This sweet little flower is the Beckwourth violet, also called the sagebrush violet. It has some sort of symbiotic relationship with sagebrush and they only grow together. The violet usually grows underneath the sagebrush, so it’s hard to see unless you are specifically looking for it, and it is actually much smaller than you see here, only about 2-3 inches high. I love it because it’s one of the few two-colored violets around.
These are tiny plants found in high meadows at about 7000-8000 feet elevation. The meadows will not come into full spectacular bloom there until July and August. The yellow ones are a type of buttercup. The small pink one is called a California Hersperochiron, and the lavender one is a star tulip. They may be small, but they are every bit as beautiful as the more gaudy flowers.
Found these yellow lupines last week at about 8,000 feet where there was still snow in the shaded areas. The bottom more orange blossoms on the lupine are the ones that have been pollinated. They were just about the only thing blooming up there, except for those little blue numbers at the bottom which are called Blue-Eyed Mary. And what a view from up there. I took some photos and will probably paint some of those views in the winter time when I’m snowed in here, unless I have time to go up there again soon.
Found this one the other day in an older Moly. It’s always been one of my favorites, especially since the last time I drove by this place it had been remodeled and had lost all its old-time charm. It has also been published in a couple of local calendars. It’s the front view of an old country store in Sierraville on Hwy. 49. Sometimes when I’d drive by there’d be a group of older men sitting there chatting or playing checkers in the shade of the old porch.
This sweet little flower, no more than 4 inches high, grows in absolutely dry hot places and along the edges of some of our roadsides. As the blossoms die they turn a bright orange.
We are having thunderstorms today, although so far no rain, but it smells like it might rain. I hope so because otherwise we’ll have lots of forest fires. Anyhow, because of the thunderstorm I took a sample of each flower and did this painting at home. The scan does not show the color of the paper very well because it’s actually a very pale yellow on which the blue stands out really well. These are pussypaws and blue penstemon, and I was at a place today where they actually grow together like this and make one heck of a colorful summer show.
Every time I drive by this place I think, “What a perfect setting for a home.” It’s in a large green valley surrounded by mountains and the views from their windows must be stunning.
Yesterday I had such a lovely day again. I sat in a lawn chair with my feet in the water to paint this while my little dog went foraging and came back with both a deer skull and a dead bird. Leave it to her. Surprisingly, the water was already quite warm for this time of year. Usually we have to wait for July to swim in the snow run-off, but the kids were already splashing and swimming in this quiet and rather shallow part of the river.
Today I tried the harlequin lupine again and I think the colors and pollination process on this are more clear. I was so engrossed that I didn’t even notice the bug bites I got until I returned home. Nature may be lovely, but she can also be highly annoying and painful. Anyhow, I think after these studies and one failed painting of them I am familiar enough with the flower by now that I can do a larger painting on tinted paper. Think I will try it on a very pale blue background.