• Garden of the Gods Pikes Peak

    Garden of the Gods Pikes Peak

    At first, this unforgettable landscape was a place I could barely remember. Rising out of dark greenery, Garden of the Gods is a glorious gateway to soulful Pikes Peak. The red sandstone slabs stand out sharply against the rugged vegetation resting below.

    Above, rumbling with thunder, the swirling sky releases rolling clouds filled with precious rainfall. Receding into the distance, through shades of blue, the massive mountains brace for the incoming storm.

    A frequent occurrence in the summer, the entire scene has been simplified into interlocking shapes. Gradients of orange and green describe the desert floor while the peaks are painted with patches of flat, pure pigment.

    To really get to know the region, we climbed around on rocky terrain. As for the final drawing, achieving the desired result, required a total recall. Once the misplaced memory returned, finishing this particular project was a piece of cake.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2014
    Dimensions
    10" x 7" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Lake Isabelle

    Lake Isabelle

    "If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint." ~ Edward Hopper

    This range is distinguished by an indescribable beauty. Neither photos nor sentences can capture the scale and grandeur of such a special place. An exquisite legacy from the last ice age, Lake Isabelle is as elegant as her name would suggest.

    In the heart of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, it's calm before the storm. Bound by the purple sky, thunder rumbles in the background. Rising out of the summer's greenery, the ridge line appears violet while a cobblestone pathway is closed by cascades of sliding snow.

    A wonderland in the winter, warm weather has transformed the entire area into a watery world teeming with flowers and wildlife. The lake is rippled by drops of rain, serrating the surface into a surreal reflection while the moist atmosphere has washed the landscape clean.

    Only the essential shapes and colors are allowed to stay. The turquoise water is ice cold and rushes out of the foreground into a soggy moraine. I know we must also leave but I swear I can hear the mountains calling, "Won't you stay, just a little bit longer?"

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2014
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Sneffels Range Summer

    Sneffels Range Summer

    Last summer, we attended a Saturday evening service at the altar of one of the world's finest cathedrals. Located in southwest Colorado, the Sneffels Mountains are a divine sub-range of the scenic San Juans. This chain of volcanic peaks may be one of the most beautiful landscapes in the west and probably my favorite place on the planet.

    This country of blues and greens is an oasis before the vast sea of desert that extends into the void. A magnificent mesa of brush-covered hills tumbles south until it crashes into a wall of steep rock while a patch of dark piñon is blended into the soft, red dirt. Below, a meadow of hay is enclosed by a row of crooked cottonwoods.

    The heavenly divide emerges out of a soft, blue sky like a dream as the evening light permeates the purple peaks, creating a broken gradient from orange to violet. The clear, dry air evokes a transcendent luminosity that can be found nowhere else on earth so a palette of pastel hues is absolutely required.

    Reminiscent of stained glass windows adorning a Gothic church, the scene is composed with areas of flat color. A form of ancient architecture, the Baroque skyscrapers were constructed by the Master Builder eons ago. Here, the wilderness is a welcoming place of worship. After a perfect day breaking bread with nature the mass has ended. Go in peace to love and serve.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2014
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Trout Lake

    Trout Lake

    On a dreary Sunday below Lizard Head Pass, Mother Nature delivered an unforgettable sermon from the mount. It was springtime in the San Juans where steady showers epitomize the wet monsoon. A turbulent squall washed the landscape clean, unveiling a patina of saturated colors.

    Frugal guardians of precious metal, the sullen peaks were disheveled in appearance. The fluid coloring was a reflection of the vibrant fish submerged in the dark lake below. Rainbow, brown and cutthroat suddenly emerged to celebrate the rainy season in an exuberant, aerial display.

    This place was gouged by the railroad ages ago, linking local mines with material wealth. Today, the ground is more spiritual as the tranquil landscape stretches toward more heavenly treasures. Now quiet and still, the storm has passed so why are you still afraid? Do you still have no faith?

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2014
    Dimensions
    13" x 10" (WxH)
    Price
    400.00
  • Upper Bear Creek

    Upper Bear Creek

    Deep in the heart of Colorado's Front Range, Upper Bear Creek calmly meanders through a grassy, green meadow. It's a warm, summer day but a chilly breeze blowing off the still snowy peaks offers some invigorating relief.

    Dark, forested foothills descend steeply forming a narrow passageway into the Mount Evans Wilderness. The tempestuous tributary can trace its origins back up to a glacial cirque punctuated by icy Summit Lake.

    There's no reason for anxiety here. This is a place where tall grass has healing benefits that can't be found anywhere else. Birds are chirping with delight and the smell of fresh hay is in the air. Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2013
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Impression Evergreen

    Impression Evergreen

    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.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2006
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
  • Evergreen Lake Spring

    Evergreen Lake Spring

    "Put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking cross the floor. Put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking out the door." ~ Kris Kringle to the Winter Warlock

    It's spring, time for a fresh start or a new beginning. It's like learning to walk all over again. I attempted to circumnavigate Evergreen's jewel of shining sapphire on a frosty April morning. After a two week confinement, the fresh air in weakened lungs and soft dirt beneath shaky legs felt good.

    In the beginning, steps were short and cautious. Filled with confidence, the search for strength was gratefully discovered. The bright, morning sun radiated warmth and quickly melted the dusting of sparkling snow. It was an unusual arrangement, peace and quiet during a busy workday. I could get used to that.

    Frozen glaciers in the high peaks had not released their winter reserves so the creek was running low and the dam barely overflowed. The lake was thawed and birds were bustling with activity. The red-wings were first, nesting in the cattails. Mallard pairs drifted along the shore and robins were the early birds searching for worms on the grassy bank.

    A cobalt sky and dark trees were reflected in the glassy water while the arched bridges were elegant connections during the circuitous route. Back at the start, things looked different. Colors were brighter, air was fresher and sounds were clearer. Maybe they were right. Sometimes we have to come full circle to find the truth.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2012
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Evergreen Lake Summer

    Evergreen Lake Summer

    A cool mountain breeze offers relief on a warm, summer day at Evergreen Lake. Puffy, white clouds race across the wide, open sky. The lake is a reflection of the scene above so it is clear and blue. A sparkling blue spruce stands guard over the weathered boardwalk and the green grass is starting to turn brown from the scorching sun. Summer is the busiest season at the lake. Red-winged Blackbirds are nesting, Canada Geese are bathing and the Cormorants, with wings outstretched, are drying out on the dam.

