Saturday, June 28, 2014

Diamond Lake - Watercolor

"Diamond Lake" Watercolor

Most of Colorado's gold and silver mines have been played out for years now but there's still a wealth of wonderful scenery that can be found in the high country. Throughout the mountains, above tree line, the Rockies are studded with reservoirs of turquoise blue that shimmer like precious jewels.

Set in the rough and rugged Indian Peaks Wilderness, Diamond Lake is a sparkling gem. Here, a bright light permeates the thin air and transforms the landscape into a rare palette of shiny metallics. Broken by clumps of silvery sedge, the crystal-clear water reflects a unique treasury of earthen elements.

Gullies of crisp, white snow fill the deep cirque with a mother-lode of liquid bronze, copper and emerald. Beyond the golden cliffs, sketchy clouds are beginning to gather. A darkening sky forecasts the predictable thunder showers that occur almost daily at this altitude.

That summer rain, combined with morning sunshine, saturates the valley with a profusion of wildflowers. The beautiful gorge was sculpted by powerful forces struck from the hand of a master craftsman. To attain this destination is expensive, it will cost you some fitness and fortitude but the views from the shoreline are priceless.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lost Lake - Watercolor

"Lost Lake" Watercolor

While wandering around Colorado's Indian Peak Wilderness on a steamy, summer day, we found Lost Lake. Located in a beautiful basin once hailed as El Dorado, the misplaced loch is no myth. Nestled in a slender valley surrounded by magnificent mountains, the isolated tarn is an oasis.

Even during summer, the ochre peaks are still trimmed with a web of white couloirs. Prompted by the clear light, transparent, violet shadows intensify golden hues creating a shimmering effect in the distance. A row of orderly pine is a bastion of spring green concealing the sequestered pond. Brimming with blue water, the soggy shoreline is dotted with yellow flowers.

Discovering the elusive location was a longshot fulfilled. As the region's precious stones were exhausted long ago, the spirited journey was a soul-searching experience. If you ever make it here, you'll discover that Lost Lake is an extraordinary place to find yourself.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Flatirons - Colored Pencil Drawing

"The Flatirons" Colored Pencil

The unique Flatirons rock formation is an indisputable highlight of Colorado's Front Range. Situated just west of Boulder, the peculiar peaks are an uncanny reflection of the quirky town they have come to symbolize.

Laced with a cascade of verdant pine, the Flatirons thrust skyward in a perpetual state of spectacular confusion. Speckled with orange and violet, the apathetic crags are pockmarked with holds and cold to the touch.

The sizzling, summer sun has bleached out the cerulean sky and scorched the ochre meadow. Gnarled ponderosa pine are shedding their dry needles neutralizing the cool, green trees with some warmth.

The eternal Flatirons have resisted the destructive forces of nature for more than 80 million years. In an ever-changing world, there's something comforting about the permanence of these striking, sandstone slabs.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wild Iris - Possessing the Gift of Optimism

The optimistic iris

In Evergreen, May showers bring June Flowers. Because it's been such a wet spring, a profusion of wild irises has burst onto the scene. The showy blooms have added a splash of color to the monochrome meadows.

I often see solitary plants, in distant isolation, confined to a windswept field. They also gather into trailside clusters that entice the observant wanderer.

Upon closer inspection, you'll discover a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The design ranges from violet to blue to pure white and my personal favorite, the elegantly pinstriped version.

These lovely flowers spread a contagious optimism. Even on the most dreary of gray days, they possess a special gift for brightening your day as well as your photographs.

May showers bring June flowers

It's been a wet spring

A profusion of wildflowers

They add a splash of color

Confined to windswept fields

A trailside cluster

Different shapes and sizes

Violet irises

They spread optimism

Irises are a gift


They brighten dreary days