This day started off pretty well — among other things, added 20 minutes to my yearly hoop-dancing total — and then Zippy and I went out to deliver food boxes to people via Rocky Mountain Mutual Aid Network. And I think that’s where the day began to feel not-so-good, when we were out and about, and saw that the vast majority of people were unmasked in indoor spaces. It wasn’t news: this is how it’s been for months and months. For some reason, it hit me harder today. How can we as a society normalize mass death and disability? How can we sacrifice our health for “freedom”? What will we do when our healthcare system collapses beneath the weight of our selfishness?emot
Anyway, here’s a pretty flower.
Wishing you and yours a safe and healthy weekend.
Yesterday was emotionally rough for me and upon waking this morning, I feared sinking into that dark place again. So, I vowed to keep myself occupied all day. We took Emma for a walk before it got too hot and after that, I cleaned, did laundry, wrote, did my yoga and hooped for a while. Somewhere in there, I also took a short nap with Loki-cat on my chest.
It’s now 7:00 p.m. and I made it through the day without tears. Might not seem like a lot, but today’s success gives me confidence and momentum for tomorrow. I’m celebrating with this wildflower bouquet.
This bouquet is also offered up to anyone else struggling out there. You aren’t alone. You are beautiful and enough, just as you are. Keep shining your light.
Today I am thankful for:
beautiful surprises along the trail,
creatives & their creations,
hitting SEND on a brand new manuscript to my agent,
rain last night & cooler temperatures today,
and my family, friends, and comrades in this beautiful & brutal world.
Sometimes it’s good to blur the lines a bit.
Disclosure: my intent in taking this photo was to capture the entire image in sharp focus. Didn’t turn out that way. But that’s okay, because focus isn’t always the be-all, end-all. It’s healthy to balance focus and a lack of focus. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I awaken from yet another bout of daydreaming.
It’s been a rough day on the heels of other emotionally difficult days this week. Despite ordering one of these Let This Radicalize You (rather than lead you to despair) shirts a few days ago, I confess to tilting heavily toward despair right now. No need for me to list the multiple crises we’re facing because that’ll just make me more sad/angry and give people reason to quit reading.
Instead, I’ll celebrate the fact that I’m no longer withdrawing into myself and am here with a post. HELLO, OUT THERE!
Here’s one of my favorite recent photos:
Okay, that’s it for my burst of energy. Sending good wishes to anyone who’s read this far . . . 💚
Yesterday, we drove Moby the Great White Campervan to the mountains for some rest and relaxation. Our intention was a few hours of peace and rejuvenation. We’d never been there before and were thrilled to claim a small parking area next to Buffalo Creek. I explored with the camera and captured some nice shots. This is where I sat to work on my novel revisions.
I sat in a chair on the little patch of beach at the bottom of the photo and revised a chapter on my laptop as Zippy and Emma napped in the van. Rushing water. Clean air. A shiny, green hummingbird buzzing in for a visit.
An early bloomer
shining on its own timeline
It’s snowy and gray out my window, so I went in search of a little color and warmth. Enter the Queen’s Crown.
I photographed this on a hike at Square Top Lakes and am warmed by its colorful and intricate self. My identification research tells me that the succulent leaves turn red in the fall and you can just see the tips beginning to turn. This wildflower is very lovely, but I’m glad we’re currently headed into spring rather than autumn.
Despite today’s frigid temperatures, spring is around the corner, and I’m warming myself with memories of a hike in the open space last June. We’d gotten lots of snow last winter and so the flowers were magnificent.
Here’s a burst of color from a type of blooming thistle that’s probably invasive and somewhat annoying when it scratches my legs as I run past on the trails. But pretty, right?
I don’t have the time to identify these yellow wildflowers because, well, there are sh*t-tons of yellow wildflowers. But it’s a lovely little wheel, isn’t it?
Here’s another probably-invasive thistle which is also scratchy-scratchy when I run past, but right now reminds me of a burst of warm, pink sunshine.
Lastly, here’s a delicate specimen that, despite its straight-forward appearance, defies identification. White and yellow wildflowers definitely test my skills.
This latest snowfall is priming the ground for another glorious wildflower display and I look forward to exploring with my camera in a few months.
We cut our neighborhood walk short today due to rapidly falling temperatures. When we left the house, it was about 39 degrees. Approximately ten minutes later, it was 28 degrees. At least, that’s what Zippy’s phone said when he checked it. As for me, I couldn’t see much of anything because my cold nose was buried in my neck gator which then caused my glasses to steam up. All this to say, I’m craving warmer weather right now and making due with looking at summer hiking photos.
Here’s some flora and fauna from a Square Top Lakes hike:
Ahh, I can practically feel that sunshine on my shoulders.
Here’s a little color for anyone who needs it right now. These photos were taken on July 15, 2021, on the Oh Be Joyful Trail outside Crested Butte, Colorado. I don’t have the energy to research the first two species (so if anyone knows, educate me :)).
This last is Fireweed which I first grew to love while living in Alaska.
Another hiker was crouched next to a patch of them along the trail that day, photographing the blooms with the biggest smile on her face. “This is my favorite flower of all,” she said.
It might be nearing the end of the day, but it’s never too late to share gratitude. Today I am grateful for a productive critique session with my critique group last night. As always, the Writing Roosters had good insights and offered suggestions that will make my beloved novel shine.
And to celebrate, here’s a bouquet of wild asters that remind me of a fireworks display. I photographed them last summer as we hiked the Oh Be Joyful Trail.
Oh, to be joyful and filled with gratitude.
I sometimes hoard photos I especially love, waiting for The Perfect Moment to post here. I’ve been holding onto this Rocky Mountain Bee Plant photo for over two months.
At the time I took this picture, I didn’t know what I was looking at. We’d driven past many of these plants alongside the road as we headed to a camping destination in August and I made a note to photograph them on the return trip. When I saw a patch of them as we drove home, I somewhat quickly veered to a little driveway off the road, and parked. Seeing the flowers up close, I was overcome by their beauty and photographed them from different angles. I can still feel my smile of delight. Several vehicles roared past, horns blowing as passengers happy-waved. I wasn’t the only Rocky Mountain Bee Plant fan.
So why share this treasured photo today? It’s the start of a new week and I’m buoyed by good feelings as I finish up revisions on my manuscript. Also, it’s my sister’s birthday.
Here’s to beautiful discoveries that sometimes bloom in the ditches!
All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things they are commonly called, but with the best things, of this world–not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind. ~ John Lubbock
This Rocky Mountain Bee Plant feels like a symbol of where I’m at with the revisions of my middle grade novel. Some aspects of the story have fully bloomed and won’t change much as I continue revising.
Other aspects are still revealing themselves to me. Slowly unfurling their blossoms to become beautiful, integral, and incredibly obvious how-did-I-not-already-know-that components of the whole.
It’s an exciting and gratifying place to be in the process.
The love of Nature, again, helps us greatly to keep ourselves free from those mean and petty cares which interfere so much with calm and peace of mind.
~ SirJohn Lubbock
What nature delivers to us is never stale.
Because what nature creates has eternity in it.
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
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:
The wild asters were more abundant than we’d ever experienced, but this wild rose also caught my eye.
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.
Poor little yarrow
a victim of aggression
two fates now entwined
Twofer Tuesday is doing double-duty today. In addition to the two blooms in this photo,
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. 🙂
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