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Showing posts from November, 2012

Humboldt Redwoods

5"X7"  Oil on board
Just outside Redway, the Briceland-Thorne Road passes through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

It seems silly to even try to depict the largest trees in the world on a canvas that is only 5"X7". On the other hand I couldn't complete a visual essay on the "Lost Coast" without including them.

The young man in the middle ground (about 9:00 o'clock), climbing over a fallen branch, helps to give the picture some scale. He is my nephew.

Our Lady of the Redwoods

5"X7"  Oil on board

On the road between Four Corners and Whitethorn is a monastery founded in the early sixties by four sisters from the Cistercian community of Our Lady of Nazareth in Brecht, Belgium

They are a silent order and sell creamed honey on an honour system "take what you want and leave the money in the box". Very good it is too.

The view from inside the church is quite inspiring.

Elk on the Road

5"X7"  Oil on board

Driving back up the road from Needlerock we met this gentleman, we had encountered his harem on the way down. The ranger had warned us that he was ornery and had attacked a hiker recently.
Needless to say we were very respectful and kept well behind him as he sauntered along in front of us. He wasn't in any hurry and would occasionally look behind to see if we were still there.

He is a Roosevelt elk. They really are quite spectacular, it is hard to convey the size and majesty of these animals. They look so much like deer in their colour and shape but are closer in size to a moose.The local herd was exterminated more than a century ago, but these were reintroduced from Prairie Creek State Park and seem to be thriving.

View from Needlerock

5"X7"  Oil on board

Here is the rest of the picture. An amazing view from an amazing place.

A hundred years ago there was a mill town here. The only remaining buildings are the house which had been the schoolteacher's home and the barn, which was once part of the old sawmill.

Before the Europeans, the Sinkyone people had lived here for centuries and Needlerock was actually the site of one of the most shameful massacres in California history.

House at Needlerock

5"X7" Oil on board

A very long time ago I lived for a few months in this house at the end of the earth. In those days it was privately owned (not by me), now it is part of the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and the house is used as a rangers' station.
Over my left shoulder is the Pacific Ocean, a spectacular view from the front porch, when it isn't shrouded in fog. I don't think I had any idea when I lived here, what an incredible privilege it was and how unusual this place is. A house with an ocean frontage in California, and no neighbours!

Fog at Four Corners

5"X7" Oil on board

The road from Whitethorn to Needlerock intersects with old Highway 1. I believe that at one time this highway went all the way up the California coast but it is now broken in several places where attempts to keep it open on the rough terrain have been abandoned (hence the "Lost Coast").

This intersection is locally known simply as "Four Corners", but I don't think you will find it on any map.


7"X5"  Oil on board

We met these chaps on our way to Ferndale, somewhere outside Petrolia, I think. They really were very handsome.

Mountain View

5"X7" Oil on board

And so we return to the stunning view. This would be about 7 am in mid September, looking south towards Whitethorn.

Wine Country

5"X7" Oil on board

North on 101 from San Francisco you pass through Sonoma County, wine country. Of course the Niagara Region is wine country too but it doesn't look like this. There were actually palm trees around the villa but I couldn't make them look convincing at this scale so I left them out.

Golden Gate

5"X7" Oil on canvas SOLD

Of course when you head north from San Francisco, this is the way to go