daily painting | tennessee valley

Tennessee Valley is a recreational area in Mill Valley, CA that has lovely hiking trails, and a way to get to a little beach cove only accessible on foot (or bike or horse). The SS Tennessee shipwrecked there in 1853, after missing the entrance to San Francisco Bay in heavy fog; thus the name of the place and the placard there said that if the tide is low enough, you can see the rusty remains of the ship. I walked the trail to the beach after visiting my dear banding friend “Uncle Fuzzy” who is one tough old bird and is fighting cancer. The dried grasses on the hills and the wide trails and the cool air (then smoke-free) were a welcome break from cancer worries. I snapped a pic of this hillside with its remarkable bright red blooms. Mom would know what these are but I don’t (and the irony of it all is that a mile from that spot is the Lutheran church I grew up in where mom played the organ). Maybe Franciscan Paintbrush? Monkeyflower? I dunno. But its bright red blooms looked stunning against the golden grasses blowing in the foggy breezes. Was very pleasant to be on that trail along with chatty college-age kids on hikes, families on dirt bikes (one little boy had to stop to extract his shoelace tangled in the spokes but he was OK), horseback riders on ponies, young kids taking riding lessons at the nearby barn. Next time I’ll bring a lunch and hang out at the beach for a bit longer. Maybe I can time it to get there at low tide.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90