Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Afternoon Wind, 1964; watercolor on paper, 37 13/16 x 28 3/4 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Hodgson, Russ, Andrews, Woods and Goodyear, In memory of Ruth Millet Goodyear, 1976
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, June 13, 1914
Monday, June 13, 2016
A light shower clears the air and brings cold weather. Stars night of 12th
I never saw so wonderful a day as today. The air is absolutely pure and clean and a brisk wind is blowing. The air is so clear distant objects are clear as those near at hand and I imagine I could see illimitably if the earth were flat. These sparkle and glittered. To look over the deep blue sky, the white drift like clouds, the green glittering trees seems like a cool -- of pure dash of water over one's body.
Catalpa blossoms are out.
As I go out I have sensation of being in fairyland.
Wind is laden with scattering willow down and water is speckled with it.
The bird chorus has diminished greatly. Songs only heard occasionally.-meadow lark bobolink, bluebird, catbird, Kingfisher, snipe, Sandpiper, Thrasher
arrived at camp. Gather firewood and prepare to fish. Jim fixes lines. I catch to fish. A bass + sucker. Amuse myself with crayfish.
The air fairly sparkles with brilliancy.
Willows-feathery branches shine with wind blown sunlight.
The brick red of sorrel is getting placed to paint, and white of clover and fleabane.
Swamp grasses are coming to seed. Road in wheat and another lovely field a succession of darker ripples.
Spiderwebs laden with Willow down.
Heron with his bending neck alights on tree.
Make excursion to clover metal. Pair of bobolink's alarmed. With what buoyancy they ride a slender weed!
Trees suggest dignity and majesty in the late sun.
The bobolink looks as though he had been spattered with some of the fleabane and the meadow as he spattered the meadow with his notes.
This world and life grows more wonderful to me with each day.
The air full of scattering willow cotton looks like insects which come out on a steamy sunshiny day in early March.
The resounding buzz of bumble bees in clover.
Female bobolink wildly excited. I follow her around hoping to discover nest. She keeps flying from place to place.
Beauty and grace of cliff swallows. Seem silvery and flight as though of dew silver on Cloverleaf.
Hostile to Red Wings in bobolink's and pursue them diligently.
Return to camp. Jim fishing in whole. Tells me to come and fish while he goes down Creek where he left his pole. I fish. In quick succession pull out to bass and catfish. I feel first thrill as a fisherman.
Swallows circling near me attract my attention. One flies in hole in bank suddenly. I go to investigate. Just as I lean over or she flies out. I go down and put my arm in. Can find nothing but a carpet of twigs. A fine place for cliff swallows. The creek bank is formed of yellow clay which rises in a ragged perpendicular wall. The holes were smoothly done and just large enough to admit my arm.
A bluebird who has a home in the dead top branches of an otherwise healthy tree, fills the air with song. Kingfisher clickers up and down stream as the sun sets, weird misty clouds of fantastical weave and shape spread out over sky. We eat a supper of ham and eggs.
One trip is made through frog Pond at East.
Only one frog reward and we abandon our attempts. One trip is made downstream without success.
The most beautiful saying of the evening are the fireflies. They arise on all sides in droves of millions. Once as I paused while down the creek I looked westward and gasped with their beauty. As if by some preconceived plan they all flashed simultaneously. It was like some wonderful strain of music. They rivaled the starry sky in splendor. Blackness of night accentuate them.
Hear whip-poor-will but once.
An exciting moment when Jim discovers turtle on line. Still more exciting when another line brings up still larger turtle. The furious reptile hisses and snaps with great energy.
Light rain commences to fall and comes down intermittently. We start for home.
Charles E. Burchfield, June 13, 1914