Call this the jettisoning of ballast: purging the backlog of tasteless Maine material. Maybe "bilge-water" is a better description for the tasteless stuff that makes some of the pages in the sketchbook stick together. Meaning I'll actually staple particular pages shut before passing around my sketchbook when doing a classroom show & tell, as there have been times when I've noticed a few students in a huddle pointing at and giggling over an inappropriate doodle sandwiched in amongst the usual nonsense. Usually I'm not terribly concerned at public displays of weirdness or filtering questionable content (as regular readers of this blog know well), but there is a time and place for when judicious editing is perhaps a more mature decision. That said, this is not one of those.
This one was inspired in part by the repeated warnings from officials about the rising cases of Lyme disease around this neck of the woods. And if that wasn't bad enough, now there's this Powassan virus cropping up too. I thought about resort to chemical warfare by using this Permethrin stuff that lots of folks around here swear by, except that it's particularly toxic to cats. And my older cat already suffered enough with a nasty chemical burn as a result of Frontline. There's a direct correlation between the coagulation of deer that inhabits areas like Acadia National Park, neighboring communities and the prevalence of deer ticks. That said, this particular panel might double-dip for Alaskan usage, especially given the legendary mosquito infestations of the Interior. For all the years spent trekking about Alaska I never used repellents, as dosing my skin with foul-smelling compounds (that also would melt plastic) wasn't worth the comparative, temporary inconvenience of a bug bite. But that was before migrating to an environment where all these very small critters actually might give you something along with the bite.
Being confronted with the primal power of the ocean is enough to make anyone shrivel up inside, that and maybe its damn cold. My childhood phobias of getting entangled in murky, weed-choked farm ponds have nothing on the black, hidden depths which conceal creatures no nightmare or fantasy art could compare to. Just looking at the alien life-forms that wash up on the shore or get hauled up in nets was enough to keep me high and dry.
I'm still incubating the concept of a contemporary, non-PC Smokey the Bear who gets right to the point by mauling litterbugs (maybe a little Kings 2:24 thrown in for good measure). Or perhaps an alternative ad campaign: "Only YOU can prevent a slow, lingering and horrible death from lung cancer."
Lastly, here's a take on another Great American Novel, because great literature is always a constant source of sophisticated inspiration and great material.