    About 100 years ago the dam was built across Bear Creek just above the small town of Evergreen. A lush mountain meadow was flooded, creating the lake visible today. The purpose was two-fold, prevent the annual spring flooding in Bear Creek Canyon and provide a beautiful setting for outdoor recreation. In the summer, the lake provides opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking and birding. Some of my favorite bird sightings have been White Pelicans, Kingfishers and Osprey. In the winter, the frozen lake is transformed into a rink featuring ice skating and hockey.

    The spirit of Evergreen Lake pumps lifeblood into the surrounding area. There is a certain charm that circulates through the people during concerts, cook-offs, weddings and the other events that happen at the Lakehouse. Evergreeners are very protective of their water, motor-less boats only, no swimming and a catch and release program. You can detect the pulse of the community just by visiting the lake. This crown jewel of the Denver Mountain Parks system is definitely the heart of Evergreen.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2012
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Evergreen Lake Fall

    Evergreen Lake Fall

    It's a cheerful, chilly day at Evergreen Lake in colorful Colorado. Elk are in the annual rut and a bull's haunting bellow echoes through the narrow canyon. Bear Creek remains motionless while fingers of new ice stretch across the frigid stream.

    Expressed with disorderly strokes, golden cattails in the foreground are a linear element set against the tonal landscape. Bright, warm tones blaze across the page, contrasting sharply with somber peaks and the icy inlet.

    A row of red trees is a transparent partition hinting at the snow-covered lake beyond while whispy, white clouds sail across the clear, blue sky. After such a splendid, sunny season, we're hoping an awesome autumn awaits.

    The busy boardwalk is uncharacteristically quiet and most of the birds have bolted for warmer climes. Even so, Fall is probably my favorite time of year. So, enjoy our exquisite Indian Summer while it's here because soon the snow will be flying.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2012
    Dimensions
    10" x 7" (WxH)
    Price
    210.00
  • Evergreen Lake Winter

    Evergreen Lake Winter

    The narrow inlet to the lake has finally broken free from winter's icy grip. The chilly water is motionless and reflects the shadowy pine trees. Overcast skies have softened the cool, morning light and the hues are muted. A patch of yellow cattails provides a bright contrast to the somber, blue color scheme. The drawing is an expression of the contemplative solitude experienced during a late, winter storm at Evergreen Lake.

    During this time of the year, prodigious snowstorms and blizzards descend upon the lake liberating giant snowflakes that come pouring down like rain for days on end. Visibility of the surrounding peaks fades in and out depending on the ebb and flow of the steel-gray clouds that veil the landscape in a mysterious aura. It's my favorite time to wander around the shoreline because of the peace and quiet.

    Surprisingly, one of the most crowded spells at the lake is also the coldest. From mid-December until late February, it's frozen solid and a section of the pond is transformed into an ice skating arena. Colder temperatures mean a smoother surface so the best time to skate is after dark under the lights. Evergreen Lake is also renowned for its productive ice fishing. Determined anglers drill holes through the thick ice and wet their lines hoping to net one of our most popular underwater residents, the rainbow trout.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2010
    Dimensions
    15" x 10" (WxH)
    Price
    450.00
  • Mt Evans Winter

    Mt Evans Winter

    It's a cold, windy day on Upper Bear Creek. Mount Evans is buried under a blanket of fresh snow. The sturdy evergreens are built to withstand winter storms like this. Heavy snow clings to the blue spruce creating an interesting pattern of dark and light. The landscape is expressed with mostly cool blues and greens but there are some pinks and yellows woven into the foreground. Being outside on a morning like this can be uncomfortable, although the mountain scenery is a beautiful reward.

    We've trampled all over the Mount Evans Wilderness Area exploring places like Chicago Lakes, Gray Wolf Mountain and the Sawtooth Ridge. The diversity of wildlife above tree line is amazing. We've seen coyotes, elk, bighorn sheep, marmots, pikas and my favorite, the white-tailed ptarmigan. The herd of Rocky Mountain goats that inhabit the summit are fascinating to watch. The goats tolerate human presence and seem to be curious and intelligent. The little ones are playful and buck around on the steep, cliff ledges.

    The mountain was originally named Rosalie after the wife of German-American artist Albert Bierstadt. The romantic, landscape painter is credited with making the first ascent in 1863. Bierstadt explored the region creating numerous sketches and paintings that accurately depict the local scenery. The name was officially changed to Evans in 1895 in honor of Colorado's second governor John Evans. A nearby summit became Rosalie and next to it, an impressive peak is called Mount Bierstadt.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2002
    Dimensions
    11" x 7" (WxH)
    Price
    250.00
  • Troublesome Gulch

    Troublesome Gulch

    After a storm blankets Noble Meadow with fresh snow, Troublesome Creek is swollen with spring runoff. Normally this gulch is parched but now the proud, little creek rushes down into Buchanan Ponds. The diffused light neutralizes the colors but this time of year even the snowy landscape can be expressed with warm hues.

    In March we get milder temperatures but more extreme snowfall amounts. The snow seems to come every day and the wind screams down through this draw making it an inhospitable place. A person can get the local weather forecast by gazing up into Squaw Pass. If Squaw Mountain gradually disappears into dense clouds that is a sure sign moisture is on the way.

    This unassuming meadow is teeming with wildlife. Some of the more notable, local inhabitants include Elk, Mule Deer, Yellow-Bellied Marmot, American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl and Garter Snake. Near the ponds I've seen a Turkey Vulture, Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, Swallows, Turtles, Frogs and Crayfish.

    The compelling drama between predator and prey is less conspicuous but action packed. Within this vibrant ecosystem, I've watched a Great Blue Heron fish for trout with it's spear-like beak. I've seen a Red-Tailed Hawk swoop down and snatch a gopher with it's lethal talons and I've watched a Coyote hunt for field mice by pouncing through the snow.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2006
    Dimensions
    8" x 10" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Snowy Bergen Peak

    Snowy Bergen Peak

    On a December morning, clear blue skies foretell bitterly cold temperatures. White as a ghost, Bergen Peak is a powerful apparition looming over the snowy landscape. Capturing such a remarkable moment in time is a fleeting opportunity that can't be missed.

