Sunset and Dining in the Rockies

I ended up spending the entire day yesterday with my patient friend, Cathy. I crammed a week’s worth of fun into that one day! I also crammed more than a week’s worth of exercise points in, but I feel absolutely fine in the leg department today, so my hiking boots must have done their job.

Fire on the mountain, but not a wildfire.

We left off in yesterday’s post after lunch. We went to check out the outlet mall, because Cathy hinted that it doesn’t suck. And that’s right, it doesn’t. The first place we went was not an outlet store, but a little jewel of a co-op gallery of art by local artisans. There was beautiful mosaic art and a lot of photographs, some by a photographer Cathy really likes.

Photo taken right near Cathy’s house. It was hard to photograph, because it’s shiny.

Imagine her happiness to find out that Stephen Johnson was working in the store that day! She found out he lives in her neighborhood, and they shared stories of seeing moose and other wildlife nearby. I enjoyed his stories very much and got some images of his photos. This is my favorite, partly because of the story of the pregnant cow moose, who he sees every year with her babies.

Look at her jump!

That was fun, as was finding a few items at the Columbia outlet that may help me ride Apache more in the winter. I got a head covering thing that would fit under my helmet, and a warm reflective shirt. We’ll see!

Then we adventured out to find some cool green hiking boots Cathy wanted to get from Facebook Marketplace. She loves Facebook marketplace. I have to say they are pretty darned cool boots.

Ignore Chalkdust, the extremely lovely husky/shepherd mix, and look at the shoes.

After heading back to my house to change and get my knitting, we went back to Cathy’s. I feel bad for how many times I caused her to drive back and forth from Dillon to Breckenridge! She baked some brownies and I knitted, then we went for a sunset walk, which she does most days. You know, I hadn’t walked enough yet. Cathy needed to, because as she admits, she is a jock.

Sunset from their house.

It got colder and colder as we walked, but it was fine. We got to see some clouds and sun and mountains, which made it worth it. And, oh yes, I got to look at all the houses in the neighborhood, which are rustic and have interesting garage doors and other exterior details. Of course, I peeked inside when I could, too. There were some fine light fixtures.

When we got back, there was a special treat! Cathy’s friend, Sarah, had invited us to have a girls’ night fajita dinner. I was happy, because I’d enjoyed talking to her earlier, plus I would get to meet two more women. So, off we went.

This is Violet, a husky. I took pictures of the dogs, not the people.

Everyone had fun getting to know each other and eating. Sara’s new neighbor across the street was really subtle in her humor, so I enjoyed her a lot. And the other guest is an artist and was making a beautiful butterfly installation for the place where she works in Breck.

I spent a great deal of time asking Sara where all her art and textiles came from. Her mother had a business selling Native American jewelry, so she had traded for some nice stuff, plus she had Peruvian tapestries, too. Drool.

It turns out Sarah teaches Pysanky eggs at the art center, so I got to see some of them. I would love to learn that technique to do with some of my eggs. Thank goodness Cathy took a picture, to prove there were people at dinner.

I’m asking endless questions about the eggs. They are so intricate.

In addition to meeting so many fascinating women today, I believe I had my biggest exercise day since back when I’d hike with my older son on holidays. I still can’t believe I feel so good…well, other than my digestion telling me I ate too much rich food. Today may be a recovery day, though I intend to get in the right amount of walking in (after football).

My exercise goal is 30 minutes, and I have a hard time getting it at home. Not here. Thanks, altitude!

Seen on a Walk: Ducks, Crawfish, Murmurations

Taking a walk in nature is good for your mood, so I have been out walking today. First I walked around our stream, looking for live crawfish, until it rained. Then, after the sun came out, I walked down the road to the cemetery and back, just to see what’s out there.

I really enjoyed looking at the water around our house. It’s so pretty.

I like the reflections.

I found no living crawfish, but saw many holes and castles (mud they leave while digging holes). I also found mushrooms, raccoon poop and general beauty.

I still can’t find where the front spring is, but it’s still flowing away. I made a movie.

I was in a hurry, so I forgot to turn the camera. But it’s pretty.

After the rain, it was so beautiful out! I wish the weather was always like this. It isn’t hot or cold. Birds are loving it, too.

Yesterday I’d seen some ducks behind the house, but the dogs sent them away before I could ID them. I was irritated, but hoped they’d stay. Sure enough, I was able to see them through the binoculars this morning. They were hooded mergansers! Fancy!

From Merlin Bird ID.

I really wanted a photo, though. I was excited to see them in the pond by the road on my walk. Of course, they took off. But, ha! I had the phone camera on burst mode! I got them flying!

Blurry, but recognizable!

Then, I heard a noise. It was the unmistakable sound of starlings. We have large flocks of this non-native bird around here. I knew they’d take off soon, so I waited a minute. Sure enough, they broke into two groups. It’s fun to watch.

It doesn’t take much to entertain me, does it? I just wish I had someone to walk with. I’d probably feel like going farther with a co-walker!

Chickens Are Guaranteed to Make You Laugh

I wrote this last night, so adjust your mental imagery accordingly.

Sure, sometimes I get sad about losing chickens, but mostly they bring me so much joy. When I see good ole Bertie and Gertie running to see me, any hint of a foul (fowl?) mood I’m in evaporates.

