On the Waterthrush Trail (High Ledges, part 2)

This is from a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary, Shelburne on May 21, 2015

After tearing myself away from the yellow lady’s slippers, I head down off the ledges to explore the Waterthrush Trail. This short section of trail skirts around what is intriguingly named the “Orchid Swamp” on my trail map. As I enter the cool, damp woods along the edge of the swamp, I hear the stuttering notes of a Canada Warbler coming from the understory of hobblebush, striped maple and witch-hazel. It has been several years since I’ve seen a Canada, so I approached quietly, hoping for a good look. The bird sings repeatedly, making it easier for me to pinpoint its location, and I finally spy it in the arching branches of a witch-hazel. I put my sketchbooks to work…

Canada Warbler studies, High Ledges - at 72 dpi

Sketchbook page, 9″ x 12″

Canada Warbler in Witch-hazel, High Ledges - at 72 dpi

Canada Warbler in Witch-hazel, watercolor in Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook, 9″ x 12″

Poking around the swamp while trying to keep my feet dry, I find marsh marigolds and foam flower in bloom, and on my way back to the Sanctuary Road, I stop to admire some painted trilliums and columbine.

Foamflower at High Ledges


Columbine at High Ledges










I decide to do a drawing of the trillium (which I used later in the studio to do a finished watercolor). High Ledges is indeed a treasure trove of wildflowers!

Painted Trillium, High Ledges - at 72 dpi

Painted Trillium at High Ledges, watercolor on Lana hot-press, 8″ x11″


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