    Golden light permeates the blank canvas, infusing the scene with passages of surprisingly warm tones. It's morning so the ponderosa pine cast long, transparent shadows that skim across the choppy terrain. Evergreens are sprinkled with fresh snow creating intricate patterns of white lace.

    Just like waves in the North Atlantic, the windswept meadow forms whitecaps that flow out of the foreground. The calligraphic line work is described by spirited dots, dashes and squiggles. The drawing is an expression of excitement and enthusiasm.

    Look at it from an optimistic point of view, we still have ten more weeks of glorious winter.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2014
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Indian Peaks Winter

    Indian Peaks Winter

    The Indian Peaks are buried under deep snow on a cold, December morning. The evergreens appear black during the winter as they contrast starkly against the fresh, white snow. Navajo, Apache and Shoshoni Peaks take on a golden hue that compliments the bright, blue sky. It's the perfect time to be snowshoeing through the pristine basin, one of my favorite places in Colorado.

    Recent glacial action has sculpted the young mountains unveiling serrated ridges and an intimidating shark's teeth profile. The place was sacred to the Paleo-Indian people who traversed the high alpine passes thousands of years ago. Not long ago, the Arapaho tribe would migrate up from the eastern plains during the warmer months to hunt and fish in the bountiful area.

    To honor those early inhabitants, many of the peaks are named after western, Native American tribes. Seven summits are over 13,000 feet and more than 50 turquoise lakes dot the landscape. They are dazzling remnants of North America's southernmost permanent glaciers. Each summer the profusion of wildflowers attracts a multitude of visitors. The sweet fragrance is intoxicating but I still prefer the unique beauty of a snow-covered landscape.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2000
    Dimensions
    13" x 7" (WxH)
    Price
    270.00
  • Bergen Peak Winter

    Bergen Peak Winter

    On a misty morning at Elk Meadow, the hazy atmosphere creates an air of mystery. The solemn scene is painted with a limited palette of blues and the slightest hint of orange. Two snow-covered pines are set against a simplified background of soft-edged forms.

    Pale Bergen Peak is a monumental icon contrasting with the gloomy sky. A row of evergreens has become a battered barrier between the windswept field and icy mountains. In the foreground, a curious shadow weaves its way across an undulating surface of fresh snow.

    It's an austere landscape silenced by frozen tranquility. The sense of isolation and loneliness can be overwhelming. For some miserable souls, the long dark winter is a source of despair, but just as golden light touches the mountain crest promising a sunny afternoon so will there be better days to come.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2014
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Bergen Peak

    Bergen Peak

    On a warm summer day in Evergreen, Elk Meadow is dry and yellow. Weathered farm structures contrast with the fresh wildflowers. Bergen Peak provides a dark, green-violet background as low clouds drift across the shimmering, blue sky. At 9,200 feet, Bergen Peak is an Evergreen landmark. People don't describe this mountain as awe-inspiring but the views from the top are. Bergen doesn't attain the same status as a fourteener and some even dismiss it as just another gentle foothill. I've learned not to underestimate Bergen Peak because it can be quite defiant.

    The easy accessibility and excellent trail system make this park an Evergreen hot spot. In the summer, the trails are filled with hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The resilient mountain takes a beating from the heavy usage but if you're not careful it will bite back. I've gotten very sick from racing to the summit and I've taken some nasty falls descending the steep switchbacks. I've gotten caught in the meadow by thunderstorms and have been nearly struck by lightning. One morning during the fall rut, I got chased off by some frustrated elk. I've discovered that when I'm on Bergen Peak the unstable terrain, abundant wildlife and unpredictable weather can turn an ordinary stroll into an exciting adventure.

    Bergen Peak may not be the most beautiful mountain in Colorado but I always bring my camera and it's not the toughest to climb but I always get a good workout. Also, despite the chaos and crowds, if you know when and where to look, peace and solitude can still be found. It is definitely one of my favorite places in Evergreen.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2000
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Gore Range Thunderstorm

    Gore Range Thunderstorm

    A slow moving thunderstorm passes over the jagged Gore Range. The dark mountains seem small compared to the huge, dramatic clouds. A thin slice of Green Mountain Reservoir sparkles in the distance and the foreground shimmers with broken tones of green and violet. It's a beautiful scene. The colors are toned down but the rain makes them clean and fresh. The edges are soft, they become lost in some places and reappear in others. The low key values express a somber mood but I'm happy trying to depict nature's weather effects.

    We experienced that storm this summer on our way back home from Steamboat. During our approach to Silverthorne, that's the scene we beheld. Because Sunday afternoon traffic on I-70 out of the mountains is a nightmare, we detoured off the main highway. Our first stop was at the Green Mountain Dam, we went out in the rain and explored the interesting structure. Slowly, we made our way down the remote pathway that's situated along the western edge of the lake. We took some photos of deer, horses and an enormous raven. Next, we drove through the town of Heeney, which is really just a cluster of vacation homes and private residences. Shortly after that, we came upon a large black bear casually strolling down the road and, before we knew it, we were back to the main highway.

    Despite our stall tactics, we still got stuck in traffic. It took us forever to get home. I guess that was alright because the time spent in the car allowed me to contemplate the images I'd seen that afternoon. I learned that if you're willing to get off of the beaten path and explore the unknown, you're often rewarded for taking the risk. It was a drive I'll never forget. Sometimes the side-trip proves to be more fascinating than the main one.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2013
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Maroon Bells Spring

    Maroon Bells Spring

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    1999
    Dimensions
    16" x 20" (WxH)
  • Mount Sneffels

    Mount Sneffels

    At the Dallas Divide, a restrained landscape of lower hay fields gives way to riotous slopes of quaking aspen and colorful wildflowers. Rising above tree line is a sweep of rugged terrain composed of banded layers of rock, steep crags and serrated ridges. Positioned majestically amongst these enormous peaks is the "Queen of the San Juans".

