Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 12

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 12, from Ockenauer Steg to the city of Kirchberg

Rain, rain, rain…I had to wait close to two weeks to try and find some more or less dry intervals to the start of my new Etappe no. 12.

Jagst river had very high waters because of the heavy rainfalls.

The day I started my next hike close to Ockenauer Steg, my mood was indecisive. Past the bridge I journeyed on to Kirchberg where I had painted several times last year.

The castle and part of the old city could be seen from far.

A good place to paint in the morning light. A large linden tree is half way to the city and the linden flowers spread their spicy scent all over the place. Three wooden benches to sit comfortably on this special energetic site below the large tree.

Time for a good coffee and as soon as I installed myself to sketch, I began a panoramic city view in direct watercolour. By then I was getting into a more focused and relaxed mood as with direct watercolour you need to be focused, otherwise you mess up.

Lateron I walked towards the city, but before entering, I turned right to get closer to the river.  As soon as I reached the river again, I painted the old large stone bridge below the city walls. I tried to also capture in my watercolour the strongly moving high waters, that rushed through the bridge.

Kirchberg bridge

Then I made my way through Hofgarten towards the roundtour below the castle with all the nice, tiny gardens right outside of the surrounding city walls and this is where I found again a lookout bench to have another sip of my tasty coffee.

Some animals also crossed my way. Besides grasshoppers I also saw a squirrel that showed no fear at all and sat there munching something. After that, I entered the castle and crossed the city through those tiny streets. On my way back to the car I saw lots of flower fields.

The common chicory (watercolour, see above)  is a plant that now grows everywhere by the small gravel roads. I really liked the form and colour and the shadowplay of the plants and grasses, so I had to paint it.

It was getting warmer and there could be some thunderstorms coming later. After the flower painting I decided to head back to the car and drive to a bathing point by the river to have an evening refreshment after my work was done.

In my head: …“Dreamer“ by Ozzi Osbourne, Sketchtour in Loket from 3rd to 5th of September
 
Material: A3, 20 x 20 and 20 x 40 cm watercolour paper , watercolour sketchbook
 
Seen: Very few people. Nice chats with locals. The smell of fresh linden blossom is incredibly nice.
 
Duration: Full day
 
Weather, after a long rainy period:  Warm and moist, in the end 28 degrees Celsius, no wind
 
Learning: Subjects to paint are endless in this beautiful area of Hohenlohe…

Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 11

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 11 from Mistlau to Ockenauer Steg / Kirchberg (round tour over devils blade)

Who had ever thought that there are waterlilies on Jagst river. Shortly before I reached Mistlau I saw them (…and how could it be that I did not see them last time?) After I parked the car, I returned to that place to draw the river with some waterlilies on the opposite side as well as the tree shadows in the flowing water.

The warm weather and the relaxed feeling made for a holiday like summer atmosphere. Flora evolves and transforms week by week. The white blossoms in the elderflowers bushes are not any more visible. The bloom nearly ended already. A few ducks could be seen on the opposite side of the river.

I later crossed the concrete bridge, went through Mistlau and made a 10 minute sketch at the end of the village. A butterfly sat on my left hand and I tried to stay still for what seemed an endless time.

The last two weeks we had several strong rainshowers and the plants are growing enormously. Unlike in the last three very dry summers everything is extremely green.

Mistlau
Sketch of Mistlau

I reached the flower fields again and painted some of the flowers like poppies, marguerites, thistles and below white bluebells, scabiose etc., till it got too hot. Now the large, blue Viper’s Bugloss and violett thistle peak higher out of the other flowers in the meadow.

I reached the forest and it felt much nicer to be partly in the shade from now on. Then, Jagst river opens in front of me with a large wooden covered bridge, called Ockenauer Steg. Picknick time.

A few wooden benches allow visitors to have a beautiful lookout from the bridge. Btw there were a lot of wooden seats all along the trail. Great to watch and have a rest. The way is very well maintained.

I crossed Ockenauer Steg and soon reached the parking which will be my starting point for next time.

From now on it is the way back to the car.  I follow the round tour through the forest, past a place called Teufelsklinge (devils blade) and the mill I was at last time.

A fantastic day with lots of birdsong, marvellous weather and trillions of dragonflies.

In my head: Will we get back to the hustle and bustle and hectic of our former pre pandemic lives soon? Pros and cons.
 
Material: A3 watercolour paper , watercolour sketchbook
 
Seen: lots of bikers, dogwalkers, ducks, dragonflies, butterflies, one very small wagtail, heard frogs, smelled the fainting scent of wild garlic, which is soon gone and a wonderful wooden scent in the forest.
 
Duration: Another full, unique day to remember
 
Weather: Mostly sunny summer weather, 28 degrees Celsius, no wind
 
Learning: Drink more water, then the head works a bit better.
Sketch of bathing place by the river

Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 9

Landscape

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 9 from Baierles-Stein to Lobenhausen

Whilst Hohenlohe was still in a lazy mood , because the weather was unpredictable, changing from sunny to cloudy every now an then, I started to pack my backpack for Etappe 9.
 
My starting point was close to Baierles-Stein where I ended last time. Still a bit sleepy, but in very good mood I parked the car close to the recreation area.
 
