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Will of the Wind

by Robert A. Tino
At heights of 6,000 ft., Nature indulges in an untamed and callous dance. Rolling fog banks slip gingerly in and around these jagged crests. Tangled rhododendron, mountain laurel and looming hemlocks pick their spot carefully along these unforgiving peaks. The bleak stone outcropping known as Little Duck Hawk Ridge was named for Peregrine Falcons, or duck hawks as the old-timers called them, who nested there. Riding rip-tide currents, these fearless hawks, notorious for blinding speed, free-fall dives and straight up vertical flights no other bird attempts, can kill prey in mid-air. Playing with the wind, daring its resolve - flaunting its will in this high wild outpost. Capturing the dark heart of the Smokies at this summit on canvas - the feel, the light, the mood - would have perhaps caught the eye and challenged the hand of one of the great Masters in another generation. Here, timeless in this newest Tino painting, is a formal portrait of such fierce beauty, storm-etched under the Will of the Wind

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