Did you know that Lindo Lake is the only natural (un-dammed) fresh water, spring-fed lake in San Diego County? Currently it is “topped up” by pumping in water from nearby wells, which keeps the park nice and green and the lake full and beautiful. I remember going to the park for a picnic with family, cousins and friends in the Summer of ’71 when I was nine years old. The lake was completely dry, which was very disappointing for a nine-year-old. But it wasn’t too long before my cousin Curt (2 years older) and I found a way to have fun anyway. In those days, there was no Nintendo, Gameboy or “Angry Birds” to insidiously suck the life out of two daring young explorers who were experts at finding alternate sources of adventure and mischief. Turns out, a foot or two under the cracked mud surface of the lake bottom, there were hibernating…or I guess the correct term is estivating…arroyo toads that were enjoying the cool and moist mud down below. With sticks for improvised shovels, we dug and dug, finding several of them.
Of course, we brought the largest specimens back to the picnic area to proudly show to our Moms, who were duly unimpressed and in fact, quite the opposite. Our shoes and clothing were now encrusted with the stinky, black, goose-slime-laden, lake-bottom mud! In retrospect, I have to say that as nine and eleven-year old boys, finding those toads was more than worth the trouble we were in. I think as mad as they were about our soiled clothes, our mothers probably secretly enjoyed our boyishness and loved us all the more for it.
On Saturday, I returned to Lindo Lake with the San Diego Plein Air Painters Group and started a painting. This is a large (for plein air) 16 X 20 oil on canvas. The painting is not complete and is a work in progress. I think I’ll let this one rest and return to it later for finishing with “fresh eyes.” Sometimes it is good to leave a painting for a spell and pick it back up when it suits your fancy. I welcome any comments on this one, critical or otherwise.
Here it is as it sits on the easel, now: