|"Impression Evergreen" Colored Pencil|
An impression of peace and calm. Heaven blends into the earth on a late fall afternoon. The distinct contour of Bergen Peak melts away into the background while elk graze in the foreground. The scene is described by cool, gray tones and soft, feathered edges. The aspen leaves have fallen to the ground and the bluebirds have flown to the south. The air is cold and crisp. This is the way nature tells us winter is coming.
I love this time of year because the trails are void of human activity yet the mountains are full of life. If I listen closely, I can hear chickadees and nuthatches chirping in the forest. If I keep my eyes open, I might see a humble mountain cottontail quietly staying close to the rocks. A confident red-tailed hawk intensely gazing from a snag or playful Abert's squirrels happily chasing each other up and down the ponderosa pines. Maybe I'll see a shy red fox easily leaping across the creek. A nervous mule deer cautiously descending from the ridge or a daring coyote openly loping through the meadow.
The diversity of flora and fauna in the Evergreen area is amazing. Whenever I go hiking I try to identify every sound I hear and every creature I see. It has become obvious to me that each species has developed special characteristics that enable it to fit within a certain niche in the environment. The interaction between the different plants and animals can be very complex and difficult to understand but if I concentrate very hard on observing the local inhabitants things begin to look differently. My vision of nature becomes clear and the way life works in the wild makes sense. I believe van Gogh was right when he said nature is perfect.