The Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area is a great place to get out into nature. It’s a place with lots of short hiking trails through several habitats and, if you go during the week and outside ‘goose season’ it’s largely devoid of humans so it’s QUIET. We city-dwellers don’t get quiet anymore and I think it affects us more deeply than we think..if we think about it at all.
I mentioned goose season. Cap Tourmente is a major stop-over area for migrating geese. In October/November and thousands of geese aggregate there during their journey south. It’s pretty cool to see them turn a marsh white with their presence and fill the sky in squadron-like fashion. But geese bring with them hundreds of humans, filling over-flow parking lots with their pollution devices and that pretty much ruins the experience for me.
But on this day, we were there on a Monday, out of season. The day was delightful. We watched a lot of young hummingbirds at feeders, enjoyed the presence of a young porcupine, saw egrets, blue herons, marsh and red-tail hawks, and we even saw the Perigrine Falcons that nest in the cliffs that overlook the refuge. They told us to beware of bears but the only ones we saw were on the beware of bear signs on the garbage cans.
It wasn’t a sketching day but I couldn’t resist the urge so I did this little landscape while wife and daughter were off investigating the building featured in this sketch.
We stopped for lunch and sat near the information center because there is a gaggle of picnic tables there and we were the only ones using them besides a few tussock moth caterpillars.
Once we were sufficiently nourished we decided to head out in the opposite direction, but I spent 2-3 minutes doing this really quick sketch of a copse of trees. Not much but it was still good fun. The washable ink made it even more fun/quick.
Mostly, this day allowed us to fill up on quiet and that’s worth doing. Give it a try, it’s refreshing, particularly during an election year.