A day on the Eel River in February can turn into a day ‘in’ the river as the water level rises with every new downpour of rain. What was once a sand bar can quickly become an island of silt that melts into the powerful current, leaving saplings stranded and clinging to whatever terra firma they can find. Without roots a human visitor caught out in the swift flow would be pulled down and swept away. And if the river doesn’t carry you away, imagination will, as happened to me after an exhilerating day of plein air painting. At home the rushing river continued to change in my mind’s eye for many days, and the painting changed along with it.