Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Medicine Bow Mountains

Often, it seems that a painting experience turns into a story. That’s what happened when we went up to Saratoga Wyoming for the weekend.
On the way there, we took a shortcut through the Medicine Bow National Forest and stopped to paint. There were aspen trees, distant mountains, and some old ranch buildings, but I settled on a hillside of sagebrush. There was an interesting pattern of amber-colored tall grass, blue-green sage and lavender clouds.

About halfway through, when we’d been sitting quietly for maybe an hour, a young mule deer buck wandered into view. His antlers were in velvet, so it was hard to tell if he had one or two points. He browsed for awhile, less than 50 feet away. Then off to my right I heard something that sounded like a house cat. “Meow...” But what appeared was not a cat but a fawn, walking toward the buck. When it reached him, they sniffed each other, and the buck, wide-eyed, snorted and bolted away. It was like a teenager being approached by a baby sibling while he was busy being cool.

The fawn went off in another direction to find its mom. A case of mistaken identity, I guess.

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