According to the weather forecast there could be a thunderstorm later in the day, but as I planned to do more painting than walking far,  I did not worry. I was keen to hike in westerly direction towards Lobenhausen and followed the edge of the forest, high above the bed of the river.

 

First I sat down and drew fast sketches of far away forests, of windmills and two other landscapes of the extremely green area. Botanists would find lots to see and draw here. The surroungs are also covered with large wheat fields. Yellow rape fields in the distance begin partly to get their green seeds and the corn plants peek out of the soil. A peacock butterfly sat down in front of me and to my astonishment it stayed there quite a while.

peacock butterfly

At my first coffee stop I did a rough sketch of a dandelion plant into my sketchbook, feeling far from everyone and everything. As I continue down towards Lobenhausen, I could hear the sound of a church bell telling the time and saw two bikers. A very calm and hidden area.

Dandelion

I arrive at the barbecue/campsite with bathing possibility at the river. I am quite interested in painting the silos of a mill at the edge of the large camp area where childrens groups come for summer camps. The song of frogs in the nearby pond was the only sound I heard. I should have explored more of the area than just cross the small bridge, but time was tight and as always I wanted to get a few watercolours done.

pencil sketch Lobenhausen

As I finish my pencil sketch, heavy wind comes up and I can see that the weather forecast was right. In a hurry I packed my stuff. In the near distance I can see very dark clouds approaching.

 I hurried back to where my car was parked and just about 500m from the spot I was headed, heavy rain started. Just covered into my picnic blanket I sprinted to hide into my car. After that you really feel alive! My reward for the end of the day was a nice dinner at home to bring me back to a good energy level.

Material: No changes , still A3 and 20 x 20 cm Clairefontaine watercolour paper plus this time a watercolour sketchbook (dandelions)

Seen: 5 people, wild flowers, lots of dandelions spreading their seeds, heard: frogs and birds, other stuff: need to explore more about fauna. Ah, and not to forget the small rabbit who was at just about 1 m away from me hiding behind high grass. He remained there for quite some time before he hopped away.

Duration: Half a day with an abrupt end

Weather: Like in April, weatherforecast was right: rainstorm in the end…

This was an easy trail and not too far, which was good in the end for being able to sprint all the way back to the car. Next time my start will be in Lobenhausen. Can’t wait…

Map Etappe 9
wild garlic

Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 8

Jagstbrücke an der Heinzenmühle

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 8, Heinzenmühle to Baierles-Stein (round tour)

Sure that if you follow a river, bridges are playing an important role for crossing it, to get from one side to the other, for connecting people. I already drew several of them on my way and voilà my first subject for the day is the bridge at my starting point, for which I climbed down to draw Heinzenmühles covered bridge over Jagst river.

This Bridge is so much larger than the smaller covered bridge over Gronach creek (see Etappe 7), but very similar in shape.

I arrived, before other hikers would appear and crossed the bridge for getting to the best painting spot – and later crossed again for continuing my hike. It is the starting point for Etappe 8 of my journey.  I continue to the left of the stream at the edge of the forest very close to the water.

Landscapes Jagst River

Again the odor of wild garlic is everywhere. The white flowers are already to be seen on top of the garlic leaves.

The river showed its calm face. I followed the huge bend in its course and in the beginning the trail was very close to the water.  In order to show somehow this kind of nearly U-turn of Jagst river, I decided to do some fast watercolours of different positions in one large sheet to make the bend in the stream somehow visible (see above).

After finishing my fast landscape watercolours, I continued following the narrow trail upwards –  it was getting steeper. ( I would not do this trail in rainy weather as it could be quite slippery and dangerous.)

I also perceive the sweet scent of wild phlox. There are large areas in the woods covered with this violet flower, which is fantastic. I could not draw it, as there was no place to rest…too steep.

The trail itself is not easy to climb, as lots of fallen trees obstruct the passage. Being able to climb is essential for this hidden path.

It was a real warm day and although it was shady in the forest I got very hot,  climbing up over stones, trees and undergrowth,

Finally as I reach the edge of the forest I am really done and follow the upper way back high above the previous track. The prospect of a picnic at the picnic-site „Baierles-Stein“ makes me feel a lot better.

„Baierles-Stein“ is a picnic area with a lookout, a fireplace and picnic tables high above Jagst river. Here you can see a lovely valley to the opposite side of the river and…you can hear the Autobahn, which is a bit disturbing. Everything else is beautiful.

From now on I was interested in how many versions of different grasses I could find and sketch, while having a good, hot coffee and snack in the shade. I sat on my picnic blanket and also sketched some wild flowers. After a while I gave up and trotted back to my car.

Material: Clairefontaine A3

Seen: 4 people close to the bridge, none on the steep trail, butterflies and insects, lots of wildflowers, wild garlic in bloom, ferns, waldmeister, lots of fallen trees because of the last dry summers and some storms

Duration: Long half day

Weather: sunny, about 20° Celsius

Thoughts: In between I thought: Will I manage to climb without falling or slipping away with my backpack…

This was the most challenging part in terms of fitness. Happy that it was just half a day this time. I was extremely tired in the end… as always, I am already looking forward to new adventures