The high is in the low 80s and it feels marvelous. This is sitting outside under a nice tree weather, so we went to the park. The point on the near left is a small island with a bandshell and a gorgeous willow tree. That was our destination.
It was a beautiful day.
When we arrived, we met Elena. She is from Russia and had come to the park on her way to her first radiation treatment following a lumpectomy. She came by bus and then by bike. We talked about language, how we had been taught about each other’s country, about faith (She is a Seventh Day Adventist) and about family. She is visiting her son and his family here and it was here the lump in her breast had been discovered. Health costs being what they are and her without insurance, the surgery created a great problem. Her fellow Adventists here in Charlotte had arranged everything for her and she was incredibly grateful. I tried to draw her after she left us. She really is much nicer looking; I loved her Ballentine hat and the polka dot shirt she wore. My art goal that day was to draw very rapidly in preparation for my travel sketches.
After Elena left, we settled in for our nature experience.
Jake was more interested in the people and dogs walking along the path across the pond from us. You can see the metal stake to which their tethers are tied. They had lots of roaming room but still managed to get caught up on the bench behind us several times.
I sketched both of the dogs. Bella with her muddy nose insisted on sitting on my plastic tote bag. She is not about getting dirty and was glad when I cleaned her nose. Jake is so hard to capture because he is so dark and his face is a hairy blur most of the time. Solved that problem by drawing him from the back.
I also drew a rather bad watercolor of the pond. I had a bunch of problems with it, the colors, the depth perception, etc., and didn’t solve them, but learned some things that don’t work. Sometimes that is good enough. I took pictures to revisit the scene later.
One sign indicated that you can take a bike for 30 minutes for free. If you look at the map, you can ride all over the city switching bikes at each location and spend no money at all. Clever idea—not mine—it was on a poster from the city. The bikes have nice baskets so you can run an errand while you exercise. Brisbane had just started a program like this when we were in Australia and it was well received. I hope this one works out well for Charlotte.
I took new portrait pics of the dogs while we were there. Notice that Jake, “the dog with the teeth,” is now “the dog with the TOOTH.” We assume he broke the big fang sliding into the front door in an attempt to get at the mailman and tear his liver out. That’s how he lost several of the small teeth in front. Anyway, I discovered him with the tooth hanging. He didn’t ever seem to be in pain from it. It broke off cleanly. He finally licked it completely off and I found it in the floor. Steve saved it to show to Evan as little boys like that kind of thing. . .so he says. Tooth or no tooth, he’s still my adorable Jake. Portraits are in the right sidebar.
I’m off to a soccer game and another beautiful fall day. More later . . .