In Colorado, Autumn is the consolation at the end of Summer but if you blink it can blow by in a flash. I struggle with low level anxiety about this time of year; partly a fear of impending snow that can wipe Autumn color right off the map, or colors that peak too early or just a general fear of missing it all.
In the San Luis Valley we are experiencing a September heat wave of sorts but night temps have dropped to freezing. I have one hollyhock in my yard, a late bloomer that never does anything until everything else in the garden is spent. This year it had no sooner popped out its one and only bloom than a freeze toasted the whole plant. This is so perverse.
We can see the changing aspens up in the San Juan Mountains very clearly from my house; they call, they tempt - warning us that time is short. I could almost reach out and touch them.....
Last week Sue McCullough and I drove north of the San Luis Valley to paint on Marshall Pass only to have a full day of rain. This is also perverse.
We did catch Josh Been with a workshop group out near the pass. Hardy souls.
Our consolation was the chance to take a lot of photos but I would trade in one good day of painting for a boat load of rainy day color.
This week we planned a full day up in the Conejos of Southern Colorado but sickness and scheduling conflicts interfered. It was my birthday and as well the power in my neighbor hood was out from 11 AM until well past midnight. I would have happily sat all night in the dark had I spent a day in the aspens. There was no joy in birthday-ville.
Fortunately, my painting class has been meeting here in the valley, marking the changing of the seasons. Last Tuesday night we met north of town at the old Dairy and enjoyed a full moon. Here Dave Roepke captures the very last rays of light.
I didn't paint the moon but focused on a small group of cows grazing in a nearby field. These could be the first cows I have ever painted.
Below are 2 plein air pieces done from the same spot on the Rio Grande River near downtown Alamosa. The top piece is 9x12, painted around August 18th. The lower piece is 10x20, painted last week as the cottonwoods begin to turn golden.