Nature Sketching – Day 17 “Grape Fern and Fall Leaves”

Wild Ozark Nature Sketching Day 17- "Grape Fern and Fall Leaves"
Wild Ozark Nature Sketching Day 17- “Grape Fern and Fall Leaves”

It gets hard to find a subject to draw that doesn’t include dead leaves at this time of year.

I at first wanted to draw this pretty beech leaf nestled on a darker sycamore leaf, but decided against it in favor of the grape fern instead.

I never did find the creature causing the noise under the leaves. Perhaps it was a sound I could only hear with my back turned, because every time I turned around to try and see it, the noise would stop. As soon as I returned to sketching, the sound returned.

When I was finished with my drawing I did spend some time near the ground trying to find the source of the sound, but it was for naught. I never did see anything, and it never would do whatever it was doing while I was looking.

Perhaps it was only my imagination? I’ve found caterpillars chewing my tomato leaves by sitting nearby and listening until I’d narrowed down the location. I’ve found springs by following drip noises as water made its way down mountainsides.

I don’t think I imagined it. I just didn’t spend enough time investigating.


First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.

Nature Farming


Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


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