Oh Be Joyful

We did end up going to Crested Butte last week and were blessed with rain almost the entire four-hour drive. That much-needed precipitation cleared the air of wildfire smoke and the drive over Cottonwood Pass was absolutely delicious. Green-green-green with a smattering of wildflowers.

We spent one of our nights at Oh Be Joyful Campground and hiked partway in on the Oh Be Joyful Trail. Here’s a taste of what we saw:

July 15, 2021

The wild asters were more abundant than we’d ever experienced, but this wild rose also caught my eye.

Zippy and Emma

The five-mile afternoon hike was balm for our souls. And after running three-plus miles that morning, we eagerly welcomed bedtime.

Especially the short-legged doggo who  could barely keep her eyes open after we returned to camp.

A truly joyous experience.

Self-care

It’s been a hard day and I’m trying to accomplish tasks here and there in order to stay out of my head. Weeding the front flower beds, laundry, and vacuuming. Reading and writing a tiny bit. Kissing sweet Emma on the head. While all those things were constructive and helpful, they aren’t enough. That’s why I’m posting this photo — so that I can revisit the peaceful image as needed.

Lamb’s Ear and honey bee.   July 3, 2021

And I invite anyone in need of a break from the stresses of reality to do the same.

Yellow + Blue

As I gazed out the window over the kitchen sink today, I saw sunflowers blooming in the backyard. When did that happen? Just the other day, they were tiny green plants and now they’re standing tall.

Sunflower and compost tumbler. July 3, 2021

The sun was shining bright so I waited until there was cloud cover before going out with my camera. Then I couldn’t resist photographing this lone flower next to what could be mistaken for a patch of blue sky.

I’m so happy they’ve returned in all their sunshine-kissed glory.

Thankful Thursday: full heart edition

I got up this morning and went for a run on the trails.

Hayden Green Mountain Park.  June 24, 2021

While this photo was taken a week ago, I enjoyed the same view today (these three dragonflies may or may not have been present this time around as I tend to watch the trail more than the sky due to tripping hazards) and grinned pretty much throughout the entire run. My body felt sluggish, but my soul overfloweth with gratitude as I drank in the natural beauty.

*happy sigh*

Twofer Tuesday

Twofer Tuesday is doing double-duty today. In addition to the two blooms in this photo,

Hayden Green Mountain Park. June 24, 2021

my online research tells me this plant (Argemone polyanthemos) is a member of the poppy family and that one of its common names is “Thistle Poppy.” (Woot! Two plant species in one!)

Also? Every bit of this plant, including the seeds, is poisonous. So, be sure not to lean in too close when admiring the photo. 🙂

Mutualism

Hayden Green Mountain Park. June 24, 2021

Nature promotes mutualism. The flower nourishes the bee. The river waters quench the thirst of all living beings. And trees provide a welcoming home to so many birds and animals. There is a rhythm to this togetherness.  ~ Ram Nath Kovind

Refuge

Western Scrub Jay. June 21, 2020

This isn’t a great photo, but I resonate with its vibe. Grumpy-looking scrub jay hunkered down in a hideaway sheltered by green foliage. I spent lots of my childhood seeking these same kinds of spaces, whether I was grumpy or not. Unlike this bird, I’d usually have a book and peanut butter sandwich which always made everything seem better. Unfortunately, this picture was taken a year ago so it’s too late to offer a book or snack . . .

Twofer Tuesday: National Nature Photography Day edition

Because of Amy Law’s beautiful post, I learned today is National Nature Photography Day. But it’s also Tuesday, which means I need to do it up twofer-style.

First up are a Western Kingbird and Black-capped Chickadee:

April 29, 2021

April 8, 2021

Next are two trees I can’t identify except that one appears dead and the other is maybe not-so-dead?

Jackson Lake SP. May 27, 2021

John Martin Reservoir SP. April 28, 2021

Lastly, I can’t forget my love for ponds:

Sawhill Ponds. May 6, 2021

Uncompahgre National Forest. July 29, 2019

Obviously, these aren’t the most professional photos. However, they’re a good sampling of my aesthetic.

Hip-hip-hooray for nature!

Twofer Tuesday: grackle edition

Common Grackle, Jackson Lake State Park. May 27, 2021

I spent several enjoyable minutes watching another grackle stride through the vegetation, snapping at insects it’d kicked up. While it was a very efficient process, it unfortunately didn’t seem to make a dent in the insect population.

Natural refuge

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
~John Burroughs

Canada Goose on nest at Sawhill Ponds. May 6, 2021

It feels as if there’s been an acceleration of the cruelty and inhumanity happening in the world and while I feel the need to bear witness to the suffering (notably that which is sponsored by my government to the tune of $10 million/day which allows Israel to commit genocide against Palestinian people), it wears me down. Nature helps me keep going. Nature is my refuge.

 

As always, I am exceedingly grateful for its many splendors.

Hallelujah

Despite the National Weather Service’s warning that a boatload of snow was headed our way last night, we woke to only three inches this morning.

Vinca blooming among the snow. May 11, 2021

And they were incorrect again when they predicted a whole bunch more snow this afternoon. It did snow quite hard at times, but it didn’t stick. It’s been a mix of rain and snow and more rain. And rain beats melts snow.

The trees and shrubs are intact. Hallelujah!

Give me pelicans and sunshine

It’s rainy and gray outside, but I’m not complaining. The alternative was a huge snowstorm which, fortunately, the forecasters seem to be walking back. While we do need moisture, rain would be much kinder to the new leaves on trees and shrubs. I don’t want any of them destroyed by a heavy winter snowstorm; the blooming crabapple trees are currently quite lovely.

American White Pelican, Barr Lake State Park. April 8, 2021

So right now I’m content with the rainy-gray as I think back on last month’s pelican-rich day that also happened to be sunny and warm.

Thankful Thursday: ponds

I spent the afternoon at Sawhill 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.