“These statues were like myself full of a thought, for ever about to burst forth as a bud, yet silent in the same attitude.  Give me to live the soul-life they express.”
— from The Story of My Heart by Richard Jeffries with commentary by Brooke Williams and Terry Tempest Williams


Triangle by Kirsten Kokkin

Triangle by Kirsten Kokkin

Triangle by Kirsten Kokkin

” . . . wherever there is a beautiful statue there is a place of pilgrimage.”
— from The Story of My Heart by Richard Jeffries with commentary by Brooke Williams and Terry Tempest Williams

While in Colorado, my brother and sister-in-law took me to the Benson Sculpture Park in Loveland, Colorado.  This amazing outdoor sculpture garden showcases well over a hundred pieces, many realistic, but some abstract and some quite whimsical.  It was a lovely place to stroll and quietly marvel at art.  Here are a few more photos:

Benson Sculpture Park

Benson Sculpture Park


Painting Music by Angela De La Vega

Painting Music by Angela De La Vega



Natural Wonders by Michele Moushey Dale

Natural Wonders by Michele Moushey Dale

Blue Heron by Hollis Williford

Blue Heron by Hollis Williford

Circle of Peace by Gary Lee Price

Circle of Peace by Gary Lee Price





I didn’t have much down time during my trip to Colorado this summer, but since I’ve been home, I’ve been able to do a few watercolors sketches in my Moleskin sketchbook.  I thought I’d share them with you:

Sunrise at Estes Park with blanket flowers

Blanket flower

Tourists on a snowfield in Rocky Mountain National Park

Red Mountains

Mariposa lilies

Colorado Columbine

Wheat Harvest

August 21, 2011

Harvesting wheat near Loveland, Colorado

Harvested wheat field

A Dakota Wheat Field

by Hamlin Garland

Broad as the feckless, soaring sky
Mysterious, fair as the moon-led sea
The vast plain flames on the dazzled eye
Under the fierce sun’s alchemy.
The slow hawk stoops
To his prey in the deeps;
The sunflower droops
To the lazy wave; the wind sleeps.
Then all in dazzling links and loops,
A riot of shadow and shine,
A glory of olive and amber and wine,
To the westering sun the colors run
Through the deeps of the ripening wheat.


Sweet Corn Season

August 20, 2011

“We have only so many corn seasons in our lives.”
— Jeff Crump, Earth to Table

Fresh Olathe sweet corn

One variety of Olathe sweet corn from Colorado

Savoring the first taste of sweet corn

“Ruins, like old farm equipment in my neighbor’s pasture, show us that something remains of beauty in a thing when its function has departed.  Soul is then revealed . . .”
— Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Old homestead ruin on the drive to Great Sand Dunes National Park

Abandoned homestead, San Luis Valley

And here are some photos of wildlife sightings during my Colorado road trip:

Tiger Swallowtail along the Spring Creek bike trail in Ft. Collins

Head-on view of Tiger Swallowtail

Acrobatic fox squirrel, Ft. Collins

Elk along Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park

Pine grosbeak, Rocky Mountain National Park

Mule deer, Great Sand Dunes National Park

Mule deer

Western Tanager, Great Sand Dunes National Park

Juvenile ground squirrel "out on a limb," Wheeler Geologic Area

Mountain bluebird, Wheeler Geologic Area

Collared lizard, Ute Mountain Tribal Park

Collared lizard

Nesting Black Swift, Box Canyon near Ouray

Cassin's finch, Box Canyon near Ouray

Chipmunk, Maroon Bells Wilderness Area

I know that several readers out there are gardeners, and this post is for them!  Here are some more photographs of Colorado’s abundant wildflowers:

Native prickly poppy, Soapstone Natural Area north of Ft. Collins

Blanket flowers in the morning light, Estes Park

Paintbrush, Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain bluebells, Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Great Sand Dunes National Park

Cow Parsnip, Coalbank Pass

One of those yellow wildflowers at a rest stop on the Million-Dollar Highway

More yellow wildflowers

Colorado Columbine

Colorado Columbine growing wild at Maroon Bells

Monument Plant, Maroon Bells

A single open flower on a monument plant

Fireweed, Maroon Bells

Yellow wildflowers, Maroon Bells

Unidentified wildflower, Maroon Bells

And my very favorite wildflower from this road trip, the Mariposa Lily, Maroon Bells

Mariposa Lilies, Maroon Bells

Mariposa Lily

Mariposa Lily

Flower in the Crannied Wall
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
Little flower — but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

Maroon Bells reflected in Maroon Lake

The mountains surrounding Maroon Bells Wilderness Area

We spent the final night of our Colorado road trip camping in the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area just outside of Aspen.  It was perhaps the most beautiful campsite I’ve ever stayed at.  The blooming wildflowers, majestic mountain peaks, and changing sky provided scenic views in every direction.

Our campground at Maroon Bells Wilderness Area

Aspen forests and wildflower meadows

Slender trunks of aspen trees

Brilliant green algae and reflections in Maroon Lake (No, I did not saturate the colors!)

Cutthroat trout rises to feed, Maroon Lake

A wildflower paradise

Photographers flocked like paparazzi to capture the sights around Maroon Bells

Native Colorado Columbine

Wildflowers like an avalanche of yellow


Distant rain storm from Mesa Verde National Park

I found the skies of Colorado to be dramatic and atmospheric.  They were such a contrast to the skies of my hometown, Seattle, where thick gray clouds roll in like a blanket, unchanging for days on end.  Our Colorado mornings typically started out clear.  Then white, puffy clouds would arrive like a pleasant flock of lambs.  By afternoon, we would often see storm clouds in the distance; sometimes lightening would flash or the clouds would burst in a release of rain.  Occasionally we were caught in a rain shower — heavy, but relatively brief.  I found the weather exhilarating.

After Thunder
by Timothy Murphy

Storm, thunder no more.
Arroyos, dowse your roar.
Rubber rabbitbush,
Antelope bitterbrush,
Mormon tea, saxifrage
and Great Basin sages,
sweeten the sorrel plain.
No passion without pain
nor blossoms without rain.

Afternoon thunderstorm near Ft. Collins

Drama in the skies near Ft. Collins

Gathering storm near Mesa Verde


” . . . mountains.  They stand behind every view, like a mother offering a blanket in which to wrap everyday life and shelter it from useless dreads.”
— Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna

Rocky Mountains along the Million-Dollar Highway between Silverton and Ouray

Colorado is practically synonymous with the Rocky Mountains.  I thought that the most beautiful stretch of mountains was along the Million-Dollar Highway between Silverton and Ouray.  We didn’t take the time to hike here, but the views from the road were glorious, especially near Red Mountain Pass.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off you like falling leaves.”
— John Muir, Nature Writings

Red Mountains

Red Mountains

Red Mountains