Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sketching in the Gog-le-hi-te Wetlands

Fellow Urban Sketcher, Rom LaVerdiere, and I went out sketching today with only a 'generalized' plan. We were  hoping to do some sort of maritime scene in the Port area, thinking: old fishing boats...or, a tug boat...or, some derelict, half sunken boat---that sort of thing. That didn't work out too well, meaning BEFORE  we head out again with that agenda we need to do more research, or, take a map of the Port area, or, ask our sketcher & photographer friends where we might find our preferred scenes.

Nevertheless, we did profit from our random wandering. We saw a dirt track leading into a scrubby, woodsy area not too far from one of those old iron bridges near the Port and not far from downtown Tacoma. (I still don't know which old iron bridge it was, or what street we were on). It was a bit of a  Hansel and Gretel moment. A dirt road tempted us. We parked in what might have been a small parking lot. A dirt path tempted us.... and we saw a sign. We were in the  Gog-le-hi-te Wetlands. It sure didn't look like a wetlands...but...the trail went on...... 

PAUSE: Since I didn't read the sign,  I turned to  Google:
"The Port of Tacoma’s Gog-le-hi-te Wetlands are located along the Puyallup River. A former city landfill, the wetlands now support a healthy ecosystem with thousands of plants, hundreds of birds and a variety of mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
A dirt path connects the parking lot with space for seven vehicles to the viewing platform."

So, there you are. Or, I should say, there we were. We heard lots of birds singing and a small snake crossed the path as we walked along. We passed the viewing platform, noting that the tide must be out as the water was very low inside the wetlands. A bit further on: 'TA-DA'---we had  our sketching spot, right beside the Puyallup River with a great view of that old (mystery) bridge!

I'd love to sketch there again sometime....IF I was with one or more other sketchers...and IF I could find it again. Rom and I were feeling a little isolated. He discovered a nearby pile of clothing,  scattered court papers, and, miscellaneous other possessions of someone who had been residing in the area, but didn't appear to either have plans to return for the scattered gear...or else, was a sloppy 'house keeper.'

We sketched in the sunshine, found our way back to streets we recognized, went to lunch, and headed home. A great sketch-out day!

May you also  have many beautiful sketching days ahead, with mysterious places to discover and time to bask in the sunshine as you strive once more, like all sketchers, to improve your sketching skills.


 I used two sizes of micron pens (.01, .08) and a limited palette of tube watercolors: Sap green, Burnt Sienna, Sepia, Ultramarine, and Yellow Ochre. I also had Quinacridone Fuschia on my palette, but the only place I used it was on the side of my left hand, when I accidentally hit it when not looking.