Monday, December 28, 2009

Colors of the Montana Winter

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I got a new camera for Christmas.  It was a gift from my hubby.

Now, I have to tell a little story.  Our friend Greg suggested my hubby be called Captain Vegas in my blog.  I like that name, since my hubby currently lives in Las Vegas.  But since he’s actually a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, he’s going to be called Col. Vegas. 

So anyway, I took my gift from Col. Vegas out on my walk today. 

Walks are supposed to calm and center people, but it took me a long time to calm down.  I was excited by my recent sales at my store and my head was full of sewing ideas.  The Crazy Canyon Trail system seemed like a fitting location.   

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I have been holing up in the house sewing and winding down from Christmas.  My fingernails are stained with fabric dye (see it?):  

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and I’ve been wearing the same three outfits for two weeks.

It felt good to be outside and breathing cold, fresh air.   But I wanted to get back to my wool and colors and thread.  Usually the winter landscape doesn’t start bothering me until about February or March, but today it looked colorless already. 

So I set myself the task of finding colors.  Here’s what I found. 

A sort-of color on a ponderosa pine tree.  I love ponderosas, which smell of vanilla on a hot summer day.  Okay, that’s one color.  What would you call it?  Burnt sienna? 

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And of course there’s pine-tree green, like you see in the background above.  Somehow, though, the preponderance of white and gray in the Montana winter makes my mind blank out the green.  From town, the wooded mountainsides just look black.  It’s only up close that you see the needles really are green.   

I found a few others.  Pale yellow…  

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Citron green…now that’s a real color! 

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More green… 

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Teensy little shriveled up rose hip…red! 

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And yet another cold-looking green…

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Finally, a little bit of blue.

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My Montana grandmother used to say that if there was enough blue in the sky to make a Dutch boy’s pants, the weather would turn clear.

What do you think?  What size is a Dutch boy?   



Gweb said...

Here's your Dutch boy:

I think the sun will have to wait.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

What a lovely saying and what great pics. Col Vegas got is spot on.

Velveteen Rabbit said...

Wonderful pictures sallymandy! It makes me want to dash out to the sales and buy me a new camera! Oooh and go for walks! :D

My grandma used to say if there was enough blue to make a sailors pants..... I think a Dutch boy may be smaller LOL!

Eleonora Baldwin said...

Ponderosa pine! What a wonderful name! Did you visit my new blog and read about Roman umbrella pines? The color of the bark for me is definitely RUST.

Col. Vegas is a great name. And the camera was the perfect gift. Congrats on your sales!! Brava sallymandy.

Lola xx

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Hi Sallymandy: Lovely thoughts and photographs. Northern winters can appear bleak at times....but when the sun shines on the snow and it sparkles like is beyond beautiful.

How wonderful that you have your fabrics and yarns to warm your days and your creativity. Your Etsy shop is great - I hope all your readers here check it out.

Enjoy your camera!!

Saz said...

we are so lucky we can travel the world on here and keep warm too....lovely images!!!

The Clever Pup said...

Nice job with the photos.

Shelley said...

Congratulations on your Etsy sales! I'd be really excited, too! They have the Dutch boy saying over here in England, too, the first I'd ever heard it -- something about overalls, so I guess you need more blue sky to be assured. Isn't it amazing how carrying a camera makes you see things differently? I don't mind the blander palate of winter, actually. I think the black deciduous trees look like lace. There is an artist, Anton Mauve, who paints in sand and mauve and grey and I quite like his work. Happy crafting and hope the sales keep coming for you!

Veronica Wald said...

BRAVA, Sallymandy!

Rosaria Williams said...

Lovely pictures, and a good reminder for snow-bound folks to look hard for color, for signs of renewable life.

Tracy Watier said...

Super duper triple extra large I'd say, from the look of that sky. Great photos... glad you found your colors. Congrats on the etsy sales too. I saw something I liked but, in the hurried blur of Christmas, it got away. I'll keep checking in though, so you keep sewing!

Gal Friday said...

I do that, too--try my darndest to find *some* color on a winter walk and I loved coming along on your Montana walk.

Especially love the shots of the mosses clinging to tree trunks--that says winter to me, becasue the only time I really notice that is in winter.

You seem to be in a creative and busy mode--and congrats to you on the success of your Etsy venture. You are an inspiration. :-)

The WalMart Vegan said...

I'm so jealous of the snow. (Great gift from Col. Vegas)

I love the items in your shop!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh, how lovely! A brilliant reminder that sometimes, even when life is at its' dreariest, a spark of color is there...somewhere...and it's up to us to find it.

Lori ann said...

Oh how exciting! a new camera, what a sweetie husband you have. I loved taking this little walk with you, Montana is so beautiful. It was fun to spot all the colors and no doubt you'll find more to photograph out there in the future.
Congratulations on your sales, you so deserve it!

p.s. my granma rose used to have similar charming sayings :)

Deborah said...

Sallymandy, those of us who live through long harsh winters are sometimes desperate for signs of life! A new camera was just perfect for that.
I hadn't heard that expression before but it's a good one. I just arrived in Belgium and it's so grey over here...Holland is probably the same so I wonder where it (the expression) originated?
Happy New Year to you - I'm very glad I found you and look forward to reading you in 2010.

Gweb said...

Col. Vegas. I love it! Sounds like a man who should have his own line of lunch boxes and pajamas!

Seeker said...

Beautiful pictures!!!
Happy New Year dear!!!


Zuzana said...

It is bitterly cold here too, they talk about the bay freezing in the next few days.;) Lovely pictures.;)
Happy 2010 to you my dear friend!

PS: Love the name of Col. Vegas.;)

Jennifer said...

Congratulations on your Etsy shop business venture. You have the creativity to make it a go! What kind of camera did you get?

Cheryl said...

I love winter landscapes! Living out here on the west coast, I miss watching the seasons change.

Nice photos! Col. Vegas makes a good Santa.

Happy New Years and congratulations on your sales!!!

ceecee said...

It's wonderful to discover things in your own 'backyard'. I'm excited for you with your new projects. I hope it will bring you lots of happiness...which to me is always success enough. Hooray for you, Sallymandy! A very Happy 2010 to you and Col. Vegas.

Catherine xx

Kat Mortensen said...

There was a guy on Jeopardy! a few weeks ago who manages a base in Las Vegas. I wonder if your husband knows him?

Happy New Year to you and your family, Sallymandy! May you have great success with your Etsy shop. You have a good thing going there and I think it's sure to take off!


Pearl said...

Lovely shots from your new camera.

Marilynne said...

These are beautiful pictures. I hope to see more in the coming weeks.

Marilynne said...

I have to jump in and ask, does the cold air bother a digital camera the way it does a film camera? I remember being so disappointed in my snow pictures.