I live in a lovely place, directly west of the Teton Mountains, on the edge of the state of Wyoming, directly south of the Centennial Mountains of Montana, and east of the Sawtooth, and Lost River ranges. On a good day, I can have a vista of all of them, for sunrise, sunset, and rarely, the aurora borealis. Large, magnificent images inspire thoughts of creation on a grand scale. Whether looking at the Grand Teton from afar, or from the top of The Wall just above snowdrift lake, it is a marvelous mirror of the dynamics of formation and erosion.
On a particular day in the summer of 2010, I was compelled to witness dramatic vistas, one after the other, within a 24 hour period of time. We often see desert wildfires, or at least the smoke from them. But this particular day, with intense southwesterly winds, the sun setting in the west, and a massive buildup of exhaust from a lightning-caused fire on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory land, I tried to document the energy of the elements as they gathered in force, converging on the evening sky...
The bend of the grass and trees--wind in its fury, the fire-filled clouds, and the earth pushing the clouds of smoke up and away saturated the end of the day with run away energy.
Next morning, a strong thunderhead unleashed its fury, cleansing the sky, and challenged the sun for attention.
The sun, though obscured by the cloud, eventually won over the sky. All power comes from the sun, and the elements respond to its command.
In a primal pond, the same image is reflected, for all the bugs and larvae to ponder...
Even the simple surface of the canal exhibits the wrinkles of the wind, and the shadow of fire clouds.
Some of the most intriguing sights are underfoot--here a close-up of the dried pond earth reflects the image of greatness, with forms of mountain, plateau, and river--all in a space less than the half the size of my number 13.
No matter where we live, there are beauties bedecked in ripples and ridges. Sometimes just taking the time to peddle, paddle, and ponder inspires the creative flow of new ideas. I am blessed to have such a palate to paint from, the daily vistas, the drama of the elements, and the peace to calmly walk through them.