Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Forest's Edge - A Lively Corridor

The forest's edge

Separating two distinct life zones with a broken line, the forest’s edge is a photogenic feature of the mountain domain. It’s an especially striking place during the winter as black conifer trees contrast with the white meadow.

When wandering through the silvery woodland at dusk or dawn, an array of filtered light produces a surprising variety of color. Big peaks dissolve into the misty atmosphere as an approaching storm glazes the landscape with gray.

Beaten by bad weather sweeping through the gully, an old barn is a broken-down structure that’s barely standing. In this unforgiving area, many of the trees are bent and some have even been knocked completely to the ground.

Lots of wildlife can be seen foraging along the lively corridor of aspen, spruce and pine. The elk move effortlessly through this their favorite haunt while the smaller mule deer experiences more difficulty plowing through the deep snow.

After observing the plants and animals that survive up here, you begin to comprehend just how strong they really are. I can’t imagine how arduous it must be, roaming through this wilderness every day living a life always on the edge.

A photogenic feature

A silvery woodland

An approaching storm

An old barn

A broken down structure

An unforgiving area

An aspen corridor

Elk move effortlessly

Deep snow

The animals are strong

Life on the edge

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Black Forest - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Black Forest" Colored Pencil

The black forest is a sinister woodland that enforces a bleak outlook. Devoid of even the slightest sign of life or liveliness, the dark season is defined by shorter days and shallow light.

Creating a brighter backdrop, wind-blown clouds stream across a cerulean sky. The rest of the scene has an underlying wash of gray that neutralizes all succeeding layers of earthen hues.

The somber meadow spends its entire day suppressed by a cold-blue shadow. The mountains are silky white but purple and pinks are smudged onto the scene, giving the rugged peak a gritty coarseness.

The low-key landscape is a desperate attempt to express the grim nature of this stark wilderness. Stepping forward, the skeletal remains of pale aspen trees offer hope by reminding the viewer of a forgotten spring.

Along with the warmth of summer comes an endless throng of hikers and bikers. It’s then that we’ll be searching for the same type of peace and solitude that can only be found during the harshness of winter.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Bear Creek - A Dicey Waterway

Bear Creek, Colorado

Brought forth from a secluded cirque, Bear Creek is a dicey waterway that rushes right through Evergreen, Colorado. Winter twilight in its namesake canyon is best described as snowy, quiet and cold.

Normally fast-flowing, the little river is partially frozen from prolonged exposure to frigid temperatures. Set along the blurred shoreline, a forest of gnarled cottonwoods creates a tangled web of trunks and branches.

This time of year, the scenic gorge carries more color than you might expect. The perceived intensity of available hues is heightened by the dramatic clash of fiery orange and icy blue.

As the dark walls close in, only the tip of the rugged chasm remains illuminated. With the last light fading fast, an early evening intrudes upon the landscape and expels the frostbitten wanderer.

Sloshing around in this remarkable area, I’ve discovered one thing for sure. The beauty of that little, black creek certainly makes this season’s brutal weather at least somewhat bearable.

Bear Creek Canyon

Winter twilight is quiet and cold

The river is partially frozen

Gnarled trees

A tangled web of trunks and branches

A scenic gorge

A surprising amount of color

Last light fading fast

A remarkable area

The black creek is beautiful

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Noble Meadow - A Troublesome Gulch

Noble Meadow

Located below Chief Mountain, Noble Meadow is a moody monarch wielding a ruthless demeanor. Especially during winter, the stark grassland expels even the most determined visitor.

This time of year, bad weather born in the big mountains is funneled through the narrow valley. Marching into that icy gale feels as if a thousand, tiny daggers are piercing your skin.

Windblown grasses hiss like a disapproving crowd, heckling the hiker to turn back and go home. Seeing that lonesome, weather-beaten barn, it’s a fitting symbol for this bleak countryside.

Strange clouds are strewn across the cobalt sky. Below, the treacherous trail is no walk in the park as the sweeping, white landscape bears down on you like a freight train.

Sunrise is a dicey subject as murky clouds hang just above the horizon, absorbing most of the warmth. Just a few, thin slits of filtered sunlight radiate across the waves of drifted snow.

Streaming down through the gully, a ribbon of black ice is known as Troublesome Creek. Getting across the soggy bottom is solved by a concrete bridge that spans the problematic gulch.

It’s definitely more enjoyable to stroll through these hills on a warm, summer day but in order to fully comprehend the mountains, you have to contemplate their realm in all conditions.

A moody monarch

A stark grassland

Bad weather is funneled through the valley

A lonesome barn

Bleak countryside

Strange clouds are strewn

A white landscape

Sunrise is a dicey subject

The sunlight is filtered

Troublesome Creek streams through the gully

A bridge spans Troublesome Gulch

Contemplate the mountains in all conditions