Mom’s home! Maybe she has food! Or shoelaces!

They just want to be where I am. The others are a bit more independent. Today I found all of them taking dirt baths in the asparagus bed (no photos).

This shoelace is too short and doesn’t sparkle. Hmph.

Sometimes I just sit in the grass and talk to Bertie and feed her leaves. Ginger used to do that, too. and Fancy Pants. Sniff. But I still have Bertie Lee!

I’m such a good listener. But I’m annoyed you messed up my nest in the garage.

I do have to be careful with the phone/camera, though, because it’s also shiny, and thus peck-worthy.

PECK!

The other thing I’ve been most enjoying is Bruce as he looks for high objects to crow from. Here he is in the garage crowing from the workbench.

Tallest bird in the garage!

Today he wanted to be king of the welding equipment.

King of the red canister.

Buttercup was really interested in what Bruce was doing.

I’d like to be queen of the welding stuff.

Sadly, there can only be one monarch at a time.

Bruce deposed Buttercup before she even gained a foothold.

I really needed a day to just enjoy the life around me and not have a huge to-do list. It helped a lot with matters that weigh on my mind. I even escaped the dogs and took a nice long walk.

Look at those legs! There’s definitely a whole lot of nothing out here.

From my walk, I determined that Michelob Lite Extra is by far the favorite beer of litterers, followed by Bud Light and Lone Star. and Duncan Hines is the preferred cake mix to strew on the roadside (yes, 3 boxes)! It’s time to clean up again, I guess.

There are three Eastern bluebirds on the fence.

I had to end on a happier note!

I hope you have a Bertie equivalent to cheer you up. Or, you can borrow Bertie.

Pond-ering

Since it’s rained like crazy and the rivers are still rising, I thought it would be a good time to check out our pond, the arroyo, and the riparian areas at the front of our property.

A meadow pink for my newfound love of the color.

Also, since it’s time for the second wave of wildflowers, I’d check them out, too. I’m always happy when these pink beauties are shining forth, so that was a good start!

I’m so glad they didn’t get all of these in the hay!

The dogs came along and enjoyed their own “pond” made by Lee’s unfinished drainage area.

Thanks for the pond, Dad!

Continue reading “Pond-ering”

Little Wonders

It’s a beautiful day today, so I’ve done a bit of wandering around. I’m always surprised at the beauty I see, just walking around the ranch.

Just a beautiful day to have dog fun.

Today the dogs and I checked out the arroyo, and they had a lot of fun sniffing and stomping, as usual.

That is a BIG hole. Glad I know where it is, so I won’t step on it.

I was surprised to see just how big the armadillo’s hole has gotten. Every time I walk by there’s more dirt outside it. That is one busy dillo.

You can’t really see as much orange as I saw in person, but hey, these will be a lot of delicous berries!

The trees and bushes are all budding out, and sometimes the color really surprises me. The dewberries are all red and yellow, and look almost autumnal!

A brief pause between screeches.

There are also many, many birds out today, including a family of mockingbirds who would really like to be left alone. They yelled and yelled at me for messing around in “their” tree, trying to get a picture of some raccoon poop. I think the raccoon may hang out in the tree, too.

But the best!

The best nature sight came slightly off the ranch, on our county road. I saw something white as I was driving into town this morning, so when I came back, I parked to check things out. There, in the middle of a field, were dozens of white irises. They were so pretty.

The irises are right in the center of this picture.

I wish I could have gotten closer, but you know, snakes. My guess is that there was once a house where the overgrown trees and such are now. There is still a huge oak that may have been planted by someone. And, next door, there are a lot of the same flowers planted around a tree. Maybe they dug some of the ones in the field up.

Here you can see the flowers and the big tree. And an annoying post.

I’ll just have to ask the people who live there one day!

Pathway to Fearlessness: Walking

I’m still pondering how I got to be so fearless all of a sudden. Did I suddenly become a wise crone when I turned 60? I doubt it. A lot of things I do contributed to it. Now, I know everyone attains their wisdom and maturity differently, but I also know that I learn a lot when I read about other people’s journeys (probably why I like blogs so much, now that Facebook no longer has as many interesting personal updates). Memes schmemes.

So, I’ll be sharing what’s worked for me over the next few days or weeks, and you are welcome to take what works for you and leave the rest, as we used to tell mothers at La Leche League meetings.

Let’s take a walk

I can remember thinking I was a slothlike slug, because I never was very good at vigorous exercise. I sure was over-generalizing! Looking back, I see that I was, and still am, a big walker. I walked miles and miles while I was getting my university degrees. I have strong memories of exactly how far it was from the Foreign Language Building to the Engineering building on the University of Illinois campus, especially when it was below zero outside.

Then I had kids. Walk walk walk (also a lot of bike rides). Walking on trails. Walking at football stadiums. Walking.

I can see this path from my window at work. I usually walk around the whole complex, which takes a half hour, or walk this over and over (many lovely birds here). When it is raining, I can always walk all the way up the parking garage and back!

Then I started working in office buildings. The only way I can survive is to take a walk most days. That’s where I do my best thinking and pound away my concerns.

Continue reading “Pathway to Fearlessness: Walking”
sara annon

seeking the middle path

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