Emma is a dog of contradictions. She’s small and lovable. Those floppy ears that bounce with each step always induce smiles as we walk the neighborhood. Her big brown eyes ooze emotion. Looking at her, you’d never guess Emma can instantaneously transform into a rage-aholic.
May 8, 2021
I took this photo yesterday moments after she’d gone bonkers when someone dared to walk two dogs past our home. Check out the raised ridge along her spine. Emma flashed me this innocent expression, trying to play it cool and pretend she hadn’t just erupted. But I’ve got photographic proof.
The hackles tell the whole story.
Nothing is more revealing than movement. ~ Martha Graham
May 8, 2021
May 7, 2021
Tulip in decline
petals collapsing inward
splendid ’til the end
I spent the afternoon at Sawmill Ponds and Walden Ponds in Boulder. I’d never been before. My goodness, it’s a lovely place to wander. At one point we were on a tiny trail along the shoreline, scrambling over fallen trees and uneven terrain, when we heard several plops.
Oops. There’d been an entire logful of turtles before we startled them away. Laura pointed out we wouldn’t even have noticed any of them if not for the sound. But lucky us, we were alerted to the presence of this lone turtle that remained. Resolute. And completely still. (I didn’t even notice the mirror image until I was cropping the photo.)
Ponds are magical places and I’m happy to have another soul-replenishing destination on my radar.
Monday mornings have never been my favorite thing, but at least I don’t have to eat my breakfast in the cold and wet like this bunny.
Out my window, May 3, 2021
And I’ve never eaten a meal with my ears tucked together to keep out the snow and rain.
Suddenly, my Monday morning suddenly doesn’t look too bad.
We returned yesterday evening from our trip to John Martin Reservoir State Park. We had a glorious time and I highly recommend visiting this park. We spent zero time at the reservoir, but explored Lake Hasty which is below the dam and also hiked the Red Shin Trail. Yesterday morning I was up at 7:00 (quite early for me) and ran around the lake (and then again in reverse). The sun was shining as the geese honked and the ducks quacked and paddled. I grinned pretty much the whole three miles.
When we’d first arrived at tree-filled Lake Hasty Campground late afternoon on Wednesday, a couple Turkey Vultures casually flew overhead. Then my attention-deficit kicked in because there were SO MANY BIRD SOUNDS. I immediately got out my binoculars and Sibley, but as soon as I began to focus on one bird/sound I was distracted by another. After a while, I began feeling overwhelmed by my ignorance ** and Zippy suggested a walk around the lake. Good call. The light was incredible and I just drank it all in.
Tons of Cliff Swallows were swooping above the water and along the shoreline. I took loads of photos, many of which were photo-bombed by swallows.
Red-winged Blackbird & Mourning Dove plus fly-by Cliff Swallow
We eventually made our way back to the campsite as a few vultures floated overhead. Then I noticed something: vultures in the trees around our site. We watched in awe as one after another floated down and into the trees, their wings sounding like crinkling paper as they touched the branches.
I count eleven Turkey Vultures in this photo.
About twenty vultures roosted above us all night. We felt honored. The next evening, we returned from our lake excursion in time for me to set up the camera and tripod. We waited quietly. Two vultures settled into a tree next to us and then . . . nothing. About three minutes later, they took off. Guess they headed off to find out where the rest of the gang was roosting. Won’t lie, it was a disappointment. But expecting two nights of turkey vultures might be a bit greedy. Best to share the wealth.
** I spent the final morning focusing on birds — sights and sounds — without worrying about the camera, and made progress. I identified a Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle variation) and felt immense satisfaction. I’m now going through my many poor quality photos of ducks on the water, seeing if there’s enough detail for identifications. I’ve found a Horned Grebe and a Blue-winged Teal. Woot!
We’re headed out for our first camping trip of the year and this is what it looks like outside:
April 28, 2021
The good news? We’re headed to another part of Colorado (John Martin Reservoir State Park) where the high will be an acceptable 59 degrees. Cloudy, but warm enough. And maybe that cloud cover will make for better bird photos. We shall see.
The other good news? Even though it’ll get down to 39 degrees tonight, we’ll be toasty (we hope) in this work-in-progess:
This is our maiden voyage in Moby, the cargo van we’re converting to a campervan. I’m excited to hit the road!
