Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where I spent last Fieldwork Friday

Hint: A long way from home.

A fire in the west as we headed north through Wyoming and...
... the new growth after a previous fire in our destination.
Yellowstone National Park!

Yep. We went to Yellowstone for the annual gathering of the Journal-Keepers... a fabulous group of women who keep illustrated field journals. We meet for about four days once each year in some spectacular place, and this year the circumstances were such that the DM could join the Men's Auxiliary and share the adventure.

Of course, having David along meant I was more inclined to be a tourist than to get a lot of drawing done. I did make a couple of sketches I like, so once I finish sorting through the piles of stuff that came out of the car and get the scanner running again, I'll share them. In the meantime, a few photos from the park, where we saw almost all of the Park's "charismatic megafauna" the very first morning. (Bison, grizzly bears, elk, coyote, deer, and WOLVES! Black bear we saw a couple of days later.)

It's an early morning bison jam. Again.
Who knew bison were such willing and capable swimmers?
Pre-swim dust bath. Yes, it was that close and No, I didn't
approach it. It approached US from behind.
Who knew bison were also sneaky?
Bison in the foreground, but at the far edge of the valley,
where the forest comes down to the valley floor,
we saw the wolves of the Canyon pack cavorting.
We could see the white-colored alpha female with the naked eye,
but good looks required a spotting scope.
Yup. Grizzly bears in the lower right. Click to embiggen.
Plenty of birds, too. We saw sandhill cranes and pelicans,
bald eagles and tons of osprey. Here on a nest in the Grand 

Canyon of the Yellowstone.
I think I left this image biggish and clickable, too.
And then, of course, there were the thermal features!
My family visited here when I was a child and I remember well
that my brother's favorites were the fountain paint pots.
I like them, too... Erupting mud!
Great Prismatic Spring. 'Nuf said.
Great Fountain Geyser making a great fountain.
Sketching waterlilies on the Continental Divide.
It was so hot that watercolors evaporated before I finished
each stroke. Palette puddles of color were no longer puddles
every time I reached to fill my brush.
Hm. I don't remember the name of this spring, but it gives a good
sense of the overall landscape.
With the DM at Artist Point.
1700+ miles later we are happy to have gone and happy to be home. We returned to Salida via all the back roads we could manage... obliged to spend only 30 total miles on interstate highways. Now to the oh-so-familiar routine of shoveling out the car and wading through correspondence. This afternoon I have to go take down my show at Cafe Dawn, so it's right back in to the swing of things for us!


  1. Wow - looks like a great trip! I haven't been to Yellowstone since I was a kid...definitely need to return as an adult.

    Love all the "megafauna", but like you, I'd admire from a distance ;).

  2. Thanks for sharing your trip, Sherrie. I have been missing you. I love the bear photos, more rare and such a beautiful setting.

  3. what a great excuse for a fun trip every year...and how nice to have a men's auxilery....will enjoy the results.

  4. Fantastic photos to me they seem very exotic. Great idea to get together for artistic time as well.
    Thanks for sharing I had no idea that Bison were so cute!

  5. Looks marvellous! Thanks for the journey

  6. Sonya... it's appalling how little regard some people have for the wildness of these animals.

    Sadly, a man was killed by a grizzly bear while we were in the park. He was hiking alone so no one knows exactly what happened.

    Wendy! I've been missing you, too. I keep having this vague dream about going to see you and learning solar etching. Hmmm...

    Yes, Cindy, the Men's Auxiliary was fun... and they had each other for the times when escape was necessary.

    Bison ARE cute, Jennifer. In a "don't-get-in-my-path-or-I'll-hook n' toss-ya sort of way! We watched an amazing drama as an old, old female forded the river behind the rest of the herd. She washed quite a bit further downstream than the others, but she made it... and we all released our collectively held breath.

    Dinah, you're most welcome! Another destination for your next North American adventure!

  7. It's one of my ambitions to visit Yellowstone. It looks like such an amazing place - very inspiring. Thank you for sharing such stunning photos.

  8. It was fun to see your photos and read your comments. It took me back-especially to West Thumb. Glad I got to meet you and David and thanks for the cd.
    Kris deLancey