    Mount Sneffels is one of the most beautiful peaks in Colorado. The diamond-shaped, east face of Longs Peak is spectacular and the Maroon Bells are picture-perfect, but my favorite mountain is Sneffels. The odd name comes from the Hayden Survey of 1874. They thought the peak resembled the Icelandic, Snaefell volcano featured in Jules Verne's novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.

    My two brothers and I reached the top of the world when we summited Mount Sneffels a few years ago. We bypassed the standard route that ascends a steep, scree-filled gully. Instead, we chose to scramble up the perilous southwest ridge. To achieve our lofty goal, we had to navigate a labyrinth of rock spires and crawl across a terrifying, knife-edge ridge.

    I've approached Mount Sneffels from every direction, during different seasons and in all kinds of weather. Reaching the pinnacle was an awesome experience but the climb was never about bagging just another 14er. It was about building a relationship with the mountain and creating a bond with my brothers.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2002
    Dimensions
    10" x 5" (WxH)
    Price
    150.00
  • Longs Peak

    Longs Peak

    In an eerie breeze, obedient aspen quake with fright before their dark master. Longs Peak is a purple monster streaked with passages of resilient white snow. The Rocky Mountain monarch dwells in an enchanted woodland threaded with creeks, wildflowers and waterfalls.

    A trek to the top begins with a march to the Boulderfield. Above treeline, the alpine environment is distinguished by treacherous terrain and spectacular scenery. Proceed with caution through the magical Keyhole, up into the steep Trough and across the frightening Narrows.

    A quick scramble up the final Ramp and you're at the football-field sized summit. The struggle for glory is rewarded with bitter cold, ferocious wind and an indescribable illness. At such an inhospitable altitude, the weather will almost certainly take a turn.

    Now, the weary traveler must be ever cautious because the bitter rock revels in its dangerous decline. Follow landmarks that lead into the protective forest and you'll soon be back at the trailhead. Bruised, beaten and burned, I begin to wonder why? Because it's there.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2000
    Dimensions
    11" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    270.00
  • The Flatirons

    The Flatirons

    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.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    1997
    Dimensions
    11" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    250.00
  • Wheat Field with Cypresses

    Wheat Field with Cypresses

    It's a warm, sunny day in southern France. Boiling clouds drift across the turquoise sky and the indigo cypresses are windswept by the notorious mistral. The golden wheat field is ripe and ready for harvest. The picture is a magnificent expression of summer. It draws you in. I can almost feel the wind and the heat. In my head, I can hear the buzz of locusts announcing the change of seasons. This is one of my favorite paintings and I wanted to understand why. I decided to make a study after it but not an oil painting copy. I chose a different medium instead, colored pencil.

    "The study I have intended for you depicts a group of cypresses in the corner of a wheat field on a summer's day when the mistral is blowing. It is therefore the note of a certain blackness enveloped in blue moving in great circulating currents of air, and the vermilion of the poppies contrasts with the black note." ~ Vincent van Gogh

    Copying the "Old Masters" is an accepted tradition that has occurred throughout the history of art. I've made numerous copies in the past because it's a great way to learn about line, color, composition and technique. Sometimes I even feel like I'm able to get inside the artist's mind and discover the true meaning behind a specific piece of work. Often times I gain greater admiration and respect for the artist I'm making the study after. Vincent van Gogh was the master at taking an ordinary, nondescript scene and turning it into something monumental. Places that other artists would disregard as worthy of paint he turns into masterpieces.

    "I have a canvas of cypresses with some ears of wheat, some poppies, a blue sky like a piece of Scotch plaid; the former painted with a thick impasto ... and the wheat field in the sun, which represents the extreme heat, very thick too." ~ Vincent van Gogh

    Wheatfield with Cypresses has a balanced composition that is dominated by diagonals which makes it very dynamic. The lines are swirling and broken to express the extreme heat and wind. The two dark cypresses are the focal point, they extend vertically across the horizon line contrasting against the pale green sky. The blue mountains in the background provide some depth and the foreground wheat incorporates some of Vincent's beloved yellow. The analogous color scheme is calming. Yellow, green and blue are right next to each other on the color wheel. There is no violent clash of complementaries, that van Gogh is so famous for, here.

    "The tree is as beautiful of line and proportion as an Egyptian obelisk. And the green has a quality of such distinction. It is a splash of black in a sunny landscape, but it is one of the most interesting black notes, and the most difficult to hit off exactly that I can imagine." ~ Vincent van Gogh

    One of the most characteristic features of southern France is the cypress tree. In Provence, cypresses are symbols of death associated with cemeteries, but it seems Van Gogh regarded them as a spiritual link to stability in the wild landscape. Within a few weeks after admission into the asylum at Saint Remy, Vincent was allowed to go out into the countryside to paint. He instantly became fascinated with the Provencal cypress trees.

    "The cypress is so characteristic of the scenery of Provence; you will feel it and say 'Even the colour is black'. Until now I have not been able to do them as I feel them; the emotions that grip me in front of nature can cause me to lose consciousness, and then following a fortnight during which I cannot work. Nevertheless, before I leave here I feel sure I shall return to the charge and attack the cypresses..." ~ Vincent van Gogh

    At Saint Remy Vincent was attracted to nature under stress: huge turbulent clouds, bent trees and rolling hills and ravines. The cypresses seemed to perfectly express his own mood. He saw them as wind tormented shapes that came shooting up out of the unstable ground like whirling black flames reaching for the sun. The cypress paintings were an irresistible release of pent-up emotion bringing out the troubled rhythms he must have felt within. They reveal his style that had evolved - expressive brush strokes, thick impasto and dynamic composition.

    "...The cypresses are always occupying my thoughts, I should like to make something of them like the canvases of the sunflowers, because it astonishes me that they have not yet been done as I see them..." ~ Vincent van Gogh

    The cypress was as treasured by Vincent as his sunflowers. Like the sunflowers, his treatment of them is exaggerated so that they become extremely vivid and personal. A real cypress does not have such a fiery character or such pointed extremities. Vincent felt that it was he alone who could perceive the true identity of the tree. That is why, today, most artists have such respect for these masterpieces that none would dare try and exceed them.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2000
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
  • Chicago Basin

    Chicago Basin

    It's a warm day in Colorado's Front Range where a dense thicket of sharp willows forms an almost impassable barrier. You must search for a narrow passageway that leads into the heart of this spectacular wilderness. At the top of Chicago Basin, dark evergreens and a gigantic boulder mark a natural gateway to the incomparable Chicago Lakes. Here, the tundra landscape opens up to a panorama of expansive, gray peaks.

