Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Skies and Horses along Florida Mesa

No paintings as of late...guests in town, lots of hiking, with intentions to paint becoming missed opportunities.

So, I thought I'd share some photos taken on Sunday afternoon during an afternoon photo shoot along the Florida mesa.  The city of Durango itself is situated in a river valley of sorts, and is surrounded by mountains, mesas and hogback ridges on all sides.  The views are great, but if I need a fix of open skies and clouds, I head south just a few miles along Hwy 550 to the mesa, which is a few hundred feet above town in elevation.

Sunday afternoon was marked by classic monsoon-type clouds filling the sky, and a view to the east and southeast indicated that large towering cumulonimbus clouds were probably present.  Add to this the farm and ranch land of the mesa and the San Juans off to the north, and you've got some really stellar views.

Where one of the county roads splits from Hwy 550, there is a ranch of Hereford cattle.  Typically, it's filled with cows and their calves.  On this visit, however, I noticed not one, but two, bulls in the field as well.  This robust individual was off by himself, gradually making his way towards the herd and casting indifferent glances in our direction.  At one point, he let out a series of deep bellows and snorts that were probably meant to be intimidating, though I found them nothing but amusing.  

Heading further east along the road, it eventually turned to dirt and then I saw this field with horses, and we pulled off again.  Even though I don't paint or sculpt them anymore, I always delight in seeing the multitude of horses in our area, including all the "regulars" along Hwy 550 north of town.  The mare with her foal was a bonus during this stop.  

And, as is frequently the case, many horses are friendly and and curious cannot resist coming up to the fence for a visit and an ear scratch.

Even the little bay foal was adventurous enough to come over while his dam continued to graze nearby.

The gray horse eventually made her way over to the fence as well, and in this photo, her ear appears to be directing the position of the clouds.  

Shooting skies and horses along the beautiful landscape of southwestern CO - what better way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon?


  1. I love all of these. :) You have taken some that really show the curiosity of horses and their fun personalities. Love the one of the foal. Looks like a perfect day to me.

  2. Thank you for your sweet comments, Crystal :) - horses are so funny, aren't they? Just watching them interact with each other, and capturing some of that humor really made my day. I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos as well!


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