“This past summer, I took a pack trip with horses to the high country in the Bob Marshall Wilderness hoping to develop an idea for an elk sculpture. Our spring/summer was an uncommonly wet period finding us crossing snow fields as we rode. There was also evidence of a serious fire from several years ago on the steep hillsides leaving ghostly remnants of a once mature forest. These fires serve nature’s cycle of spreading the wealth by eliminating the non-profitable under-growth creating lush hillsides rich in nutrients for grazing and browsing elk. Especially when the feed is so plentiful, the big bulls will keep to the high country in small bands of bachelors well into late summer. Then, crisp, frosty mornings will signal the changing of seasons sending the elk to lower valley to begin mating rituals. I ended my trip with bragging stories of good fly fishing and with ideas to keep me busy all winter.”
AWARDS & COLLECTIONS:
- Patrons Choice Award, International Masters of Fine Art, San Antonio, Texas
- Purchase Award, International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art, Permanent Collection
- Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, Arizona, Best of Show for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement in any Media for grouping including Bluff Called, Through the Pass and A Colt Named Sonny, 1920
“A Slight gold reflection lingers, scraping the last of the day’s long shadow. A piercing whistle is returned from across the canyon, a rattling of sabers. Guttural sounds of raging passion and eyes red with territorial mania express the need to dominate and procreate. Bluff is called. One not yet strong enough will soon be sulking in the safety of a stand of crowded pines where he’ll blow and plot revenge for another day.”
There brushed with yellow and red, a reflection lingers,
smoothing the scant shadows of the day.
A piercing whistle is returned from across the canyon,
ranking dominance coveted.
The reactive thrashing of an evergreen,
incites immature courage.
Deep cavernous rumbling, accented by high-pitched bugles,
perforates the air.
A young challenger succinct in his determination,
driven by the right to the ascendancy of power, strides forth.
Sabers clash, big based horns declare
the doctrine of strength.
Nearby, clusters of dense aspens,
covering for one not yet strong enough.
Sulking, blowing in the safety of the stand of trees,
plots this youngster, revenge for another day.
All aggression is consequential, bluff is called,
the seasons pass, an interlude, a day will come.
Sherry Salari Sander
“Through distraction or perhaps curiosity of even a slight irregularity in its landscape, an animal will draw near. But, in a breath, they will sense a misshape or smell and are soon gone beyond the disappearing light of evening.”