    The pair of icy-blue ponds are stair-stepped remnants of an ancient glacier that shaped this high valley thousands of years ago. Today, the deep cirque is lush with golden grass and colorful wildflowers. Long, transparent shadows creep down the hillside defining forms in the rugged terrain while steep rock walls enclose the area with a sense of isolation and solitude.

    Harmless, wispy clouds drift down over the foothills and just beyond the sheer headwall, Mount Evans pierces the wide open sky. Warm rays of sunshine are neutralized by an ever-present breeze of cool air. Reddish-violet in the morning light, the mountain is still flecked with white snow. After such a long, hard winter, I'm looking forward to summertime in the Rockies.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2000
    Dimensions
    10" x 7" (WxH)
    Price
    210.00
  • The Red Bridge

    The Red Bridge

    An organic landscape is reorganized by geometric structure. The pages are shuffled producing a book filled with memories and bound by imagination. Billowy clouds in a dramatic sky oversee pointed peaks and a rush of rolling hills. At the forest's edge, a reflective pond is a watery mirror that flows with symmetry. The red bridge is a powerful link between an uncultivated landscape and urban sprawl.

    The deep chasm between primitivism and sophistication is bridged by a scarlet structure. Energetic vehicles traverse the vermillion viaduct in an attempt to reconcile weary travelers with their cozy nests. Distressed souls are transported from an urban Tartarus over Troublesome Gulch and into the beautiful Elysian Fields.

    The overpass is a garnet gateway to a mountain meadow where the favored enjoy perfect bliss. It's a terrestrial paradise that offers a pleasant retreat from the pressures of modern civilization. The divine abode has soft green grass, purple flowers, golden aspen groves, cool life-giving air, and everyone is happy and peaceful. It must be Heaven on earth and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

    Tags
    Landscape
    Year
    2013
    Dimensions
    11" x 9" (WxH)
    Price
    300.00
  • Florida Osprey

    Florida Osprey

    It's a nature moment in the Sunshine State. Florida is a birder's paradise flush with a multitude of exotic birds. Perched on a weathered post, a hungry osprey clutches its impressive catch. Bathed in a golden light, the raptor's vermillion wings contrast with the muted turquoise sky. The regal head is defined by an array of tufted feathers and bright yellow eyes. The razor-sharp beak and arching eye-stripe are beautiful, dark accents.

    Sometimes called a sea eagle, the majestic osprey is neither hawk nor eagle, it's in a class of its own. This "Lord of the Waterways" is outfitted with a tackle box full of adaptations that make it one of the world's foremost fishers. Huge, powerful wings are composed of water-resistant feathers. When submerged underwater, the osprey has closable nostrils and third eyelids which act as semi-transparent goggles. The broad feet are lethal, featuring curved talons, an adjustable outer toe and heavily scaled soles barbed with spicules that provide a non-slip grip.

    Watching this bird of prey in action is an incredible experience. The osprey soars overhead and uses its remarkable vision to locate large fish swimming near the surface of lakes, slow-moving rivers and reservoirs. It hovers in mid-air and then makes a dramatic, feet-first dive. The feathered missile crashes into the water producing a huge splash. The startling reemergence of the drenched bird with its slippery prey in tow is a fitting conclusion to the morning's electrifying sequence of events.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2014
    Dimensions
    8" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    192.00
  • Yellow-eyed Hawk

    Yellow-eyed Hawk

    Finding your place in the world today can be a challenge but this bird of prey is more than well-equipped to thrive in the wild. An eastern red-tailed hawk stares confidently out of a blazing, autumn background. After two years of age, the extraordinary yellow eyes of this juvenile will transform into a dark brown.

    Raptor vision has evolved to become the sharpest in the Animal Kingdom. The visual acuity of the hawk is legendary. Using its excellent eyesight to find and capture its prey, a red-tail can spot a rabbit from two miles away. Large eyes allow for maximum levels of light so the retinal picture is composed from a greater number of optical cells resulting in a higher resolution image.

    The hawk has front facing eyes that give it binocular vision which is assisted by a double fovea. With binocular vision, the fields of view of the left and right eye overlap. This binocularity allows for stereoscopic vision, which in turn provides for spectacular long distance perception.

    A fovea is a small area of acute vision in the retina where the concentration of visual cells is the most intense. We have one fovea while a hawk, with its wide binocular field of view, has both a central and lateral fovea. That's one reason why a hawk can see eight times more clearly than even the sharpest human eye.

    The hawk's adaptations for intensified visual resolution has come at a cost though. The huge eyes occupy a substantial portion of the skull allowing only limited room for the brain. Also, it has a poor range of view in low light levels so the bird must roost at night.

    My impression of the red-tailed hawk is that despite those limitations, the tradeoff appears to have worked out just fine. As you can plainly see, the future for the young raptor pictured above certainly appears to be bright.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2013
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Golden Eagle

    Golden Eagle

    Birds have inhabited the earth for 160 million years. Incredibly, they represent a direct link to the last dinosaurs. Since the dawn of civilization, birds and their spectacular gift of flight have fascinated humans. The sheer diversity of their appearance, behavior and personality is astonishing. Prehistoric peoples featured them in culture, as birds were often depicted symbolically in early cave paintings. It seems like artists have always appreciated their beauty because birds have appeared in masterpieces throughout the history of art.

    Today, seeing birds has become so common and their songs so familiar, that sometimes their true existence is taken for granted. Avid birders now use high-powered binoculars and cameras to document rare sightings and check off life-lists. Their field guides are beautifully illustrated with great precision by talented draughtsmen, who meticulously render each and every feather. My artistic style is realist but I'm inclined to simplify details, strengthen colors and exaggerate the prominent features in order to capture the essence of a species.

