Twenty Years Later

In 1996, this section of the Colorado Trail, just a couple days’ walk from Denver, was ravaged by a wildfire. When I hiked through it two decades later, I found a healthy meadow ecosystem, with saplings growing beneath charred trees. We often think of landscapes as static; this ecological transformation reminded me that nature is ever-changing.

In this felting (24″x18″, 2018), I remembered the beauty I found when I turned back to look at the area I’d just walked through. In the foreground, a skeletal tree is trailside, and weathered boulders and rocks are scattered all around. A green rainbow of vegetation–emerald grasses to gray-green sage–color the hills. A thin ribbon of trail snakes to the horizon, where a stand of trees, silent witnesses to the fire, grow.

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