When I arrived at the ranch on May 1, the cottonwood and aspen groves along the creek were still mostly dormant. A Rocky Mountain winter takes a long time to let go. This particular place looked like it flooded repeatedly. There were rocks strewn about, broken trees and lots of dead vegetative stuff in heaps. It looked like a bone yard. But cottonwoods, despite their relatively short messy lives, are genuinely majestic. In the two weeks I was there, this circle of trees came alive! High above the chaos on the meadow beneath them, the branches sprouted tender new leaves and the atmosphere became ethereal.
oil on canvas 40x54