    Whether an artist is striving for photo-realism or a more abstract representation, I've found that colored pencils are well suited to handle either request. I prefer a restrained composition with subtle hues and soft edges to express a tranquil mood. Starting with a sheet of textured paper, I begin drawing the eyes first and work outwards from there. Next, using an impressionistic application, the color is built up patiently, through multiple, transparent layers. Finally, when completed, I hope my sincere enthusiasm for our feathered friends shows through, and inspires others to appreciate birds as much as I do.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2009
    Dimensions
    10" x 14" (WxH)
    Price
    420.00
  • Great Horned Owl

    Great Horned Owl

    It's dusk and a great horned owl is positioned on a broken post near the forest's edge. Motionless, it waits patiently for the reemergence of its subterranean prey, the meadow vole. In the background a full moon has risen above the blue, volcanic-shaped peaks. The heavily built owl is mostly brown with vivid striping across the pale chest. The facial disc encompasses large, yellow eyes and a pointed beak. Powerful, black talons grasp the wooden perch. The large ear tufts are neither horns nor ears they're just feathers that form the most distinctive feature of this fierce predator.

    According to one author, "Almost any living creature that walks, crawls, flies or swims, except the large mammals, is the great horned owl's legitimate prey". Its preferred food source is small to medium-sized, nocturnal mammals such as rabbits, shrews, mice and voles but it has the power to predate much larger fauna like porcupines, marmots and skunks. The owl is a ruthless attacker armed with a variety of hunting tactics. Sometimes, it may actually walk on the ground during the pursuit of small animals or into a chicken coop to take the fowl inside. Rarely, it will wade into shallow water to catch aquatic prey and an owl can snatch a bird or squirrel directly from a tree branch.

    Sheltered under the protective covering of deep snow, the meadow vole scurries about full of careless confidence. The owl won't need its spectacular, binocular vision tonight because its extraordinary hearing will enable it to pinpoint the vole's exact location. The stealthy owl will dive silently from its hidden vantage point and ambush the unsuspecting prey. Then razor-sharp talons deal a fatal blow and the victim is swallowed whole. Versus a flying tiger the outmatched, little rodent doesn't have a chance.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2005
    Dimensions
    10" x 13" (WxH)
    Price
    400.00
  • Canada Goose

    Canada Goose

    A Canada Goose bathes in the warm sunshine of an early spring day. Its reflection shimmers across the surface of chilly, Evergreen Lake. During the cold winter, the lake becomes literally an ice skating rink. When this happens the geese leave searching for a milder climate. They're not gone for long, though, because they are easily tempted back to even the smallest pool of open water.

    These elegant birds are delighted to swim about and graze on the local vegetation. A long, sleek, black neck and a black head with a white chinstrap distinguish the Canada Goose. The body plumage is colored with rosy beige and golden ochres. Because these large waterbirds are so common, I think their beauty sometimes goes unnoticed.

    The goose is loyal to family and will fiercely defend its territory. If threatened they are well equipped to handle the situation. The Canada's powerful wings are capable of delivering a blow of surprising force. Rarely does a natural predator like a fox, coyote or raccoon take a full grown goose.

    Many geese feel comfortable enough to spend the molting season in Evergreen. Molting is when adult geese lose their wing feathers and cannot fly. This occurs from early June until late July. To safely molt, geese must be near water and an easily accessible food source. A great place to view Canada Geese during the summer is Buchanan Ponds.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2008
    Dimensions
    8" x 10" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Great Blue Heron

    Great Blue Heron

    Near the edge of a small pond, a Great Blue Heron remains motionless. It waits patiently for a chance to strike at its unsuspecting prey. I was excited to discover this large bird spear-fishing at Buchanan Ponds. It was like meeting up with an old, familiar friend. As a kid living in Western Nebraska the Great Blue was a common sight during our excursions on the North Platte River. If we interrupted its hunting foray, the irritated bird would let out a loud croak and then fly away to a more secluded area.

    This large heron’s plummage is an elegant blue-gray. Indigo and ultramarine accents on the back and wings glisten in the summer sun. The long, sinuous neck is slightly reddish and a beautiful white stripe is flecked with a black pattern. A white head is capped with deep blue and the bright yellow eyes have a dark outline. The sharp, yellow bill is a lethal weapon.

    Although the Great Blue Heron is common in North America, I didn’t realize their range extended so high into the mountains. I guess it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise because the local wetlands are a perfect natural habitat. I’ve noticed this bird hunting in small ponds and wading around Evergreen Lake. I’ve also seen them flying gracefully above Bear Creek.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2004
    Dimensions
    10" x 12" (WxH)
    Price
    360.00
  • Mountain Bluebird

    Mountain Bluebird

    One of the first songbirds to return to our alpine meadows each spring, the mountain bluebird is a fleck of dazzling color in the drab March landscape. Watching from a tree stump at the edge of an open woodland, sharp black eyes scour the short grasses for insects and spiders. This sit-and-wait technique is called drop-hunting. Once it pinpoints a meal, the bluebird drops to the ground and captures its prey with its bill. Unlike eastern and western bluebirds that require a perch, mountain bluebirds have developed the ability to hover in mid-air while hunting for food. This allows them to live in areas with sparse trees or shrubs.

    Bluebird populations have declined drastically during the last century for several reasons such as urban sprawl, removal of dead trees, vinyl and metal fencing, and the introduction of aggressive European starlings and house sparrows into the U.S. The biggest challenge facing bluebirds is finding a suitable nesting environment. Bluebirds are secondary cavity nesters, which means they are unable to create their own cavities for residency. They prefer to move into abandoned woodpecker nests but the loss of habitat has created intense competition for these prime dwelling spaces.

    Bluebirds are most vocal at dawn when the first morning light permeates our high elevation. Their prodigious singing is legendary. During the excitement of spring, some males have been clocked at 1,000 songs per hour. Their joyful calls are a big reason why bluebirds are considered symbols of happiness and optimism. Despite the ongoing struggle to find a safe place to raise their young, the future for mountain bluebirds appears bright but their success depends on our continued support.

