A Brush with Henschel: First Ice

This painting was done from sketches in the high country where the trees were still brilliant.

The three Ports, Sointula and Alert Bay are virtually ice free except for a few frosty mornings in midwinter and rarely do they see any early ice while they are cursing the rain. The colours in the Alders and other larger trees are rather elusive here on the coast until you make your way up to the Woss Lake area.

The painting shown here was done from sketches in the high country where the trees were still brilliant, while the ice was beginning to encroach upon the smaller lakes, crawling slowly in from the shoreline to finally pacify the shimmering reflections. The ice will finally replace those sparkling reflections with a compact looking glass that is a similar enjoyment. If you have the luck to have your skates with you on a thick freeze, you are in for a thrill; as a new world, just below the clear ice, becomes exposed to you.

Not everybody is enchanted with the coming of the ice, as you can see in the painting. The little creatures that spend their winter under the ice are very adaptable but do have their trying times, especially during really cold winters when the distance between the ground below the pond and the ice becomes a tight squeeze! When we lived beside a frozen lake and carried our water from a hole in the ice. We would cover up the hole with snow to make a return easier, but when exposing the hole the next day, we often found plants and mud remaining after a beaver or muskrat visited. How they scratch a subterranean living for many months under very deep ice has always amazed me. In Manitoba the ice was often three feet thick!

I hope you have enjoyed the painting of fall with an approaching winter. Every season has its blessings!

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