Every summer there is one period that gets me energized and animated enough to head for the hills with my paint box filled with hot colours: reds, scarlets, crimsons, pinks and mauves to name a few. It’s called the fireweed season. This year was no exception with a season lasting a lot longer and, due to the unusually cool weather earlier in the summer, also starting later than usual.
As usual, being a natural, unapologetic procrastinator, August came around and I hadn’t taken my pink paints into the clear-cuts. Furthermore, not having been in close touch with the logging community for awhile, I didn’t have a clue about where to go to find the ones that were about three or four years old. It takes the fireweed about that time to get established in a new clear-cut, where it begins to rejuvenate the soil, making way for new growth to further the process.
I remembered and loved Theimer Lake since we moved here 36 years ago. It was close to home, but in those days exceedingly difficult to get a canoe into; but, once done, pure delight in its pristine pleasure. Some five years ago, to my consternation, I learned that a road had been pushed into the area above the lake and most of the area clear cut. After this revelation, I made, what was now a short journey along the new road and painted several oils just above the lake. Consequently, in this year’s frantic search for fireweed, these recent memories came back to me with a resounding “Aha, that’s the place”.
As it turned out, the days I painted there in August, turned out to be the hottest on record; not to mention that a clear-cut, on any summer day, is a hot place to be! This place, however was a veritable flower garden with the most dazzling display of fireweed I had seen for years, all juxtaposed against the green, green spruce below, with tempting little tidbits of the lake appearing between the trunks. It was enough to make me forget the sun!
Decorated by several bouquets, the old timer, in this painting, was still hanging around; even after all the newer growth had been cut. Rejuvenation had begun!