    Recently, mountain bluebirds have made an incredible comeback. Their numbers have increased mostly because of the generous efforts of landowners in the western states to provide the birds with nest boxes. The simple wooden structures that have become so popluar in parks and backyards. Mountain bluebirds may become attached to one of these artificial birdhouses, especially if they have successfully raised hatchlings. They might even return to the same box year after year. There really is no place like home.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2004
    Dimensions
    8" x 10" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Stellars Jay

    Stellars Jay

    Perched in a conifer forest at 8,200 feet, a solitary Stellar's Jay contemplates its familiar surroundings. Unassuming and reticent near home, this intelligent bird takes on a much different public persona. When on the search for food it reveals itself by squawking boisterously. Now bold and confident, the Stellar's Jay will bully the smaller birds away from its favorite feeding areas. This bird can become one of the forest's more raucous, year-round residents. When hiking, I've often found myself on the receiving end of an unprovoked scolding.

    A striking appearance reflects the Stellar's Jay's obnoxious behavior. Its blue plumage is accented by dark bars of color, creating an interesting pattern on its wings and tail. A large, unkempt crest of feathers adorns the bird's head. From this distinct crest a beautiful gradient of dark Indigo Black blends down through the head and chest into the True Blue coloring of the belly. Unique to the Jays in this region are streaks of bright white on the face and chin that define the dark eyes and beak.

    Stellar's Jays have found their niche in the Subalpine zone between 6,000 and 8,000 feet. I frequently see them in the trees on Bergen Peak, especially in the transition area where forest meets meadow. These birds symbolize intelligence and because it is thought that they mate for life, fidelity. Christian tradition also uses the bird to symbolize the human soul representing joy and goodness.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2007
    Dimensions
    6" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    145.00
  • Red Fox

    Red Fox

    Foregoing the comfort of a den, this red fox has chosen to sleep in the open on a bed of sticks and grass. The long, bushy tail wrapped around his nose acts as a warm cover. His red-orange coat is contrasted against the soft, blue-green background. In some corners of the world, the red fox is reviled and hunted as a pest. Not here, we find them friendly and their always entertaining behavior fun to watch.

    The resourceful red fox has adapted well to human environments and is now geographically widespread. From farms to suburbs, to the interior of big cities, its range has actually increased alongside human expansion. Usually nocturnal, we see them here at any time during the day.

    The kits are playful and seem more curious than frightened of people. The adults use creative hunting tactics that employ exceptional cunning and trickery. If strategy doesn't work then spinning, jumping and pouncing appear to be very successful. Because of their elegant coloring and high intelligence, the fox has attained legendary status in this area. Yes, the Fantastic Red Fox is one of my favorites and so is the movie.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2012
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Mountain Lion

    Mountain Lion

    Reclining lazily on a rock ledge, a contented Mountain Lion basks in the warm summer sun. It's interesting how much it resembles, in both pose and manner, a domestic house cat. But don't let its graceful nature fool you, this long, sleek feline is a fearsome hunter. The Cougar is probably the most dominant predator prowling the Colorado Rockies. It inhabits the Montane Zone staying close to its favorite food source, the Mule Deer.

    This king of the mountain beasts is beautifully robed in golden ochres and warm brown tones with a bleached underside. The face is remarkable, featuring various colors including a pink nose and vivid, green eyes. Dark black trims the muzzle and the always expressive ears. The black tipped tail is outrageously long and the paws are huge.

    I've never been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of these elusive cats in the wild but I know they're around. Wherever there is an abundant supply of deer, a Mountain Lion is sure to follow. When I'm out on the trails before sunrise it's a little scary knowing that a lion could be lurking in the shadows or waiting in ambush. I believe the Mountain Lion is naturally reclusive but as human development continues to expand into their territory, encounters are certain to become more common.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2005
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Bull Elk

    Bull Elk

    The Rocky Mountain Elk is the undisputed symbol of Evergreen, Colorado. I see them almost every day so I've become very familiar with their ways. The elk's predictable, seasonal behavior provides me with some comfort during these uncertain times. There is a rhythm to their life that influences our own.

    The elk seem to tolerate our intrusion into their habitat as they go about their routine seemingly oblivious to the human activity happening all around them. From a careful distance, I took this picture of an agitated elk during the annual, fall rut.

    Mud-soaked and lathered into a frenzy, this bull is in his prime. He bellows loudly to other rivals and cows as a signal that he is defining his territory and claiming his harem. Evergreeners have learned how to live with the elk by developing creative techniques to protect their trees, gardens and bird feeders, and by driving cautiously, especially after dark.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2013
    Dimensions
    10" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    240.00
  • Mule Deer

    Mule Deer

    A young mule deer buck is alert while trudging through deep, December snow. The rut is coming to an end and the hardened antlers will soon be shed. Now it's all about survival, anything that can help conserve precious energy is a blessing. A harsh winter is a real threat to the survival of a mule deer. If the ground forage completely disappears, these tough animals will consume twigs and branches. During lean times their stored fat reserves can quickly become depleted. That's why from late spring to early fall the mule deer gorges itself on succulent leaves, grasses and flower beds.

    Two prominent features distinguish the mule deer, large ears and a black tipped tail. The mule deer is stout with a thick, strong neck and chiseled face. The eyes are black with a distinct, dark brow. Patches of white highlight the throat and rump. An orange and sienna coat becomes charcoal gray in the winter. This prey animal uses camouflage effectively by changing its overall coloring with the seasons. No matter what time of year, they seem to blend perfectly into the natural environment.

    Mule deer are very common in this area. During the winter I frequently see mule deer in town raiding bird feeders and grazing comfortably. They seem to tolerate human presence but if spooked they will dash off into the brush. The image of a doe and twin fawns is a sure sign of spring. There's always a good chance of seeing mule deer when hiking in Three Sisters Open Space Park on a summer evening.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2007
    Dimensions
    12" x 9" (WxH)
    Price
    325.00
  • Bighorn Sheep

    Bighorn Sheep

    Mountain thunder cracks across the crisp, blue, November sky. The echoes from the violent clash between massive combatants desperate to prove their dominance can be heard for miles around. The battle may last for twenty-four hours but the exhausted victor earns exclusive mating rights. The weapons of choice are the impressive, coiled horns that are the distinguishing feature of Colorado's state symbol, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

    Bighorn sheep are ultimate gladiators built to live in the steep ridges and rugged canyons of the mountains. This fragile species must carefully navigate the precipice of extinction as they are extremely sensitive to artificial disturbances in the natural environment. I know it's a familiar story but the numbers are staggering. Before 1800, two million bighorn sheep populated North America. By 1900, after the Western Expansion, only a few thousand remained. Hunting, loss of habitat and disease spread by introduced livestock decimated their numbers.

