Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Lilacs No. 2, c. 1940; watercolor on paper, 33 x 45 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Archives
Charles Burchfield, Journals, June 4, 1947
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
A beautiful clear morning - the sky cloudless – warm – the quietness – a far away train whistle.
Started preliminary work on re-mounting the “Lilacs #2"
Afternoon – B & I to the woods at the juncture of Sharp St. & Genesee Rds, north of Springville – (near the great Bog).
A fine woods, part of a pasture for a large herd of cows – many beautiful sturdy hemlocks, and patches of black “holes” under groups of hemlocks. Thousands of white (2 kinds) & purple violets, with strawberry – young tender ferns – ponds with little “fairy groups of old moss-covered logs & fern grounds.
By a swift running stream – the water is clear but tinged with a transparent tobacco brown, which intensifies the colors of underneath plants. B – stretched out on her back on the warm earth - & I removed my shoes & socks. The delicious feel of the rank brown grass – It seemed as if I could feel the healing energy of the earth ascending my legs.
The heat of the sun, and the odors of rank swift growing vegetation almost sickening – The quality of this season is rankness. I think of the sour stems of Rhubarb, which we used to chew raw, & the bitter taste of calamus root –
Buttercups with unbelievably shiny petals-
We gathered poke-greens
Sit awhile on a stump in a maple glade to feel the power & beauty of the day.
On our return – stopped at the swamp on Sibley Rd. but water too deep for exploring.
Evening – B & I for walk – stopped to look at Mart & Hank’s “garden,” & chat awhile in their apartment.
C brought home ice-cream which we ate in birch beer –
Charles E. Burchfield. June 4, 1947