With the current pandemic and the shelter in place order, I chose to shelter in Paradise during my Spring Break. My family cabin is in Paradise Park, just up Highway 9 from downtown Santa Cruz.
Here I have more legroom than my digs in San Francisco and the population density here is far less than the 7 by 7 mile County and City of Saint Francis. Another factor was that San Francisco had almost 1,000 Covid-19 cases and the larger (by size) County of Santa Cruz had just 90 (at the time of writing). This seemed like a no brainer! Head to Santa Cruz for my two week Spring Break.
This move allows me to spread out, breath fresh air, and be amongst the redwoods and river. It also gives me a very familiar patch to sketch from. Here I know all the birdsongs and paths, all the secluded river beaches, and the places of solitude and rest. And I certainly needed both after three weeks of distant teaching.
Some of my favorite sketching locations in the Park are my redwood deck and different locations on the San Lorenzo River, certainly the most important landform that runs through the Park. A beach that I have always loved both as a place of repose and sketching is what is known in my own person geography as Corona Beach (this was named long before the infamous virus).
To get to Corona Beach involves heading up stream with some bush whacking, fording the San Lorenzo (which was trying to take my feet from under me), and then a little more bush whacking to arrive at a small, sloped river beach. Today it was occupied by a young couple, so I headed up stream (social distancing, dontcha know) and arrived at Upper Corona Beach. A smaller bit of sand on the river side. This is clearly a feral beach, wild, rugged, and something Mary Oliver might write a poem about. Well Mary is no longer with us so I guess I will have to give it a go. . . . a poem hasen’t blessed my brain at the moment (the trouble with poetry) so I did a sketch instead (featured sketch).
I also like to be in open air and sketch the green treescape of the view. This was a excise in creating depth in a sketch. In this desk sketch I included a poem:
Colors run cool,
Details become form,
Like the time,
ten years ago,
My father told me
Which I want