    In 1936 the Arizona Boy Scouts mounted a sympathetic campaign to save the bighorn sheep. A "Save the Bighorns" art contest started in schools throughout the state garnered national attention. Once made aware of the dire situation, other powerful wildlife organizations joined the effort. Intense conservation methods such as reintroduction into areas the sheep had previously gone extinct along with protection from National Parks and a decrease in direct competition with domestic sheep have proved to be successful. In areas where the bighorn are allowed to roam unimpeded by man-made obstacles the animals are thriving once again.

    Bighorn sheep were among the most admired animals of Native Americans. The Apsaalooka (Crow) people have a legend that expresses such respect.

    An elder possessed by evil spirits attempts to kill his heir by pushing him over a cliff, but the victim is saved by getting caught in trees. Rescued by bighorn sheep, the man takes the name of their leader, Big Metal. The other sheep grant him power, wisdom, sharp eyes, sure-footedness, keen ears, great strength, and a strong heart. Big Metal returns to his tribe with the message that the Apsaalooka people will survive only so long as the river winding out of the mountains is known as the Bighorn River.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2005
    Dimensions
    8" x 8" (WxH)
    Price
    200.00
  • Bighorn Sheep

    Bighorn Sheep

    Mountain thunder cracks across the crisp, blue, November sky. The echoes from the violent clash between massive combatants desperate to prove their dominance can be heard for miles around. The battle may last for twenty-four hours but the exhausted victor earns exclusive mating rights. The weapons of choice are the impressive, coiled horns that are the distinguishing feature of Colorado's state symbol, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

    Bighorn sheep are ultimate gladiators built to live in the steep ridges and rugged canyons of the mountains. This fragile species must carefully navigate the precipice of extinction as they are extremely sensitive to artificial disturbances in the natural environment. I know it's a familiar story but the numbers are staggering. Before 1800, two million bighorn sheep populated North America. By 1900, after the Western Expansion, only a few thousand remained. Hunting, loss of habitat and disease spread by introduced livestock decimated their numbers.

    In 1936 the Arizona Boy Scouts mounted a sympathetic campaign to save the bighorn sheep. A "Save the Bighorns" art contest started in schools throughout the state garnered national attention. Once made aware of the dire situation, other powerful wildlife organizations joined the effort. Intense conservation methods such as reintroduction into areas the sheep had previously gone extinct along with protection from National Parks and a decrease in direct competition with domestic sheep have proved to be successful. In areas where the bighorn are allowed to roam unimpeded by man-made obstacles the animals are thriving once again.

    Bighorn sheep were among the most admired animals of Native Americans. The Apsaalooka (Crow) people have a legend that expresses such respect.

    An elder possessed by evil spirits attempts to kill his heir by pushing him over a cliff, but the victim is saved by getting caught in trees. Rescued by bighorn sheep, the man takes the name of their leader, Big Metal. The other sheep grant him power, wisdom, sharp eyes, sure-footedness, keen ears, great strength, and a strong heart. Big Metal returns to his tribe with the message that the Apsaalooka people will survive only so long as the river winding out of the mountains is known as the Bighorn River.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2001
    Dimensions
    14" x 11" (WxH)
    Price
    460.00
  • Mountain Goat

    Mountain Goat

    A Rocky Mountain goat is backlit by the early, morning sun. His white wool contrasts sharply against the dark, blue sky. It's springtime in the Rockies and the solitary goat has returned to his familiar position high above timberline. These hearty animals are built to live in the harsh environment at the top of the world. Warm temperatures and high winds have cleared the rocky summits of most of the snow so the goats move easily across perilous ledges. The resilient creatures somehow manage to survive through the winter enduring bitter temperatures below 50 degrees and wind gusts up to 100 miles per hour.

    Mountain goats are found only in North America but the herd that inhabits Mount Evans is not native to Colorado. Their natural range extends from Northern Wyoming to Central Alaska. In the late 1950's about 14 goats were released on Mount Evans. In the perfect alpine setting, the population has thrived and multiplied. There are currently about 100 sheep living in the area. We always find the herd above tree line casually grazing but they will migrate seasonally to higher or lower elevations, especially when on the search for salt.

    The mountain goats are fun to watch. The big males are impressive looking with long white beards and curved black horns. The little ones are hilarious and full of personality. In the early summer, if you can find the nursery, it's like a comedy show. The kids antagonize the annoyed nannies that are in charge of maintaining a perimeter. They will also chase, charge and buck around the cliffs in a high altitude game of King of the Mountain. For me, the Rocky Mountain goat symbolizes the spirit of the wildlife that lives in the Front Mountain Range.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2006
    Dimensions
    10" x 16" (WxH)
    Price
    480.00
  • Aberts Squirrel

    Aberts Squirrel

    Exhibiting no fear of heights, an Abert's Squirrel is perched on a limb high above the forest floor. It's a warm spring morning and the cautious squirrel needs to collect pinecones for an early breakfast. The large, bushy tail and long ear tufts are the distinctive features of this endearing creature. Compared to the rowdy, little red squirrel, who thinks it owns the forest, the Abert's is quite charming.

    A story about the simple life of a squirrel may seem tedious but we can learn much from its interesting and complex partnership with the ponderosa pine tree. Also known as the tassel-eared squirrel, it is strictly confined to ponderosa pine forests. The tree provides not only a home but also most of its diet. In exchange for food and shelter, the squirrel spreads fungal spores around the tree that are beneficial to the pine's health.

    The squirrel has to manage its fragile resource wisely because if the exploitation becomes too extensive, the tree will go into defense mode. It will produce extra terpenes (chemicals that give pines their scent) to ruin the squirrel's appetite. The tree's reaction evicts the squirrel but at the cost of reduced vitality and a slower growth rate. In other words, they need to get along in order for each species to thrive. Just like any prosperous relationship between plant and animal there must be some give and take.

    Tags
    Wildlife
    Year
    2002
    Dimensions
    7" x 6" (WxH)
    Price
    125.00

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