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Like many of you, I have spent the last two years of the pandemic treasuring special places where I felt safe, but free to walk and fill my lungs and spirit with nature. What better place than a National Park.

Within a quick half hour drive of my condo in Alexandria, VA is the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park at Great Falls, Maryland. It has plenty of parking with a gorgeous trail on the towpath that runs between the Potomac River and the old C&O Canal.

This happened to be a late summer day and everything was hot and lush and filled with sunshine. Insects were buzzing, birds were singing. The park never seems to be very busy during the week, so it’s the perfect place for isolated walking where you don’t feel completely alone. There’s always at least a few fellow walkers.

Since I started this series of wetland paintings, I’ve come to the conclusion that each area has complimentary but unique characteristics that change with the location, the season and the weather.

But the reflections are always gorgeous, the variety of flora fascinating, and the sense of rebirth and transition takes my breath away. Nothing can be more important than preserving these resources for future generations.

Over the many years I’ve lived in the Washington D.C. area, I’ve always considered the C&O Canal towpath one of my go to places to refresh and renew. This is a special walk in a National Park close to home that I have returned to again and again over decades.

Wetlands, The Towpath, 40 x 30″, Oil