This sketch was inspired by Meltzer Woods, the last of 12 small sections of old-growth forest across Indiana to finally be protected from development. Meltzer Woods has a 400-year-old Bur Oak Tree and it is over 100-foot-tall. It had been a few years since I last sketched and applied watercolor. It took less than 10 minutes. One minute to sketch, and 9 minutes to remember that I had completely forgot how to paint with watercolors.
I used a No. 2 pencil, Micron pens, Winsor & Newton watercolors, Pentalic Nature Sketch pad, and a Pabst Blue Ribbon piece of cardboard as an underlay in the pad.
Indiana’s last unprotected stretch of old-growth forest is now safe from development. Meltzer Woods, a 60-acre wooded area with trees that were already old when Indiana became a state, is coming under official protection. Meltzer Woods will be open to the public during Indiana’s bicentennial year in 2016.
The land in central Indiana’s Shelby County is the state’s last patch of unprotected old-growth forest. Meltzer Woods includes a 100-foot-tall bur oak that experts estimate is 400 years old. Another tree — a centuries-old, 102-foot-tall black ash — is the largest such tree in Indiana, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
The property is among 12 small sections of old-growth forest across Indiana that have never been cleared. The woods were designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973.