Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mule Deer Fawns - Innocent Creatures

Twin Mule Deer Fawns

One of the things I love about living in the mountains is observing the abundant wildlife. We routinely see elk and mule deer grazing peacefully around the townsite.

The highlight of every spring is the same, mule deer doe that comes back to the yard and gives birth to twin fawns. They must feel safe in this locale because they stay all summer long.

The fawns are up and moving almost immediately as they follow closely behind their mother. If she leaves the area, the little ones are given strict orders to get down and remain still.

I've seen them lay and remain completely frozen for several hours. When mom returns, the curious fawns pop back up and continue to explore their surroundings.

At such an early age they are extremely vulnerable to numerous predators. Ochre color tones and white spots allow the fawns to blend perfectly into the mountainside.

The tiny creatures seem helpless at first but within a few days they're able to move around very quickly. Just don't let their innocent look fool you.

It won't be long before they're stirring up trouble in the neighborhood - eating flowers, running out in the street and just causing a general ruckus. They kind of remind me of my own, two kids.

The highlight of every Spring

They stay all summer

Following mother closely

They remain still

Exploring their surroundings

They are vulnerable

Ochre colored with white spots

They can move around quickly

Not as innocent as they look

Causing a general ruckus

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lake Isabelle Storm - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Lake Isabelle Storm"

“Through art we can change the world.” ~ #twitterartexhibit

It's springtime in the Rockies as rain clouds rumble across the Great Divide. They descend into an isolated glacial cirque, signaling a soggy afternoon.

Throughout this season of optimism, fresh greenery is revealed during the annual snowmelt. A ring of gray mountains forms an impressive backdrop, looming over the icy reservoir.

The Indian Peaks Wilderness is known for its severe storms, rough trails and natural beauty. Attaining the turquoise tarn named Lake Isabelle can be a struggle, especially during bad weather.

Ascending this steep valley is an unforgettable experience because reaching the remote paradise under such harsh conditions requires great strength and courage.

Things will get tough on the rugged trail so stay positive, have faith that your being guided in the right direction and most importantly - don't give up, don't ever give up.

Lake Isabelle Storm is my contribution to the upcoming Twitter Art Exhibit: UK. This unique event is an international exhibition of original postcard art benefiting Molly Olly's Wishes, supporting children with terminal or life threatening illnesses and their families to help with their emotional wellbeing.

They grant individual wishes to children. This may be in the form of equipment, to help a child with day to day living with their condition, it may be an alternative therapy treatment to compliment traditional medicine, or a special occasion for a child that would otherwise be isolated from everyday events due to the restrictions of their illness.

They are professional and personal and never forget that those they help are going through extremely challenging times. They always strive to be empathetic and compassionate.

All proceeds from sales will support children aged 0-18, and their families, who need additional help to ease the burdens of living with a terminal or life threatening illness.

Twitter Art Exhibit: UK is the seventh installment of this open international exhibition of handmade postcard art for charity, donated by artists from around the world.

Social media plays a major role in Twitter Art Exhibit. It is their intention to tweet, share and promote contributing artists to thank them for their participation, and to make this event a success for all involved.

The event will be highly publicized and well attended by art buyers and enthusiasts, members of the press, local artists and the TAE community.

For more information, please check out this link: #twitterartexhibit

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Morning in the Mountains - A Monochrome Monday

Morning in the mountains

On a frigid morning in the mountains, the dark landscape is coated with a thin layer of sparkling ice. Tired and cold, it's difficult to get going on such a dreary, winter dawn.

By late January, the Front Range foothills are quiet and colorless. On this day things are different as a large herd of elk have gathered in the monochrome meadow.

Strung out along the crest of a wide ridge, cows, yearlings and bulls forage together in the ochre grass. Patches of broken snowpack slide into the narrow draw below.

After such an unusual weather event, the pure-white Evergreens look like crystallized Christmas Trees. In the low light, their grey shadows stretch across the watery gulch.

It's a melancholy Monday but the morning march is a therapeutic necessity. It looks like it's going to be another hectic few days, working for the weekend.

