The Great Berry-Hunting Adventure

If you’ve followed along on my art journey for a while, you know already how much I love September. For me, it’s a bit like the start of a personal new year.  It’s a time for new resolve, a time to try new things, a time to be adventurous, and most of all a time for learning.

The arrival of September this year could not have been more perfect. Our weather has been gorgeous beyond words — not hot, humid, and stifling, but cool and invigorating. Despite a little sense of sadness, knowing that summer is ending and winter is on its way, I’ve loved getting outdoors, listening to the birds and the bugs chirping, chattering, and making a marvelous cacophony of sounds. Together my husband and I have hiked woodland trails, seen the beauty of the earth, and looked up close at all the little wonders nature offers us.

Our weekend excursions began when I read about making ink with pokeberries. They’re wild — and toxic, according to most folks — and I was determined to find enough to give ink-making a try. After all, I have those new dip pens, and Inktober is coming up.

So, we were off on a berry-hunting expedition, and while we didn’t find any of the precious pokeberries we sought, we did have a wonderful day on the hiking trails. We did find a few berries — sumac, for one — and we saw hickory nuts, mushrooms, fascinating trees, and… well, just see for yourself:

Some of these photos will be used as references for drawings and paintings. I especially loved the old tree with all the spiky branches. But, in the end, no pokeberries, and that’s all right. We came away with so much more — lovely memories of a September day spent hiking the trails. It was a good day, indeed.


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