Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ponderosa and the Last of the Snow

I broke with my usual morning painting schedule to paint in the early evening because the weather was overcast in the morning, the remnants of impressive thunderstorms last night (our "fireworks"), and improved later in the day. This location is about 5000+ feet, just at the base of the steep incline of the peaks and the edge of the forest. The road ends just above this point and the only way in is to hike steep switchbacks, one of the more difficult trails into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. This particular area is interesting because there are some isolated mature Ponderosa pine and a few scraggly junipers in meadows. Only a few feet further and the forest is thick with a wide variety of trees. The snow melt is very rapid right now and the creeks (locally pronounced "cricks") and rivers are at or above flood stage. It won't be long now where there will only be snow at the highest north facing elevations. It will soon be time to hike up to a few of the alpine lakes. If I decide to sometime work this one up bigger, I'll subdue the snow in the background more. I also might paint this scene again on a day where there is more atmosphere; it was crystal clear today after the storms and I didn't want to fake atmosphere, I prefer to record what I see in a study.

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