With spring showing intermittent signs of actually coming here in Midway, I keep thinking about our trip to Devon and Cornwall in England last year in late May/June. I thought I'd share a few of the studies I did on the trip. We found very reasonable cottages on farms and in villages where we stayed for a week at a time. It turned out to be our favorite trip ever, I think. It is so nice to take enough time in one place to get to know people and get a feel for the life there. The area called Dartmoor is a national park in Devon. It is covered with high wild moors and beautifully preserved villages tucked in the valleys. Nearly all the roads are single lane lined by rock walls and hedges. The farms are beautifully kept and the villages are ancient rock with many thatched roofs. Wild ponies and cows and sheep wander not only the moors but also the roads and village squares. We met many wonderful local people who took us in and showed us their farms and let me paint and photograph as I pleased. We spent one of the weeks on a farm on the Cornwall coast and attended the huge Royal Cornwall Agricultural Show for two or three days. All the horses and farm animals I could ever want to see. It was a dream for an artist that loves rural life. There is really something very special about the way the English love their history and their countryside and it's way of life. As I've always tried to convey in my art, just having the chance to be around farms and the rural lifestyle has a wonderful way of bringing peace and helping us appreciate our natural connection to nature and the earth. These places help us remember that our lives depend on what we grow in the fields and how we need a healthy vibrant countryside to have a healthy vibrant country. I hope to go back to Devon and Cornwall someday soon. There will definitely be more paintings coming of the people and countryside there.