Haiku: A Perfect Nest for Thoughts?


“Haiku are the perfect size for holding our encounters with the natural world….Haiku are brief, yet incredibly open and at the same time very exact.” — Jane Reichhold, translator

They are direct, remarkably observant, seemingly simple, yet they linger in our minds for a long while. Most haiku take the natural world as its focus, and so naturally, the Land Library has gathered many such volumes over the years, including several collections for young readers.

Our love of haiku may have started with one of the most memorable reading experiences we’ve ever had — reading R.H. Blyth’s four-volume Haiku set (Volume 1 is pictured above). Blyth introduced us to a new world of Buson, Basho, Issa and many others — while reminding us of an “old world” populated by like-minded Western poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge.

2015 picWaking to the World: A Haiku & Haibun Workshop with poet Gary Schroeder

Saturday, September 8th, 10am to 3:30pm

We are very happy to announce that poet Gary Schroeder will return to Buffalo Peaks Ranch on Saturday, September 22nd to teach a day-long workshop.

South Park’s rich natural and cultural heritage will serve to stimulate your writing of both Haiku and Haibun. In the morning session we will explore the haiku experience, engaging in brief haiku hikes, after which we’ll share our work with one another in an atmosphere of respectful, mutual support.

The afternoon session will focus on haibun, combining both prose and haiku.

Gary Schroeder is the author of five volumes of poetry, The Slender Name, Mistaken Lights, Adjacent Solitudes, Cricket in the House: A Year of Haiku and, most recently After Rain, a collection of thirty-two haiku, published by Folded Word Press

The workshop fee is $50, plus a $3.03 ticketing fee. More details and directions will follow. Feel free to send any questions to jeff@landlibrary.org



Cloud & Sky at Buffalo Peaks Ranch


Let’s Go Skyeing with artist Meredith Nemirov

Saturday, September 8th at Buffalo Peaks Ranch

What a summer it has been! We are excited to have artist Meredith Nemirov at Buffalo Peaks Ranch on September 8th, for our last artist workshop of the season.

Early instructors in the art of watercolor painting used to urge students to paint at least one sky every day of the year. If you did two or three a week, you would have the experience of doing over a hundred in a year, and you would then be able to look at the sky and see it in terms of the medium.

Let’s look up together and make a series of paintings that reflect our day at Buffalo Peaks Ranch. We will work in all the traditional watercolor techniques: wet-into-wet, dry brush, mark-making, and more as we capture the beauty of land and sky.

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Meredith Nemirov’s work has been featured in several galleries across Colorado, in addition to galleries in New York and Massachusetts. Meredith was recently the focus of an Artist Profile in Plein Air Magazine.

For much more on Meredith Nemirov’s work, be sure to visit her website, along with her blog.

Saturday, September 8th, 10am to 3:30pm,  $50 class fee, plus $3.03 ticketing fee



“…the more Nemirov explains her process, the more one realizes that there is a complicated dance going on between abstraction and representation and between plein air and studio paintings in her work. Her studio paintings are usually abstractions of what she sees on location. Yet she never works from photos, but rather from drawings and paintings done in the field. ‘I can’t let go of the plein air landscape because I love it so much and because it feeds the abstract work,’ says Nemirov. ‘Outside you have to be so present, every moment, with every brushstroke. It’s a very different and intense experience.’” — Bob Bahr, PleinAir Magazine, April-May 2016



The Pull of Water, along the Hudson and in South Park

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Joseph Mitchell, who died in 1996, was the great wandering and listening soul of New York City. True, you won’t find any of his titles at local Nature Centers, but his sketches of the urban scene shows us a writer immersed in his home landscape. From Fulton Fish Market to McSorley’s Saloon, Joseph Mitchell observed his given plot of land keenly and compassionately, like the ideal naturalist that he was. To this day, his essay Mr. Hunter’s Grave is one of our favorite pieces on the ties between people and the land.

