Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Taking Notice and Making a Difference

The beauty of light in winter's forest is ever-changing. I often stop to gaze and appreciate.

We've been getting small amounts of snow every few days. However, our snowpack remains too low to give us adequate moisture for summer. Temperatures fluctuate above freezing some days causing melt. During the night, lowering temperatures freeze everything solid. 

Navigating on skis and walking the neighborhood become challenging with ice underfoot. 

My amaryllis is blooming!
From bulb to bloom I've enjoyed the mystery of its growth.
Its fiery red adds a pop of color to our days.

now 18 years old, she was interested in plants from an early age

Our granddaughter, Amanda, was awarded first place in plant research at the Denver regional science fair. Now, she advances to the state science fair held in April. For her experiment, she investigated the effects of UV-degraded microplastics on aquatic primary producers - a timely topic in our modern world where plastic trash threatens the environment.

I celebrate many good things today:

light on snow, winter blooms, and a studious granddaughter trying to safeguard the natural environment

Friday, February 12, 2021

Sad/Happy News

I'm a little sad lately. A dear friend had a major accident at the ski area. A broken femur required surgery. Her fractured wrist is casted. She celebrated her 84th birthday in a Denver rehab. No visitors are allowed, but a bunch of friends Zoomed with her on her birthday. I'm reminded of the fragility of life which can and does change in an instant.

However, today, I need to celebrate. Eighteen years ago, on February 12, Bob and I became grandparents for the first time. Ben was born, and a minute later, his twin, Amanda, made her debut. I remember the elation of seeing them for the first time, right after their birth, as we gazed through the window of the neonatal unit. Bob started crying immediately. He had seemed less excited than I was initially about being a grandparent, but his heart filled with love the instant he saw them. Both of us have been smitten ever since. Today they are officially young adults. They've brought us a great deal of joy and pride. They'll graduate high school this spring and are making plans for their future.

"cooking" at about 1 year 

sharing a joke

Happy 18th Birthday, Ben and Amanda! Just thinking of you makes me smile!

Grandchildren are my One Good Thing today and every day.

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Monday, February 8, 2021

Winter's Changing Landscapes

We finally had two back to back snow storms.

The first storm started one afternoon while I was walking.
Clouds obscured the mountain as tiny ice pellets fell.

By dawn of the next day, we had 13" (33cm).

The second storm gave us about 6" (15cm).
Sunlight created a rosy glow on virgin snow.
It finally looks like winter again, though our snowpack remains below normal.

High winds over several days knocked the snow from branches.
Gusts blew some beautiful sunset clouds over the mountain.

Winter's changing landscape is my Good Thing today.
Thank you for visiting.
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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Celebrate - Small Stone - 31

we don't need a special reason to celebrate
wake and be thankful
for a new day

find one good thing - pass it on
celebrate life

this is January's final stone
thank you to all who have visited the blog
I've enjoyed your e-mails

small stone
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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Unforgettable Moments - Small Stone - 30

snow hangs like gauze in the air
a silvery glow lighting the forest
as sunbeams filter through it

an ordinary moment becomes unforgettable
watch carefully for these moments or they slip away unnoticed

small stone
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Friday, January 29, 2021

Patterns - Small Stones - 29

 evergreens frosty sentinels, sun casting lacy shadows, patterns on snow
winter's chilly canvas

be present and mindful

small stone
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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Cotton Ball Trees - Small Stone - 28

cotton ball trees in the forest after a few inches of new snow
minus 4 F (-20 C) early but warmed to 28 F (-2 C) by midmorning
our skis complained about the cold but bundled in layers we were warm

gliding through a magical forest decorated with cotton balls

small stone
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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Nature's Promise - Small Stone - 27


the sleeping winter pond holds secrets

revealed in due time by summer's warmth

a time to rest and a time to bloom
Nature's promise 

if you enlarge the snow photo, you can see rabbit tracks on the opposite bank 

be mindful of promises made and kept

small stone
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Night Terror - Small Stone - 26

fighting for release, breathing hard, battling to surface - night terror

adrenalin floods my body, escape means life or death
the dreamer is me but not me
hearing Bob's voice far away
terror subsides into sleep

I've had a handful of night terrors over the past 3 years. I scare Bob as much as myself because I thrash and call out. I never fully wake and never remember the dream. I only remember the fear.

small stone
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I created the double exposure using a selfie taken December 2020 with a photo of woven baskets casting shadows on a wall taken in Tucson, AZ, 2006. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Storm Watch - Small Stone - 25

the sky floats a white veil
to the mountain's shoulders
obscuring the peaks

storm watch

small stone
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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Bald Mountain - Small Stone - 22

I see Bald Mountain on my walks through the neighborhood. It rises above the valley opposite the Tenmile Range. I've hiked up Baldy several times, once on snowshoes when I was in my 50's. Hiking the ridgeline you encounter at least 2 false summits before finally reaching the top. It's about 10 miles to the summit and back. Hiking mountains is like navigating life. You must keep going, moving forward, and not be discouraged by setbacks (or false summits).
I must remember to tell my oldest grandchildren this! 
I hope they don't roll their eyes....

