Wednesday, May 11, 2011
After about eight months writing this Blog I am getting the well-deserved reputation of a curmudgeon. Some readers have suggested I re-title it. So far “Old Guy Complains” and “Captain Killjoy’s Corner” are the top runners. In light of that I’m going to try to be a little more positive this week. This promises to be a short piece.
I think I am finally getting the hang of things out here in the Emerald City. I don’t hunk my car horn when it is obvious we can both make the light and I started buying my clothes at the hardware store. They have a sock aisle to die for! Dare I say it but I think I am beginning to mellow out.
And why not? This is a beautiful place. And since spring arrived a few weeks back it is even more spectacular. Don’t get me wrong. I loved spring in New York, but it was different. Back east it is the gardens that make it so. It’s the first crocus that sets off the alarm. The dogwoods, magnolias, that filled front lawns with pinks and whites after grey winters. There are beds of peonies, irises, and daffodils that accent walkways, driveways, and garden paths.
Here, it is nature or let’s say a more bucolic version of nature. Creeks that ran dry through the winter are rushing again. Animals have come out of their winter dens. The farms around our house have calves, colts, and lambs to show off as they run around pastors on young legs. Along Cottontail Trail, a path not a mile from our house, an old cottonwood tree is home to a family of Great Horned Owls. We stop by in the evenings and see the two fledglings cuddled inside the stump while their parents stand watch in a nearby tree. A garter snake with a brood of five are an oddity to our dog, but harmless.
Last week for Mother's Day we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a sunny eighty-four degrees, but in many spots there still laid snow. My daughter called it Swinter-time as the ice cooled our sandal-clad feet during our hike. Gangs of elk walked about not seeming to care or notice the visitors or their cars. Traffic came to a halt as drivers got a close-up look at a few of these beasts, which can weight over 1,000 pounds.
My wife said it was just a perfect way to spend Mother's Day. Belated but sincere, I hope all the mom's out there had a perfect day too.
Below is a oil study I just finished and a watercolor of a poison dart frog I am adding to my portfolio.