The countryside to the northeast of Big Rapids, Michigan, is just gorgeous. The road curves around the edge of the marsh here, and it’s a good spot to stop and admire the view. While painting today, I was listening to an interview with Ted Genoways about the environmental consequences of petroleum mining in the Canadian tar sands. Maybe it's because my head was already in the North with the painting, but I found it particularly compelling. And very scary. I highly recommend listening here, or reading his article in the December issue of Outside magazine.