Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Creative hiking

We had gone hiking last weekend with a group that likes to combine being with nature and creating art. Though it seems like the most obvious thing to do, this was my first time doing this. In all the countless times I've gone hiking, I've never stopped to sketch or paint what I saw or felt! So this was interesting.

We went to the Grelle Recreation Area in Spicewood, Texas. The trail was a short, 2 miles through some hilly land, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were some pretty tall trees there, with plenty of shade - something you cannot take for granted in Texas.



We soon came to our first creative stop. Here we disbanded for about 20 minutes, when each of us went off to observe and create - one person wrote beautiful words, another took photos and yet another person made some sketches. I found this fallen log and first took some pictures.



When I went closer to the log, I found on it lots and lots of prickly seed pods!


They had all burst open already, and were scattered all over the log along with small dried brown leaves. As I looked at them, it seemed as if I was looking at a bunch of discarded fake eyelashes!


The more I thought about them looking like eyelashes, the more they seemed like little tree-eyes to me! The image of a tree with lots of seed-pod eyes popped into my head and so I put away my camera and started a sketch, which I later finished at home. Raghav thinks it looks creepy. :)




The seed pods were so amazing that I wanted to bring some home with me. I almost did, but then it didn't feel right to move them from this place where they belonged, so I took some pictures of them to take with me.



We continued the hike after this first creative stop. The trail was quite wooded and pretty.



One cannot go into the wilderness in Texas and not see cacti!



At our second creative stop, I took a bunch of bark pictures. There were several interesting trees there with totally different types of bark. I will save those pictures for another post. Raghav got this interesting shot of a tiny jumping spider!



Further along the hike, I was amazed to see Fall colors - here in Texas!


Towards the end, the trail flattened out to where there usually is a lake. It was totally dry that day though, but the ground was covered with these little plants that smelled absolutely heavenly! No idea what kind of plant it was.


As we finished the little hike, the landscape was flat and open. Very serene and the perfect image of Fall.


I think I like this "hiking for the creative types" group and am looking forward to the next trip already!

24 comments:

Srividya said...

Sounds intteresting. Is this an organization or just some people getting together informally?

pRiyA said...

i really liked this post. if i were you, i'd develop the sketch of the eyed tree trunk into a painting...
oh, this sort of thing is something i would have really enjoyed. sigh! thanks for sharing it here.

pink dogwood said...

Bindu : you keep writing like this and you are going to make me move to Austin :)

I have lots of friends, dear friends, but none that like hiking :( I hiked the billy goat trail at the great falls (MD/VA border)once and was so taken by it that i wanted to go back there every few weeks (it is like 25 minute away), but that was 3-4 years ago - I never went back :(

I love your eye tree sketch and I am hoping you will take up on Priya's suggestion.

Chris' Shady Grove said...

What a beautiful place to explore. So many surprises. I love your drawing. Very creative.

Kitchen Surfer said...

Fun!

I should look to see if there's something similar in the ATL.

Hey, what's the banner on your blog?

tumbleweed said...

i had no idea Texas had such magic places...

Karine said...

Thank you for taking us with you on your walk! Those seed pods are fascinating. I would have probably taken one with me. Your "eyed" tree trunk is creepy, but I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing.

seth said...

What a great idea. Thanks for sharing both the photographs and your drawings. Very inspiring. And thanks for the comment on my blog!

Ps said...

Wow!Loved your seed pod sketck. me thinks it does not look creepy at all.
Loved the last two pics too.
Cheers
Preeti

Ps said...

i mean sketch..sorry for typo.Tend to publish before I check :)

bindu said...

Vidya - it was actually a meetup group!

Priya - thanks for your suggestion! Maybe I'll do that.

Bhavana - In MD you're right along the Appalachian Trail ... so don't move to Texas!! We miss the east coast for hiking - used to go very often in the Atlanta area. Very few good hikes here in Austin. You should take your daughter and go. :)

bindu said...

Chris, Karine - thanks! :)

Giri - the banner is a picture I took of one of my lamps from the top. :)

Tumbleweed - thanks for visiting!

Seth, Preeti - thanks! :)

meb said...

Thanks for sharing your hike bindu. I'm not much of a walker, but I can live vicariously through your adventures.

I also like the way you add a visual for each of your comments. Very effective!

Sydney tagged me after you tagged her, so stop on over when you have time.

~ ॐ ~ said...

These are some really beautiful pictures...

I wish I can do something like this in Milwaukee... but I am not really sure !!!

Blu said...

I love the idea to stop and take time. All my pictures are on the fly so to speak. I love the log and the eyes, my trees here have many eyes, but none with such big fluttery lashes. Are they Dallas eyelashes?? haa haa

pink dogwood said...

I know Bindu - need to join some hiking group locally :)

meb said...

bindu, I answered your question over on my blog rather than here. Check it out...

Robyn said...

I loved the walk, thank you Bindu. I love your sketch too. It doesn't creep me out at all. That spider photograph is amazing.

Jude said...

That was wonderful, think I'll suggest that around here.

sweetmango said...

I enjoyed the journey very much! Thank you for taking us with you!
I love the log with the eyes...I don't find it creepy at all. I think it is like a reminder that nature is aware of what we are doing and therefore since I always do my best for the planet then I view the eyes as friendly!! I really think it is a great picture and you are right...combining hiking and art is so perfect!

Connie said...

BEAUTIFUL!!

Peace & Love.

aneri_masi said...

That tree with the eyes would fit beautifully in a Harry Potter book :) Very interesting concept! is there a link for the group you went with...just wanted to see if they have something like that where I live.

bindu said...

Meb, Blu, Robyn: thanks. :)

Om, Aneri_Masi: this was a meetup group. So maybe you can check out meetup in the place where you live, or initiate one of your own!

Jude, Connie - thanks. :)

Sweetmango - thanks, and you're right!

shuma.rani said...

What great fun you've had. Love the photos and you should post some more of your drawings of the day :))