Today I experienced a case of "Do as I say, not as I do." I did exactly what I tell my students not to do. I tell them that it's best not to go searching for something specific to draw in their journals- something that they like or think is beautiful or interesting. "Instead," I tell them, "just find a place to sit and look at the ground beside you. Something there will inevitably become interesting to you."
This morning something came to mind that I'd seen the other day and I decided I wanted to draw it. "It" was a pine gall nestled into a thick bed of reindeer moss with pine needles sprinkled around. I decided that I must find it again, (an impossible task) or else find another to draw. I won't say how long I wandered in the woods looking for pine trees with galls, but after a while I did finally find two weathered pine galls on the ground under some pines. Plus, it was a great hike! Winston, Radu, and I got plenty of exercise while I searched, and I discovered a wonderful old Sourwood, as well as some neat shaggy brown mushrooms, and a whole bank of pyxie cups growing in moss and lichen. Also, I found some spotted red oak galls that had fallen to the ground, and of course, a multitude of fall flowers, butterflies, and Carolina Locusts. Did I mention the huge black puffball? It was easily 6-7 inches across. These were all worthy subjects for my journal... I wonder if I'll be able to find them again?