The following passage is from The Rivermen, a piece in Joseph Mitchell’s The Bottom of the Harbor. Cities around the world were founded on the banks of rivers and streams allowing humans to naturally network with one another along and with the river itself. This unstoppable, steady, often gentle flow sculpts any landscape, and has certainly shaped our thinking at the Land Library. The South Platte River (our version of the Hudson) has inspired the Land Library’s Headwaters to Plains at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, Waterton Canyon, and in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood – each site rests on the banks of the South Platte River.

Here’s one of our all-time favorite descriptions of a river:

“I often feel drawn to the Hudson River, and I have spent a lot of time through the years poking around the part of it that flows past the city. I never get tired of looking at it; it hypnotizes me. I like to look at it in midsummer, when it is warm and dirty and drowsy, and I like to look at it in January, when it is carrying ice. I like to look at it when it is stirred up, when a northeast wind is blowing and a strong tide is running — a new-moon tide or a full-moon tide — and I like to look at it when it is slack. It is exciting to me on weekdays, when it is crowded with ocean craft, harbor craft, and river craft, but it is the river itself that draws me, and not the shipping, and I guess I like it best on Sundays, when there are lulls as long as a half an hour, during which, all the way from the Battery to the George Washington Bridge, nothing moves upon it, not even a ferry, not even a tug, and it becomes as hushed and dark and secret and remote and unreal as a river in a dream.”

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The South Platte River slowly ripples by, with Buffalo Peaks Ranch in the distance

For more on rivers & water, read on about the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s plans to build a River Hut Library at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, full of books on water & waterways!
Rivers and books each share the power to bring people together!

Curious Cattle & Artists at Work


From this past weekend at Buffalo Peaks Ranch: cattle lining up for a better view of artists at work. That’s no joke! This summer’s herd is the most curious we’ve ever seen! photo by Patty Scott Miller

Join RedLine and the Rocky Mountain Land Library over Labor Day weekend for Re/Call, a free 3-day event combining an ranch-wide exhibition, communal meals, programs, performances and participatory activities. With Buffalo Peaks Ranch as the inspiration and backdrop, Re/Call will be a curated art and communal experience that celebrates the natural environment, embracing the intersection of art and nature.

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Artist Tory Tepp & right-hand man Sean, already at work for Re/Call.

Drop in for a day or stay/camp for all three – we just ask you to register below! Registration packets with directions, program details and camping information will be sent to all registrants prior to arrival.


Participating Artists, Performers and Facilitators include: Libby Barbee & Bill Nelson, the Barter Collective, Halsey Burgund, Sayler/Morris Project, Michelle Comstock, Gregg Deal & Susan Ortegon, Nathan Hall, Ana Maria Hernando, Tyler Jones, Eliza Minot, Nikki Pike, Eileen Richardson, Kenneth Robinson, Sarah Wallace Scott, Tory Tepp, Jeremy Wolf, and Melanie Yazzie.

Questions? Email recall.redlineart@gmail.com

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A Re/Call piece by Nikki Pike

Re/Call is a collaboration brought to you by Mary Caulkins, Louise Martorano, and RedLine Contemporary Art Center

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Join us over Labor Day weekend and experience both Re/Call and Buffalo Peaks Ranch!

Writing the West at a Historic Colorado Ranch


Writing the West at Buffalo Peaks Ranch

Saturday, August 18th, 10:00 am to 3:30 pm

Writing the West is an art history and creative writing adventure led by the creative staff from the American Museum of Western Art and Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Every month at the AMWA,  Writing the West participants learn a little bit about the Museum’s paintings and artists, use engaging writing prompts to respond to the art, and share and discuss their findings all within a framework of Western themes.

What better place than the Rocky Mountain Land Library to talk about this special session’s theme: Wind. Wind has shaped the landscape and the behavior of people in and around Buffalo Peaks Ranch for centuries. Instructors from Lighthouse, AMWA, and the Land Library will curate a wind-inspired day pairing art, the scenery of the ranch, and of course, books to increase your knowledge of wind and inspire your writing.

The workshop fee is $25, plus a $3.03 ticketing fee. More details and directions will follow. Feel free to send any questions to jeff@landlibrary.org

Click Here to Register


 Browse among the Land Library’s books, explore the historic ranch buildings, or take a walk along the slow meanders of the South Platte River. 

