First piece in a series about Pine Lake State Park in Eldora, Iowa, as part of 20 Artists, 20 Parks Program between the Iowa Art Council and the Iowa DNR. Each painting will be a vignette of the stories I've gathered over the summer of 2019.
In 2009, a massive storm with softball-sized hail and 100 mph winds tore through the park and stripped every tree of its leaves in a matter of minutes. The deciduous trees survived, but the storm ultimately wiped out the majority of white pines in the park, upwards of 85%. These pines happen to be a very rare population pocket of "southern" white pines, as well as the park's namesake. Today, visitors see standing snag pines, which, in even death, provide home, food, and perch to many bird and mammal populations.