Our town is resisting the destruction of an entire mountain, and through the process of mining, damage to our environment.  This project, a series of plein air paintings of the mountain, named by locals TV Butte, is now under way -- thanks to a change in the weather pattern.  The sun came out around 11AM today, and I packed up the paints and my painting buddy Quiller.  We spent a couple of hours alternately painting and walking through the beautiful clearing on the SW side of the Oakridge Industrial Park.  Between the clearing and the base of the mountain, there lies water -- the beautiful ponds that also will be a part of my winter plein air painting sessions.

The county commissioners recently approved the mining project, and the residents of Oakridge area have exercised one last appeal.  I don't know the timelines, but will surely be painting a goodbye as often as I can over the winter.  It is a farewell to the mountain, and possibly a farewell to clean air and water.  There are threats to the ponds themselves and the wildlife that depend on them -- because the very land that I am walking and photographing, sometimes painting, is divided into lots for sale to industrial development.  

The High Prairie Elk herd spends a good part of their time in this very spot, and the ponds support water fowl, salamanders and frogs, to name just a few creatures that will be looking for a new home when the truck stop and other "improvements" take place.

I hate these kinds of good byes.....

Today's gouache plein air sketch....