Happy birthday!

  3. LOVELY!!! THANKS for posting this & belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  4. How beautiful, Aleta! And SUCH a contrast to our hot, green summer we're experiencing here in South Africa! And also a happy birthday to you!

  5. How beautiful, Aleta! And SUCH a contrast to the hot, green summer we're experiencing here in South Africa. And also a happy birthday to you!


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