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