21 June 2009

Freak O' Nature

My second mother has called me to her kitchen for some refreshment of the soul. Maybe she sent me to my bookshelf and urged my hand to pick up Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. Maybe she winked at my inner child that started stacking stones on my morning dog walk in the wash. Maybe she had me going through my topographic maps looking for a new area of discovery to plumb. Maybe she spoke through my dog Scout and gave me that forlorn look.

Most people know I live in the desert but I really live in Arizona which is an incredibly diverse group of bioms only part of which are desert. Southern Arizona is criss-crossed by 'sky islands.' These are large mountain ranges that rise out of the hot dry valleys and sport all the ecosystems you would find in places like the Rockies of Colorado and Utah. The Catalina Mountains define the northern boundary of Tucson. When it's in the hundreds down here in the valley, you can count on some escape up in the Catalinas where the alpine temps will be in the 60's or 70's. An hour and 10 minute drive from my house I can be up at 8000 ft in a totally different world. One of the great reasons I love living in Tucson!

Not sure what has entered me but I have made my journey to mountain tops 3 times in a week! Each time entrances me more and I can see the allure is becoming addictive. There is a relationship starting. Scout isn't sad about it either. As soon as he sees the pack come out, he starts milling around in anticipation. I had him hiking when he was just a pup and he's totally at home on the trail. I gave him that name because of his skill at finding an easier path. He really does!

My painting thoughts have also started gravitating towards that last one I started then stopped more than a year ago. "Earth Island" was based on natural subjects but in an abstract way. (link) Might have to wait till I have the new studio set up in the new house. There's always the sketchbook....

I took these photos with my iphone so not that great. Is that Scout at the edge of the Grand Canyon? Nope, looking north towards the White Mountains. Also, new boots. Wore out the last ones.

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