I took this photo a year ago today. As I recall, it was a balmy day filled with bird songs and busy bees. We were in the early days of the pandemic and communing with backyard nature was balm for my soul.
April 27, 2020
Today, plenty of birds are singing on this cool and rainy day. However, the shrub in the photo is behind last year’s schedule –buds still folded up tight –and I’ve yet to see a bee in the yard. We’re still experiencing a global pandemic, but the blooms and bees are on their way. And when they arrive, I’ll be out there again, drinking in all their glory.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Elizabeth Appell
April 8, 2021
This feels like a universal quote that applies to all of us, possibly on multiple levels. Here’s hoping we all blossom in one way or another this week. Remember, spring is the season of new growth. (And yes, I’m also speaking to myself here.)
Marcel thinks that if he blocks the screen with his considerable bulk, I will focus on him instead of Netflix or Hulu. And maybe that ploy did work a couple months ago when this photo was taken, when I was feeling more tender-hearted and giving.
Marcel doing his best to make me even more visually impaired than usual.
Tonight is a different story. He has been warned.
December 13, 2020
Hidden in shadow
sunlight betrays tail and eye
bird seed raid failure
Sometimes I find myself putting a whole lot more time and energy into a project than is warranted. Something about this image caught my attention and I kept experimenting with the editing tools, wondering if there was greatness hidden within. I eventually stopped when I reached this point:
January 12, 2021
Not because I believed I’d finally unearthed any inherent greatness, but because this version pleases me. But to be honest, so do these:
I seem to be walking a very thin line between creativity and procrastination today which is not necessarily great. Or productive.
I’ve been struggling mightily with a family-of-origin issue and a while back reached out to the therapist I’d worked with years ago. Her client roster was full so I was put on a wait-list. Well, the wait is over. I’m both grateful and anxious she can now fit me into her schedule. My first appointment is in a few minutes and my insides are fluttering.
September 12, 2020
I know I need to do the work in order to move ahead. That doesn’t stop me from wishing for a magic wand that could make everything all better.
If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it. ~ Toni Morrison
American White Pelican. Barr Lake State Park. April 8, 2021
I spent most of the day reading in bed as my response to the second vaccine dose. The electrolytes and ibuprofen worked wonders and I rallied late afternoon to walk in the sunshine with Zippy and Emma. In shady parts of the neighborhood, there were still piles of snow left from the plows and our exuberant doggo took every opportunity to “submarine” in those piles, roll around on her back, or perform a combination of both. It never failed to bring a smile and I regret not getting pics.
April 16, 2021
This shot from earlier in the week will have to suffice. Take this backyard energy and crank it up about five notches to get an idea of Emma’s happiness level today.
I received my second Pfizer dose today and while I rest on the couch, feeling depleted, the nine-plus inches of snow continues to melt outside.
April 16, 2021
This is all a temporary setback. Spring is happening no matter what and soon the maple tree and I will be in full bloom.
April 16, 2021
wrought iron cushioned by snow
butts will be cold, though
You probably know that echinacea and its antioxidants are good for our physical health. It’s a widely-used herb with many applications.
Purple Coneflower aka echinacea. July 16, 2020.
What you might not know is that these vibrant plants are also what the doctor prescribes for cold, gray days. Guess you could say that echinacea is also an antigloom.
You heard it here first.
This photo was taken exactly a year ago and I’m sharing it now because the forecast says to expect snow for the next five days.
April 13, 2020
So even though the shrubs are starting to bud out and sprout tiny green leaves, we’re going to pretend spring isn’t happening. Ah, well. I’m never going to badmouth much-needed precipitation. As the saying goes: April [snow] showers bring May flowers.
April 8, 2021
The sky is one whole, the water another;
and between those two infinities the soul of man is in loneliness.
~ Henryk Sienkiewicz
It’s been a rough week and I’m guessing there are others out there in need of a smile. Look no further than Zippy and Emma.
April 11, 2021
I’m not sure whether she’s got her tongue out at me/photographer or because Zippy is gripping her hind feet like he’s a pilot guiding a plane down for an emergency landing.
Doesn’t matter. Makes me smile.