Red Fox Greet Artist on the Road

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Alone at the top of Polychrome pass we resumed our hike down the west side toward the Toklat River. Walking quietly I spotted a movement on the ground at the top of a knoll about 100 yards ahead. We stopped and glassed with binoculars. Soon two red fox appeared romping and playing on the spongy green moss covered mound. As we stood trying to decide whether or not to move closer, the tiny canines scrambled onto the road and silently walked toward us. The only sound was the click of my camera lens as I shot photos with my 200mm zoom lens. Their images grew larger and soon only one animal would fit in the viewfinder, I backed the zoom all the way off and was still unable to focus. Lowering my camera both fox were passing right at our feet! An experience we will never forget, and a lasting impression, one to question how to paint? I don’t know how paint silence, or show isolation in wide open spaces, or how to show the interaction of something wild and free with a human. This is an experience, not a painting. Again, I am left to ponder…….

Gail Niebrugge, Denali Artist-in-Residence

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