Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Autumnal Fantasy, 1916-1944; watercolor on joined paper, 39 x 54 inches; Private Collection
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, January 21, 1915
Saturday, January 21, 2017
The second of wonderful winter days. It has been snowing since the morning of the l9th — then great, square-shaped soggy lumps from the east; developed gradually by today in a thick shower of feathery bunches of star-flakes. Today was a fairy day— the nature of the storm brought a smile from the walker – so light and buoyant, they had the character of sunlight; falling so softly, (there was scarce a wind) they rested on the trees branches like careful butter-flies; they evaded the down-coming foot and flew aside in tiny gusts.
The note of a nut-hatch stirring for food on an elm was the expressive “sound” of the silence of the snow.
Now at times a massive flake burst against a branch!
The nuthatch’s note has clung to me, like the snow on the tree-limbs. And I thought of winter-walks in the Dutchman’s.
My mind reverts always to a return at some time to a study of nature afield. Last year it was the same, and I recall with what eagerness I anticipated the summer. Yet as I read the record of my summer trips, in many places I find I marred the record by my attempt to create something to yearn for. Except towards the last where I recorded only the beauties I saw.
This morning I saw the morning star.
Charles E. Burchfield, January 21, 1915