Thursday, September 10, 2020

In the Blink of an Eye

Weather at high altitude changes in the blink of an eye.

A few days ago, on our hike, we found Arnica flowers blooming in sunshine.

Grasses and bushes were just starting to turn golden and russet.

We enjoyed meals on our deck, listening to the song of water in our stream.

We woke Wednesday, September 9, to 5" (12.7 cm) of snow.
Wind caused temperatures to fall 20 degrees below freezing.
Luckily, we heeded the forecast and covered the container plants.

Today, the sun shines and the melt begins.
It is just above freezing, but the air feels refreshing.
I'm bundled in coat, gloves, and scarf for my walk.

Trees are confused - is it fall or winter?
Most of the aspens are still green.
Only a few have fall colors.

Under blue sky, the ski trails glisten white in the sunshine.

Inside, we light a fire and smile.

The snow will melt quickly and give us needed moisture.
Perhaps we'll still enjoy some fall color before it turns white again.

Thank you for visiting.
Stay safe and well.

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PS I'm having to experiment with photo size on the new Blogger.

It's a learning experience!

Saturday, August 29, 2020

End of August - End of Summer

 The end of August at high altitude means the end of summer.

The forest floor changes day by day.

Nights become cooler - soon frost will appear.

My gardens splurge on one last burst of color.

We hike in early morning on trails we've used for 30 years.

We rarely meet another person.

August has been very dry, but today rain fell.

Our forests need moisture. There are 4 wildfires burning in Colorado.

dawn turns the trees golden

We continue to isolate at our mountain home.

There is no place we'd rather be.

We've enjoyed our gorgeous high altitude summer.

We're staying well and staying hopeful.

I hope you are, too.

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Friday, August 14, 2020


In 1966, on August 14th at 4:30 PM, Bob and I married.

As he waited at the altar, his lapel flower shook from nerves.

I walked down the aisle with the hem of my gown discreetly pinned.

(My mother's friend made the gown and misjudged the measurements.)

Rain pounded the country church, accompanying the soloist.

Bob's grandmother cried tears of happiness.

(I hope they were tears of happiness...she was a stoic woman.)

We made promises that we work hard to keep. 

Through joys and sorrows, we are still joined.

This morning, Bob said, "Happy Anniversary to my bride."

Somewhere inside, we are still that young bride and groom.

Today we celebrate 54 years of marriage. 

Still waiting - not as nervous....

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Small Stone - Flowing - 31

Life continues flowing.
Each moment precious.

Who knows what comes next?

I assume there will be One Good Thing...

Thank you for visiting the July Stones.
Stay happy and well.


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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Small Stone - Deadly - 30

Some wildflowers can cause breathing difficulties, cardiac arrest, and nerve problems.

Death Camus


Don't ingest and don't touch.
Just admire with your eyes.
Beauty is sometimes deadly.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Small Stone - Poem - 29

by Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.

Go easy, be filled with light, and shine...
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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Small Stone - Drenched - 28

dark clouds over peaks
heavy with moisture
tang of woodsmoke
forest sodden

five days of rain
vibrant green glory
drenched daisies bow 
wet heads heavy

walking quickly 
watching the sky
I beat the rain
back home

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Small Stone - Focus - 27

I want to ask,
"Just hold still for one second."

So I can focus!

I took 89 photos of the hummingbird in bursts of two over about four minutes.
The Calliope never stopped moving - a tiny helicopter on a mission.

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Small Stone - Elephant - 26

I spied the elephants by the stream, trunks raised and swaying gently in the breeze.

Little Pink Elephant Head Wildflower - what a perfect name!

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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Small Stone - Hummingbird - 25

during a break in rain
Calliope whirls from bloom to bloom
sipping nectar for breakfast

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Small Stone - Mystery - 24

dark and drizzly
light the fire
brew the tea
open a book

I always welcome a rainy day. Normally, I spend sunny hours outside. Rain encourages me to abandon other plans and hibernate for awhile. I'm reading a mystery series by Julia Spencer-Fleming (The Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries). The series was recommended by a blog friend. By book 4, the characters gather like old friends when I start reading. They're perfect company on a rainy day.

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Small Stone - Squirrel - 23

Sitting on the deck eating breakfast, I keep having the feeling I'm being watched.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Small Stone - Angelica - 22

Do you remember Angelica?
She stood watch over my back garden for many, many years.
Finally, because of her increasing fragility, she retired.
This year, she felt ready to resume part-time work.
She stands propped against a tree in the rock garden.
She's protected from buffeting winds.
Waldo is nearby for company.

Bob says she resembles a scarecrow more than an angel.
(I told him not to speak this slur when close to Angelica.)
She's a bit weathered, but who of us isn't?
And her heart is in the right place.
She's both an angel and a star!

Angelica is very wabi-sabi.
I love her.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Small Stone - Buckwheat - 21

common Buckwheat standing in the sun's spotlight
bowing shyly in the breeze


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Monday, July 20, 2020

Small Stone - Dawn - 20

Waking early, I wait for dawn to color the western peaks.
Giving thanks for a new day,
I begin again.

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Sunday, July 19, 2020

Small Stone - Pansies - 19

sweet pansy faces
jeweled by raindrops
remind me of my mother
her gardens ablaze with color
velvety pansies in every hue at the borders

My mother died one hot and humid July 40 years ago. Her gardens were in full bloom. 
Every year since, I've planted pansies for her.
In remembrance.

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Small Stone - Rain - 18

since childhood, I've loved rain
pounding out a beat
drenching, quenching
watering wildflowers
showering the forest
discouraging wildfire

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Small Stone - Gratitude - 17

our back yard is a mass of wild Lupine
spreading like a lush purple carpet
the beauty overwhelms me
with gratitude

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Small Stone - Bear Trail - 16

Are we following a bear trail, or is the bear following our trail?

We keep seeing bear signs on our familiar trails behind the house.

Bears claw through decaying stumps to find food.
They feast on insects or small mammals hiding in the wood.

Today, while admiring forest wildflowers, I was hyper-alert for bears.
I'd prefer not to surprise one on the trail!

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