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It’s been over 25 years since the last rancher left Buffalo Peaks Ranch, but sometimes that’s hard to tell. 


Along the way, you’ll discover that Buffalo Peaks Ranch is full of writing prompts, and views to inspire.

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The American Museum of Western Art—The Anschutz Collection is a local art museum in Denver. You will be surprised to see more than cowboys and landscapes on view. The three floors of galleries reveal a range of styles and subject matter, from the historic to the contemporary. We invite you to step back into the American West and allow western art to take you on a journey to discover which of the 300 paintings speak to you the most. Our goal is to educate and communicate the cross-section of art and history within Western American history from the early 19th century to present day.

Lighthouse Writers Workshop works to ensure that literature maintains its proper prominence in the culture and that individuals achieve their fullest potential as artists and human beings.

For more on Buffalo Peaks Ranch’s Summer Schedule, click here!

The Important Work of Daydreaming


A good place to daydream? Buffalo Peaks Ranch, photo by Jay Halsey

In 2013, author Neil Gaiman delivered a speech at the Barbican Centre in London. The second annual Reading Agency Lecture was titled Reading and Obligation. Neil Gaiman’s words on the power of books, libraries, and reading has guided the Rocky Mountain Land Library ever since.

Here’s just a short passage that we especially love!

“We all — adults and children, writers and readers — have an obligation to daydream. We have an obligation to imagine. It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing: an atom in a wall, a grain of rice in a rice field. But the truth is, individuals change their world over and over, individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.

Look around you: I mean it. Pause, for a moment and look around the room that you are in. I’m going to point out something so obvious that it tends to be forgotten. It’s this: that everything you can see, including the walls, was, at some point imagined. Someone decided it was easier to sit on a chair than on the ground and imagined the chair….This room and the things in it, and all the other things in this building, this city exists because, over and over and over, people imagined things. They daydreamed, they pondered….

And then, in time, they succeeded. Political movements, personal movements, all began with people imagining another way of existing.” — Neil Gaiman, from his Reading Agency Lecture, October 14, 2013


The Land Library at Buffalo Peaks Ranch will always be a place to ponder, to daydream and, of course, to read.  As Neil Gaiman writes: “Books are the way we communicate with the dead. The way we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over.


“They daydreamed, they pondered…”  Buffalo Peaks Ranch with Reinecker Ridge in the distance.  photo by Carl Young

Explore the Ranch with an Artist’s Eye


3 Way Relationships: Artist – Land – Painting

an artist workshop led by Sandra Kaplan

Come paint with artist Sandra Kaplan at South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch on Saturday, July 21st. Use the medium of your choice – watercolor, collage, oil, or acrylic. Both abstract and representational painters are welcome.
Sandra will paint while describing what for her becomes a meditative approach to the work. She encourages painting without preconceptions or strict general rules and emphasizes the artist’s connection to both subject and painting. The goal is for painter and landscape to mingle and meet in the finished work.
There will be individual instruction throughout the day, with a group critique at day’s end.
Sandra Kaplan has been painting for as long as she has memories. She graduated from Pratt Institute in NYC, is represented by the Sandra Phillips Gallery in Denver and has exhibited her work across the United States. For more on Sandra’s work, be sure to visit her website!
When: Saturday, July 21st, 10 am to 3:30 pm.
The workshop fee is $50, plus a $3.03 ticketing fee. More details and directions will follow. Feel free to send any questions to jeff@landlibrary.org

Click Here to Register


2016 workshop at Buffalo Peaks Ranch

Stay Tuned for an Exciting Summer Ahead!

This summer we will be hosting artist & writers workshops, our 4th annual Summer Book Club, Re/Call, a Labor Day weekend art exhibition with artists from across the country, plus much more.
Please join us this summer, and enjoy the inspiring learning landscape that is Buffalo Peaks Ranch!
The stories of people and the land couldn’t be told in a better place than this high mountain ranch, threaded by trout streams and elk trails, with traces of native tribes and early settlers still visible on the land.” – Jeff Lee, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Land Library