A frigid morning

The dark landscape is covered with ice

A dreary, winter dawn

The foothills are quiet and colorless

A large herd of elk

A monochrome meadow

Patches of broken snowpack

Crystallized trees

A watery gulch

A melancholy Monday

Saturday, February 4, 2017

South Table Mountain - The True Frontier

South Table Mountain

During a mid-winter morning on South Table Mountain, the treacherous trail was a muddy mess. Unusually tepid temperatures had triggered rapid snowmelt, softening the dark earth.

Rising out of an authentic western town called Golden, Colorado, the natural turret was a lovely landmark. The steep ascent was distinguished by long switchbacks that snaked across a dormant hillside.

Up on a rounded ridge, yellow grasses blew in a soft breeze and contrasted sharply with the clear, blue sky. Easy to imagine I'd stepped back in time, the peaceful approach was a true frontier experience.

Before reaching the top, a maze of rock spires was situated just below the mesa's wide rim. After a wild week of commitments and work, it was nice to find some free time for a warm, winter's day walk.

A mid-winter morning

Golden, Colorado

The natural turret is a landmark

A dormant hillside

A soft breeze

A peaceful approach

A frontier experience

A maze of rock spires

A warm, winter walk

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Cold Mountain - A Harsh Wilderness

Bergen Peak is a cold mountain

It’s a frigid morning in Evergreen, Colorado and Bergen Peak forms a dark backdrop, brooding over a lonely meadow. A strange ambiance engulfs the landscape as morning light struggles to leak through the dense atmosphere.

Plastered with a coating of fresh snow, the pine trees are glittering white against the windswept grassland. After the frigid sunrise, lemon-colored clouds swirl ominously across the northern sky.

Ascending the icy slopes is a cautious endeavor achieved during the morning’s daybreak silence. The perilous trail leads seductively into a wonderfully crystallized forest.

I have great reverence for the harsh wilderness and I mostly enjoy being out in the thick of this dour season but today I can’t stop shivering as I gaze quietly upon that cold mountain.

A frigid morning in Evergreen

Brooding over a lonely meadow

A strange ambiance engulfs the landscape

The pine trees are glittering white

Yellow clouds swirl ominously

Daybreak silence

A crystallized forest

Great reverence for a harsh wilderness

A cold mountain

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Evergreen Mountain Summit - Watercolor

Evergreen Mountain Summit

It’s an early-summer morning at the summit of Evergreen Mountain and the thin air is clear and crisp. The strokes of pure color brushed loosely onto the page are confined by the black ink that traces the mountain landscape.

The yellow foreground is a jumble of rocks and tundra, gleaming gold in the bright sunlight. Clinging to the treacherous top, a limber pine is a textured tree with needled branches that splay into the brilliant, blue sky.

Across the valley below, Mount Evans Wilderness recedes into the distance through layers of pale green. Strung out across the skyline, a row of mighty peaks are still shimmering white with tons of packed snow.

Currently steeped in the depths of a dark-blue season, only our memories can summon the warmth of those sweet, summer days. With each new dawn, the light is lasting just a little bit longer offering hope that soon we’ll be enjoying nature moments just like this.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hubbard Mesa - A Surprising Spectacle

Hubbard Mesa at Rifle, Colorado

I’ve travelled all over the backroads of Colorado searching for beautiful places to photograph. Earlier this winter, I stumbled upon a remarkable area that really caught my attention.

If you head north out of Rifle, you’ll discover a unique landscape distinguished by enchanting sunsets. My experience below the staggered mesas of that region was nothing short of surreal.

After a gray day shrouded in mist, the clouds began to recede and the sun started to set. Warm tones mingled with cool tones, resulting in a broad spectrum of colorful twilight.

The muddy desert floor was decorated with patches of piñon pine and splashes of blue sagebrush. Up above, the dark peaks were laced with stripes of white snow.

As the curtain of darkness continued to descend, shafts of filtered light permeated the wide valley. The moist atmosphere hung over the canyon, washing it to a glossy sheen.

I was lucky to be rewarded with such a surprising spectacle after wandering into the wilderness that evening. Standing out there during dusk was a moment of solitude I’ll never forget.

A remarkable area

Heading north out of Rifle

A unique landscape

An enchanting sunset

Below staggered mesas

The region was surreal

The clouds began to recede

Warm tones mingled with cool tones

A colorful twilight

Patches of piñon and sagebrush

The canyon was washed clean

Light was filtered through the valley

A surprising spectacle

Wandering into the wilderness

An unforgettable moment of solitude