The woods are lovely, dark and deep

With apologies to Robert Frost…
 photo LynnValley-East-Trees-08_zpsf8692fea.jpg

I’m waiting for some detail parts to arrive for my tobacco kilns, so I’ve set them aside for now. Instead, I’ve been working at the other end of St. Williams – the west end where (on my layout, at least) the line passes over Stone Church Road then plunges into the Lynn Valley en route to Port Rowan. With time on my hands this weekend I pulled the wire tree armatures from this area and turned them into finished trees, following my usual take on the Gordon Gravett method.

This area has looked pretty much like this since last summer:
Trees-Lynn Valley East photo Trees-LV-East-02_zps56f33855.jpg

Now, it looks like this:
 photo LynnValley-East-Trees-01_zps10a2b8c5.jpg

Much, much better, I think.

Before planting any trees, I added fence lines between the road overpass and the trestle. The white-painted boards and posts near the overpass nicely frame the scene:
 photo LynnValley-East-Trees-04_zps02d798e0.jpg

I did not bother adding the white boards at the other end of the fence as it’s out of sight – and I’m not going to add fences between here and Port Rowan because I feel they’ll clutter the scene unnecessarily.

Once the fences were in place, I added bushes along the fence lines, then shorter trees behind those, then taller trees behind the shorter trees. My tallest trees are about a foot high and create a leafy canyon through which the line runs. In effect, it’s a short tunnel – a view block to separate St. Williams from the Lynn River and give operators the feeling of going places:
 photo LynnValley-East-Trees-05_zpsf26fadf7.jpg

At the other end of this new stand of trees – near the trestle over the Lynn River – I planted trees in arrangements that would disguise the point where the river meets the backdrop:
 photo LynnValley-East-Trees-02_zps189dee32.jpg

 photo LynnValley-East-Trees-03_zpsaa687184.jpg

Since the forest here is supposed to continue beyond the fascia, the tall trees at the front of the layout have leaf canopies only at their top. The branches in the forest are devoid of leaves for the most part. This provides an interesting view of a train as it rolls through the valley:
 photo LynnValley-East-Trees-06_zpsc17dcde5.jpg
(Note the ferns on the forest floor. These are HO scale details from JTT-Microscale and I’ll be planting more throughout the forest.)

Finally, I added a visual reinforcement of the ambient audio in this area by installing a mated pair of cardinals in one of the trees. (These are from the same source as the Redwing Blackbirds in the meadow at Port Rowan.) Now, when people hear a cardinal call, they’ll be able to see the source:
 photo LynnValley-East-Trees-07_zps891d4880.jpg
(Hmm: It looks like there’s another male in the distance at right. Get ready for a noisy territorial sing-off!)

This newly scenicked area will give visitors a better idea of my plans for the rest of the Lynn Valley. That said, I planted about 20 trees here over the weekend and based on that I expect I’ll have to build another 80-90 trees to complete the valley scene. Fortunately, the armatures – which take the longest – can be twisted while watching TV, minding a pot of stew in the kitchen, etc., so it shouldn’t take that long.

Besides – I’m inspired now, and keen to see the completed valley!

11 thoughts on “The woods are lovely, dark and deep

  1. Excellent addition. Your canopy over an open forest floor is exactly what it looks like out of my sunroom windows. After the viney maples that are at the front of the woods leaf out you can’t see in. I have black pines at the front edge that only have branches on my side — the branches on the back side are devoid of needles due to lack of sunlight.

  2. You have nailed it again! Trevor you are an observer and recreator of nature and you are able to reproduce what you see. Thanks for the experience.

    Being from a section of the world where hardwood don’t survive the drought conditions, thanks for allowing me to see what the hardwood forest look like.

  3. Even shadows of the trees suggest more trees behind the modeled ones. When one has a plain blue sky background this may be one of the few times when shadows on the back drop actually improve the scent. I have to have a blue back ground on my layout.

    Depending on the height of the front scene, if close to eye level the ones in back can be a bit smaller and closer together and still give the appearance of a thick forest. It is much the same as on an hillside where we may uses smaller trees to give a feeling that the hills are taller then they are, the forced perspective giving the illusion of great distance. Buildings in the woods, or farther back, could be smaller scale for the same effect of greater distance same with people and animals.

    • Hi Chris:
      Good observation – one I’ve thought about myself. Whereas shadows of trees, buildings, utility poles and so on can ruin a painted backdrop, on a plain blue backdrop they suggest – in a wonderfully arty-farty way – that there’s more to the scene.

  4. Trevor,

    That is a good looking forest. I really like the first picture, with the fence framing the engine as it comes into the clear.

    Mike S.

  5. Trevor,

    Fantastic! Looks like some of the color photos of the Ma&Pa in the summer months in late 40s early 50s. Like the way your lights filter through the canopy.


  6. I agree with Mike Cougill.

    It’s almost like the real season over here, with all the trees bursting into leaf,


  7. I saw the title and I thought today’s snowfall had driven you shouty crackers and you had implemented a change to winter. 🙂

  8. Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I’m glad you enjoyed this. I’ve been working on more tree armatures so the forest will continue to grow – probably in the next couple of days. Stay tuned…

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