Roadside Wilds

September 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

roadside cattail marsh in Freeland, WA - at the 76 Station

I love this little marsh. Stands tall at the side of Highway 525 at the 76 gas station in Freeland. Huge potholes prevent much traffic coming in and out of the north driveway here (at least small, lowrider cars like mine), so it’s been allowed to prosper over the years. Today I noticed tiny pink flags stuck in the ground around it. Not a good sign. I’m wondering if my blogging about this will make the change come to pass that much sooner.

When I lived in Port Townsend there were a few town landmarks that I drew in my sketchbook in a whimsical way, wondering what the land would look like without them there. Like this abandoned Texaco station that had become a sort of political sculpture. I actually made a gouache painting from this sketch and sold it in my first show at Elevated Ice Cream Co. on Water Street there. Not two weeks later the whole thing disappeared. Another old building I’d painted in an “elevated” way for the show, the DeLeo Brothers Building – a cool wood warehouse from the 1880’s – met the same fate shortly after.

© Pierr Morgan 1989 - "Elevated Texaco" - colored pencil & marker - 7 x 8 inches

So I’m a little worried about this roadside marsh. I’ve passed by it for years and only just a couple weeks ago got out of the car to photograph it. And now the flags. I should have left it alone. Well I won’t take full responsibility. Our highway is only a tw0 laner. Crossing from businesses on one side to those on the other can be treacherous at times. Perhaps the pending excavation is all in the name of safety.

Sure is pretty though. Maybe the little flags indicate expansion. Yeah – a nice median or roundabout sort-of oasis to reroute traffic and beautify at the same time. I can hope.

Meanwhile, it’s been immortalized in the rough sketch dummy of the next children’s picture book Carole Schaefer and I have just submitted to Viking. Cross your fingers, please.

Illustration sketch © 2011 Pierr Morgan -


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§ 2 Responses to Roadside Wilds

  • Amy says:

    Pierr – sitting here on a gloomy grey Chicago fall morning, I am cheered by the beautiful light of the northwest that sings in the grasses you picture here. Especially the first photo, you can feel fall alighting on the grasses! I certainly hope those grasses are safe from any encrouching danger…

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