Friday, November 6, 2020

Work and Play

Six large lodgepoles were downed by wind across trails we use.
With winter fast approaching, they blocked our usual route on touring skis.
Luckily some industrious neighbor cleared all but one.

Early this morning, we headed out to be lumberjacks.
Two trees were actually across the trail.
A dead tree came down and took a healthy one with it.

Bob got busy with the hand saw.
I gave important instructions like
"be careful!"
"don't cut yourself!"

With the dead one sawed, he had to drag it off the trail.
My job was to hold the saw.

When the healthy tree was sawed, it looked like Charley Brown's Christmas tree.
Unfortunately, it will die before the holidays.

With the trail passable, our morning work was complete, and we hiked back home.
I was famished after all my supervision!

This week, we've had the usual moose and foxes moving across the property.

A less frequent visitor we're always happy to see is the Pine Marten.
They are secretive animals and seeing one is always a treat.
It stayed on the deck for about half an hour.

It rested for awhile, yawning and briefly closing its eyes.
However, it was always on guard.
It was aware of me at the window, but didn't seem worried.
We've had successive generations of Martens over 25 years. 
Perhaps they've learned we pose no threat.

Here is a brief video.

Our county is now in orange stage 2 and under greater restrictions because the virus is spreading.
Meanwhile, our ski areas are opening, and tourists are arriving.

Bob and I continue to isolate.

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

May Love and Peace Abide

start of snow

We had 11" (28 cm) of snow about a week ago.
It was our third snow since September.
We thought this might be our base for winter.
However, temperatures have risen above freezing.
The warmth of the sun is melting it quickly.

Today, I decided to walk the streets in my neighborhood.
It was gusty, and I'm worried about huge lodgepoles falling in the forest.
I'm wearing a lightweight neck gaiter called a "buff" when I walk for exercise.
If I meet someone, I raise it to cover my mouth and nose.

Our county recently adopted more stringent Covid rules.
Residents may have only 6 people in their homes from no more than 2 households.
Rentals may have 10 from no more than 2 households. 
I question (to myself) why tourists may have 4 more people than residents.
(It doesn't make sense, but what does when the "rules" constantly change?)

On my walk, I passed a home with many cars in the driveway.
I wondered how many people were inside.
We've been warned about parties and gatherings.
"Only 2 at my house," I thought.

As I continued onward, a young man came my way.
I switched to the opposite side of the street (we have no sidewalks). 
I covered my face with the buff.
He wore nothing to cover his face.

Just as he was almost across from me, he forcefully cleared his throat and....

I was appalled at his crude and rude behavior.
I immediately thought of my grandchildren and chided them in my mind:
take note - this behavior is not OK!
I looked where the young man was going, and, of course, he turned into the "party" house.

I felt upset by the encounter, but on reflection, I knew he was not disrespecting me.
Instead, he disrespected himself (and the family who raised him). 
Immediately, I said quietly, "May love and peace abide with you."
I felt he needed the blessing, and I needed to give it.

This happening obviously affected me, or I wouldn't be writing about it.
But, the blessing set me apart from anger and negative feelings.
I continued on my way, calm and happy.
I smiled to feel the sun on my shoulders and the wind in my face.

a light in the forest

May love and peace abide with you.
Thank you for visiting.

Photos were taken during my walks this week.

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

End of Fall

We're awaiting snow.


We've had longer than usual fall weather.
Now, we need moisture badly.

dried grasses glowing in sunlight

It's been nice to hike through balmy fall days.
But, the forest is very, very dry.
A blanket of snow would reduce our risk of wildfire.

town of Breckenridge from a ridge in our neighborhood

Yesterday, after our walk, I sowed wildflower seeds.
I smile at the promise of the seeds.
Perhaps next summer I'll see colorful blooms dancing in the breeze.

lovely Blue Spruce in the forest

Early this morning, Silver, the large male fox, scouted our property.
I saw movement on the deck and watched the pine marten on patrol.
Later, I was startled by 4 bull moose stampeding through the forest.
I was glad I wasn't walking a path near them!
The wild things are alert and on the move.

heading home through dry forest

We received good news this week. 
Bob's Urologist called to report that his bloodwork was excellent.
Though I didn't know I was worried, I shed tears of relief.
Now, we go on with life until his next test in 3 months.

sunset before the forecasted snow

As I finish this post, it's starting to snow.
Moisture in the form of white is my one good thing today.

Photos are of walks near the house in the past week.
Thank you for your visit.
Stay well!
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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Where the Wild Things Are

Fall is a busy time for wild animals in the forest and on our property.

Can you find the moose?

During the summer, I rarely see foxes, but lately they visit every day.
One small female is very tame.
If I'm outside working, she rests nearby, watching carefully.

Some mornings, she comes onto the deck and peeks in the window.
I recognize a large, regal male with silver rump.
I'm always happy to spot him.
He's cautious and keeps his distance.

the brown spot in front of the cow is one of her calves

We have moose stopping by every day.

Sometimes, when I look outside, I'm startled by a large ungulate grazing just off the deck. 
One day, a cow and her twin calves spent hours resting at the edge of our yard.
Once, I also had twins to tend, so I sympathized with her exhaustion.

Deer are drawn to the seed heads in my garden.
Sometimes a whole herd of doe and fawns graze on what's left of my perennials.
One doe that often came alone in the summer is now accompanied by twins.
I think she hid them when they were younger as she grazed nearby.
I always felt she was thin, but I suppose it was because she was feeding two.

Snow fell several days ago but is mostly melted already.
We need moisture badly.
One spark could start a devastating wildfire.

Bob went for blood work yesterday.
The blood draw site in the hospital is a small room.
After he registered, people started arriving.
Soon the room was packed, and he was still waiting.
Our county has stopped mobile testing for covid even though numbers are rising.
People now come to this little room in the hospital.
Finally, he left without having the draw.
It seemed too dangerous to expose himself to possibly sick people.
All this time we've isolated. Now we hope he wasn't exposed in the blood draw room!

Wild things are my one good thing today.
Thank you for stopping to visit.
(Perhaps you're a wild thing too....)
Smile and stay healthy.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Celebrating Fall

Our fall is brief but glorious at high altitude.
For a couple weeks we live in a golden world.

Temperatures start to drop below freezing in the night.
Wildflowers and perennials go to seed.
Bushes and trees put on a show.

On early-morning walks, we wear layers.
The forest floor turns russet and amber.
Sunlight streaming through lodgepoles has a golden cast.

Each day, there is work on the property preparing for winter.
Garden ornaments are stored.
Leaves are raked.

On sunny afternoons, we sit in sunshine on the deck with mugs of coffee.
We talk of winter as leaves drift down on our shoulders.

Tourists still visit Breckenridge, but they rarely venture onto the trails behind our house. 
If we do see people approaching, we veer into the forest.
Usually, we meet no one on our walks.

We're alert for bear and moose.
The bear are gorging, preparing for hibernation.
The bull moose are in rut, searching for mates.
The squirrels are busy storing food for the long winter.
Gray Jays, like little old men in overcoats, follow us as we walk.

Nothing remains the same.
We cherish this time of change.
We stay isolated, surrounded by beauty.
We enjoy the quiet.

Stay well - look for One Good Thing.

Thank You for visiting.


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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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