Baldy is 13,690' in altitude (4,173M). It is one of many 13,000' peaks surrounding Breckenridge.

small stone
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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Winter Shadow - Small Stone - 23

Days hover around freezing. However, high altitude sunshine is warm. As I walk, I feel body heat increasing. I tie my jacket around my waist and peel off my gloves. Some days, I walk over 6 miles. I don't feel tired and wonder if I should keep going. However,  I worry my legs might ache by evening with more mileage. 

So, I follow my shadow home.

small stone
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I hope you find time to be outdoors with your shadow, too.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Connections - Small Stone - 22

the plowed, unpaved road near my house where I like to walk

I met a neighbor and his dog this week while I was walking. They live several miles from us, and I haven't seen them since this Covid isolation began. Actually, we only recognize each other from meeting on the road - years ago we introduced ourselves, first names only. We usually stop and chat a bit. Of course, on this occasion, we stayed a road-width apart to keep our "social distance". His dog, Rosy, an ancient black lab, couldn't understand why I didn't approach to scratch her ears. I tried to ask "J" about his wife, but he raised his hand to his ear. "I'm so deaf now, I can't hear you," he said sadly. I put my hands around my mouth to funnel the sound and yelled, "Your wife! HOW IS YOUR WIFE FEELING?" A smile lit J's face, "Thanks for asking! She's great. We're both fine." 

J is much more stooped than last winter. I'm glad he's still getting outside to walk Rosy, who seems more padded around the middle than a year ago. She waddles now and moves slowly. However, sweet Rosy still wags her tail so hard, her whole body shakes. She definitely remembers my head pats and ear scratches. 

None of us really "knows" people we meet. Our hopes, goals, beliefs, happiness, and sadness are usually private matters. We meet on the road of life, say a few words, then continue on, keeping to our own course. However, there are times when even brief encounters offer much-needed uplifting connections.

Though I'm sure J didn't hear, I said quietly,
 "May Love and Peace abide with you."
Rosy looked me right in the eye.
I'm sure she understood.

The J's and Rosy's of the world are my good things today...
and the connections we manage forge.

small stone
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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Walking in the Rain - Small Stone - 21

 15 years ago
walking in the rain
before the wedding
me following with the camera (of course)

photo taken January 2006, pier off Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

Happy 15th Anniversary to our son and d-i-l!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Ethereal Beauty - Small Stone - 20

 when the sun glows off western peaks 
the sky softening with morning light
my breath catches in amazement
at such ethereal beauty

small stone
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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Gratitiude - Small Stone - 19

early morning stillness
an audio sent of my grandson playing 
Bach's Prelude in C Major for piano
closing my eyes, tears wash my face
my heart swells with love and gratitude

small stone

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unfortunately, Blogger won't let me insert audio so I can't share with you

Monday, January 18, 2021

Lake Etchings - Small Stone - 18

Lake Dillon

a frigid dawn, blown snow etching an icy lake

small stone
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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Tenmile Range - Small Stone - 17

 Over 30 years ago, I arrived in Breckenridge and was awed by the peaks of the Tenmile Range. 
It was love at first sight.

Imperial Peak (Peak 8) on far left looking toward Peak 5 of the Tenmile Range.
As you can see from the dark, rocky areas on the peaks, we need more snow.
The white ribbons are ski trails.

looking to the peaks
my heart finds home

small stone
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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Poop Bag - Small Stone - 16

When I walk the neighborhood, I wear Yak-Trax to keep from slipping on ice. I like to walk 5 miles, but if it's windy or frigid, I do less. Lately, I've been noticing plastic bags filled with dog poop on my route. I know none of my neighbors does this. So, I wondered, is a visitor discarding the poop-filled bags? 

Yesterday morning, I happened to look out the window when a tourist was walking down the street with two large dogs off-leash. (We have a leash law in Breckenridge.)  Of course, the dogs were happily running onto every property. Finally, one squatted, and the man walked into the driveway of the house to pick up. But, here's what happened: he picked up, walked out to the road, tied the bag shut, and dropped it! I couldn't believe my eyes. Why would someone pick up and then drop the plastic bag full of poop? I made an excuse for him: surely he'll pick up the bag when he returns from the walk. But, NO! The bag remained. 

I stewed about this for a couple hours. I know, I know - it's not life or death. But, who does this to the environment and also in a residential neighborhood? Finally, I called a friend up the street who knew the rental management company for the house where the man and his group are staying. The company got back to my friend last night by e-mail. They explained to the tourists that town ordinances require dogs be leashed and waste be picked up (and taken back to wherever you're renting before discarding bag).  The people apologized, saying they love the neighborhood and would follow the dog rules. Obviously, I'm not holding my breath thinking this will happen.

Am I missing something here?  Would you pick up with a plastic bag and then discard both bag and poop in a neighborhood or on a trail? Would you allow a dog to run willy-nilly in public spaces with no way (either by voice command or leash) to control them? (Especially in places where there is a lot of roaming wildlife.)

Unfortunately, this incident has badly impacted my attempt to be non-judgemental.

Finally, here is my stone:

There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.

small stone

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Tracks - Small Stone - 15


snowshoe hare tracks - the hare's fur turns white in winter - a great camouflage against the snow

morning light on snow
tracks leading into the forest
heading home

small stone
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