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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Spirit Basin, A wildflower season primer—then, a Pastel Painting (lack of) progress report

Bobbie thought the wildflowers up in Spirit Basin might be starting to bloom by now; it's aspect is open, somewhat south facing, and awash with sun. We checked it out on Tuesday and found it at about 50% from peak. In a couple more weeks it will warrant another trip :). 

It was a rare off day for me. After only a couple hundred yards I got shaky and energy hit bottom. It felt like an episode of low blood sugar, so I pulled out a protein bar to try and get stabilized. The shakes went away but my legs felt like I was running on two flat tires... just no push. The "hike" turned into a stroll, so I was forced to "smell roses" for a change. Hence all the photos of flowers... 

Even when the wildflowers are sub-peak, I never tire of colorful mine tailings, dilapidation, and rust. Simply beautiful.

A few sets of Columbine cheered us onward. I've been carrying my digital SLR lately, and find there is a slight improvement in focus and quality over my usual pocket Cannon Elph. What's another 10 pounds, right?

 There are a few things the Elph doesn't do well. One advantage with the SLR is that the photographer has more control over "depth of field." In the above and below photos I was able to set the aperture open enough to blur the backgrounds. 

Back to colorful tailings that provide nice contrast to blue sky and green tundra.

Below is Spirit Basin. Can you feel the presence of Gawd Almighty???

Blue Bells, what else?

"The Million Dollar Highway"

Finally, clouds move in to provide needed shadow... 

Shooting into the sun is seldom a good idea, but I just can't resist the "Reds."

Bobbie captures me capturing flowers with the SLR, and below, slogging along all by my lonesome. 

Now, on to a pastel painting update: This week's challenge was "Sunsets." You would think a sunset would be easier than water and reflections, but after 3 hours both Bobbie and I were still struggling with the messes in front of us and went home frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged. The next class, teacher Barb wanted to move on, but I pleaded for a tad more time. "If I'm going to fail, at least let me do it a little less miserably than this." Sure enough I got just what I asked for, a less miserable failure... but one I could live with.  

 Above is Bobbie trying to pull a "rabbit out of a hat." 

Below is our paintings alongside Barb's, on the far right.


  1. ooooh. Rocky Mountain Postcard Day. I love your paintings, by the way. You are too hard on yourself. So many things the DSLR does better, especially high contrast stuff. I find myself wishing I had taken along that extra weight sometimes, even though the Lumix does a pretty good job.

  2. It was that extra weight that dragged you down! ;-) Some pretty amazing color out there...

  3. Just gorgeous! The flowers and the reds are just so pretty:)

  4. Too funny you talked about your cameras since I just asked a few minutes ago when I saw your last post!


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