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Shades of the Chimneys

by Robert A. Tino
another page from a naturalist's diary of color. For twenty years he has been our reporter in the field. Our cartographer navigating peaks and streams, mapping out thickets and meadows of the oldest mountains on this continent with a startling intimacy. For twenty years, he has scouted, roamed, run reconnaissance - bringing back treasures from the land. Where we didn't go, he went. When we couldn't go, he did. It is an astonishing record - painting after painting. Showing us what we may have missed. Reminding us where we have been and what we learned there...the solitary pleasure of the unwandered footpath and the untrampled riverbank. Fastening our attention with his keen insistence on small miracles and majesty in detail. ...plum, Chinese-red and dark fig garlands ...slate-blue slopes and water-sculpted rock ...deep amethyst and jade-black ridges ...a rising Christmas moon over a lace-white valley ...a trio of bears, a russet fox, cardinals in the snow, a blackbird perched on a wildflower ...the season of a hot sun and a long day ...lanky raspberry and fuchsia blooms in golden, lengthening days ...the white-hot fury of another spring storm ...the thick silence of pearl-grey skies over crackling snowbanks ...a colorburst of apple-red roses across a country fence ...icy creek, icy horizon, icy skies - a steely kind of beauty ...the greening months of spring ...sunlight collected in pools painted crimson and yellow-gold Little has gone unobserved or unrecorded within these mountains that this artist loves down to his bones. With gifts of both passion and peace, he has been our constant companion on this remarkable journey. At the end of the day, we can only thank him for his wanderlust, his faithful eye and hand, and his generous talent that finds its finest expression in the soul of a tireless traveler exploring the landscape he calls home.

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