Friday, June 29, 2012

Mariposa Lily

hearing thunder
watching and waiting
smiling as rain falls
dripping through evergreens
quenching a parched earth

Mariposa Lily after rain

This morning, I checked if the Mariposa Lilies were blooming near West Ice Arena in Breckenridge. The ground was still damp from last night's rain. Wildflowers looked fresh in the filtered light of the forest. I'm still practicing with my magnifier lens. These photos are handheld - I'm finding it difficult to stay still enough when I press the shutter. But, the Lilies were creamy and lovely to behold! These delicate lilies grow for a brief time in early summer. Even though they've been stressed by the unusual dryness, they managed to bloom. 
This morning they glistened and glowed in the sunlight.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fires in Colorado

We are in a dangerous situation in Colorado. At least 9 wildfires rage throughout the state. Many of our beautiful wilderness areas are burning. Fires have destroyed homes and businesses and have caused the evacuation of thousands of residents from one of the major cities, Colorado Springs. 

Insufficient moisture started this past winter with low snowpack. Spring was very dry with little rain. Forests already have a great deal of dead-wood from beetle-killed lodgepole pines. The understory is like tinder ready to ignite. Some of our fires started from lightning strikes and others were set by humans either purposely or by carelessness. 

Here in Summit County where I live, we have no fires burning at present. However, we are surrounded by wilderness which seems ready to ignite. We watch the skies for storm clouds which might bring needed rain but also dreaded lightning. We hear the news and see the video coverage of devastation in other areas.  

My husband and I go about our days normally. We are ready if we must evacuate, but meanwhile there is nothing we can do but live our lives. We realize others are not so lucky and are suffering. I cannot imagine the destruction of the wilderness I love, but I see that it is happening all over our state.

As the sun sets on another day, I'm grateful for the beauty all around me. I give thanks for the men and women who are working hard on the front lines of the fires, trying to save habitat and homes. I hope for rain to wet the mountains and the forests and the grasslands. Meanwhile, we watch and wait. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Front Yard Wildflowers

In late fall, when there is a foot of snow on the ground at my high attitude house, I mix sand and wildflower seeds.
I fling the mix upon the snow and wait.
When the snow melts, I begin watching my front yard.

Senecio and Purple Lupine

Icelandic Poppy

Paintbrush and Lupine
By the first day of summer, there is a riot of color.
Patience pays.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Advise to Myself


Old Man of the Mountain Alpine Sunflower facing east toward the sun

If conditions become harsh, turn toward a sustaining warmth.

When the path is steep and rough, increase resolve.

tiny Pygmy Bitterroot - high alpine tundra  

Fragility doesn't equal defeat.

Balsamroot growing in talus

In inhospitable conditions, hang on and thrive.

Red Fox

Show confidence - walk on the wild side.

Taking in views of South Park from Black Powder Pass (approx. 12,000' altitude)

Life has both peaks and valleys. Understand and appreciate both.

Fox photo taken in my back yard, Breckenridge, CO.
All other photos taken June 11, 2012, on high alpine tundra of Black Powder Pass, Summit County, CO. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Finding Our Way

My friend, Mary, gave me a series of quotes on cards for my birthday. 
I flip to a new one each day. 
Here is today's:

do not follow where the path may lead
go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail

The quote reminded me of our recent hike in Bryce Canyon, UT.

We came upon a rock slide just at the point where we had to ascend to get out of the canyon.
What to do?

The way was narrow and blocked by huge boulders and scree.
We squeezed through a narrow opening in the rock and started up.

You might say we made our own trail.
It was an adventure within an adventure!

Mary and I on my 68th birthday on May 9.
Her 64th birthday was May 10.
We're wearing our Birthday Girl shirts!
(Photo by Mary's husband, Bob.)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Breathing Space

At dawn, with the moon hanging low in the sky, the Earth seems to pause. I stop in the silence and breathe. Anything seems possible.

Here's what I tell myself:

Be aware. Life is what's happening now.

Photo taken at sunrise, Bryce Canyon, UT.