RIVERPAINTINGS, Etappe 3 – from Elpershofen to Grossforst

JAGST hike&paint

My day began with a light lavender coloured sky and still we have the winter cold, but the weather is slowly reaching temperatures above zero and the snow begins to melt.  Anyway I ask myself, why on earth should I go out at this weather? The answer is clear: Because the sun is shining and it will be even warmer during the day and my addiction to paint outside is strong.

By car I stopped in Ilshofen for some provisions and had my coffee mug packed too. As I drove down towards Hessental, I saw many swans in the valley. Then I continued to drive to Elpershofen to park my car.

My plan was to start at Elpershofen, the place my last hike ended and walk towards Großforst. This might be interesting. There is an ostrich farm and I hope that the animals are out, but you never know…it is still winter. The hike will not be too far, so I will have enough time to sketch all day.

Wehr in Elpershofen

weir and part of Elpershofen village

The snow is melting. In the woods and in shady spots there is some and the river still has some icy parts.

My picnic blanket is very useful to sit and sketch to be sheltered against the cold and wet soil. Thanks to the sun, the paper dries much better and it feels more convenient than on my earlier trips this year. I was in good mood and used some pencils to be able to finish the watercolour faster. The car was still in reach so I stowed my first moist sketched paper away.

Then I started my hike to the right of Jagst river.

As I continued walking I saw the beautiful birches and the large old bridge dating from 1866 (renovated in 1957) behind me. Still it is sunny and it feels good to feel the sun on the skin. I follow the tiny street and cross a forest, where I saw a fox running close to the edge. What a beautiful animal. Too fast to sketch, but I made a pencil sketch out of imagination and coloured later. The river is to my left.

Fuchs am Waldrand

Next day after my encounter with the fox, I did several fox sketches. Here is one of them:

Fuchs im Winter

I reach Großforst and see that there are a few very sketchable houses, but the large animals I see at the edge of the village, first attracted my attention. As I sat down to sketch, just a female ostrich stayed unfrightened, the others fled, but came back after a while, very curios about what I was doing there. I just made a pencil sketch and then contiued my hike. Colouring would be done later, I thought, as it was beginning to get colder. The sun was already getting weaker. I was hungry as well.

High time for a hot coffee and my provisions. There is a bench right in front of the nice metal bridge. The bridge leads from Großforst to Kleinforst. But first the picknick. Hm, it was so good. Had a Pretzel with butter and the coffee was strong and hot. This point where I am now sitting, will be the start for my next hike&paint trip. For now it is the middle of my todays hike as you can see on the map.

Over fields and grass I made my way back to Elpershofen. Saw many birds like grey herons and different duck families. Nearly no cars, just three bikers on this hike and no hikers at all. The only flowers I saw were some little snowbells and a few crocusses in a garden, but that was it for the flora…anyway it shows that spring is just around the corner…

The temperatures are rising soon and it will be even more fun to sketch outside…hope I can soon carve out another hike&paint day soon….so stay tuned.

Elpershofen bis Jagsttalranch