“Colorado Foothills” from “Remembering Eternity”

“As Interstate 70 traced its course through the foothills, the landscape showed, under high magnification as it were, that its colors flowed one into the other as smoothly as did the curvatures of the earth.  A crescent of silver-blue stream bordered by tightly packed spines of grayish-magenta canary grass, clusters of Spotted Ladysthumb blossoms colored like radishes, cattails poking up like hot dogs on sticks: all melted into impartite perfection.  Along the banks of the watercourses behind the rushes grew narrowleaf cottonwoods shaped like slender vases, box elders, squat and bushy with deep-grooved trunks, and the open crowns and shrubby, copper-hued, lenticeled boles of the water birches.  From oxbows, gentle bends in the streams, narrow inlets forked off to create near-islands of vegetation.  Larger trees grew on the mounting slopes: some in intimate compactions and others isolate and lonely.  Outside Vail the now-excited group passed above the Eagle River whose sage-green flows flared into tufts of whitewater as they raced past boulders in the riverbed.  On one bank of the Eagle some partially dried out bushes reminded Skylar of wickerwork and others, completely desiccated, looked long dead, while on the other side, at the foot of the mountain, a thick fringe of foliage hung lush over the water.”