Conestoga: Sunday-walk Treasures

This afternoon my two oldest children and I went out for a walk in the old Mill’s run in Conestogao. This area is beautiful and something we treasure. It was just above freezing, so the snow still covered the ground, but we could hear the water was running well. As we followed different paths we ended up right on the Conestoga River’s bank and both children were content to play here; skipping rocks, throwing snow and ‘fishing’ with poles made from found twigs.

I was also happy to stop and watch the river run. I guess my gaze slowly fell from the moving stream to the bank, and for a long time I just stared blankly at the ground (a pastime I remember from my own childhood) and then I suddenly focused: There was bright colour at my feet!

As I’ve already posted, Conestoga has been known for it’s Sienna pigment for over a century, but these river rocks could only be called an ochre colour. The river was freezing cold, and my hands began to hurt as time and again I plunged them into the icy water to grab just ‘one more rock’.

I suppose that a company would need to be worried about constancy and the supply, but since any one of these rocks would provide enough pigment for an entire icon I am free to experiment. I’ll have to see what happens once I grind these rocks into powder; maybe they will stay bright, maybe they won’t …

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