Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Wildflowers Keep Coming

Although we had snow showers earlier in the week (making everyone a little nervous), it warmed up nicely and gave us hope for the weekend.

On Thursday evening, a group of us hiked up to an area overlooking the city that has a wonderful little alpine habitat with lots of "pin cushion" plants including this dainty little douglasia (Douglasia montana in the primrose family) that happened to be blooming.

Then today I went on a geology field trip run by the Montana Natural History Center. They kindly arranged for perfect weather for us. The field trip was fabulous, making me appreciate what has gone into the making of our beautiful valley. And as an added bonus, we saw this season's first violet-green swallows, and more wildflowers like shooting stars (Dodecatheon pulchellum) and these pasqueflowers (or prairie crocus; Pulsatilla patens). Luckily the geology expert was very understanding when he was upstaged by things like this.

While the group was eating lunch, I snuck back to this clump of pasqueflowers and tried to get a couple of quick sketches in. There was a bit of a breeze, so whenever I looked away from the flower, it would move just enough to throw off my sketch. However I did get a bunch of really great reference photos and I can feel a drawing of these wildflowers brewing...

All the beautiful weather and the precipitation earlier in the week also means that the weeds are multiplying like rabbits on fertility drugs. So while I am on my knees, getting a crick in my neck pulling weeds out, I can be dreaming of the beautiful pasqueflower drawing I will do once every blasted weed is gone from the garden.

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