It was a beautiful September day when I painted this oil plein air scene of Hildebrand Ranch Park, just west of Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. Hildebrand Ranch Park includes the barn seen in my painting and is part of the Jefferson County Open Space system. Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms has preserved the original Hildebrand Ranch cabin and other farm buildings which date back to the 1860's.
The locale was once Native American hunting grounds and was settled in 1866 by Frank Hildebrand as a cattle grazing area. The Jeffco portion of the preserved ranch, a 1,653-acre park, is situated along Deer Creek and is home to prairie dogs, mule deer, elk and even mountain lions and bears.
A coyote crossed the meadow while I painted, and a hawk was later seen flying overhead. The only noises heard came from the occasional sound of a car on Deer Creek Canyon road. This location was a wonderful and nearby escape from the city.