Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sketchcrawl at Naples Preserve

Sketchcrawl at Naples Preserve, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

Yesterday eight of us met at the Naples Preserve to participate in the 33rd Worldwide SketchCrawl!  The sky was overcast, and the air was that soft, satiny texture that comes before a rain.  Thankfully the rain held off and we enjoyed exploring the boardwalk that winds through scrub habitat, and sketching the wonderful inhabitants. 

Young gopher tortoise ambling to its burrow. Length was about 12 inches.

Lavender, violet, yellow and blue were the colors of blooming flowers: moss verbena, Florida paintbrush, liatris (violet colors), black-eyed Susan, coreopsis, beach sunflowers (bright yellow) and dayflower (vivid, clear blue).  These were punctuated by the brilliant magenta-purple berries of American beautyberry. 

Gopher tortoise burrows dotted the sandy soil, and we spotted one partially hidden in its underground hideaway, and another smaller tortoise digging in the sugar sand.  Cicada and bird song accompanied our ambles, and we spotted red-bellied woodpeckers and mockingbirds flitting in and out of the scrub oaks. 

My watercolor of a wonderfully twisted sand live oak toward the beginning of the boardwalk.

In progress!

It was an enjoyable day: an opportunity to paint plein air and to make detailed studies of unusual plants.  Thank you to those who helped organize our event, and to those who attended!