M is for Mountains and Mary (but not Montmartre)


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Mary Vaux – mountain-lover and subject of a one-woman show performed by Shirley Truscott


Last night we headed out to see A Portait of Mary Vaux at ArtsPlace. A mountaineer before women were allowed to be mountaineers (and, really, being forced to tackle glacier travel in long, heavy wool skirts hardly made scrambling around in the Rockies any easier), Mary left quite a legacy of mountain writing, botanical drawings, photographs and precise scientific records of glaciers on the move.



In 1887 Mary Morris Vaux Wolcott got serious about climbing. She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Stephen (10,495 ft)




Balsamorhiza sagittata(arrowleaf balsamroot) This painting of Balsamorhiza sagittata (arrowleaf balsamroot) was done by Mary Vaux.


Listening to Mary’s words written long ago reminded me just how lucky I am to live here. Poor Mary had to travel from Philadelphia whenever she needed a mountain fix!


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The mountains were in a strange mood today – uncertain whether to welcome spring or hang onto winter for a little longer. I meandered into town, my headphones in, listening to music. Last night’s performance was accompanied by the cellist, Elizabeth Sorochan and this reminded me just how much I love the cello. As a matter of fact, I’m listening to 2Cellos right now… The music certainly suits the mood of the day…

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The mountains might have been misty, but the ice has mostly melted in the valley bottom.


Occasional snowflakes flitted around as I wandered, lost in a mix of musing and meditation. Mellow. Mmmmm….

I had plans to write about Montmartre and some Malers (Maler being the German word for painter…). There are plenty of German artists to pick from, but I think most will have to wait for another day…

In keeping with the theme of women artists, botany, and the letter M, I’ll finish up with this one by Maria Sibylla Merian.


Maria Sibylla Merian pineapple-and-cockroaches-1705

Pineapple and Cockroaches by Maria Sibylla Merian (1705)


See you tomorrow!

3 responses to “M is for Mountains and Mary (but not Montmartre)

  1. Pingback: World Art Day – and Week Two Recap (#AtoZChallenge2018) | darkcreekfarmdotcom

  2. I love learning about 19th Century women’s various achievements across all fields of life. Enjoyed reading this, please post more.

    Liked by 1 person

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