Sunday, June 28, 2020

A High Altitude Summer

It's finally summertime in the mountains of Colorado.
The trails are clear of snow and wildflowers are blooming.

Globe Flowers - some of the first to bloom in the spring when snow melts

I'm outdoors as much as possible.
Unfortunately, I'm not hiking with friends.
Luckily, Bob often goes with me.

At 76, I notice some changes:
I'm slower.
I must be more conscious of my footing.
I need to use my hiking poles for balance.
Carrying water for hydration is necessary.
(Formerly, I could hike 5 miles without carrying water - no more!)
Crossing streams is harder.

I was able to jump Lehman Creek - but barely...

Even at home, we encounter wildlife.
There are sometimes porcupine quills at our back deck steps.
This means the porcupine has gone under the deck and could be busy chewing.
We discourage this by stomping on the deck.
If it comes out, we spray it with the hose - they don't like baths.
Moose amble onto the property, and we make loud noises so they leave.
(Often, they just look at us like we're a nuisance - disturbing their peaceful chomping on our trees.) 
We've had 2 large male bears visit - luckily they kept moving.

Cress in a boggy area along the trail

Our biggest nemesis this summer are ravens.
(Where are the foxes when I need them?)
We think a construction dumpster across the street attracts them with discarded garbage. 
(That could also be attracting bears.)

Pansy box at sunset

There are 3 resident ravens (male, female, and fledgling).
The fledgling is especially loud, crying loudly and pitifully every time the parents leave it.
(The fledgling is as big as the Mama - I can't tell them apart when she's with it.)
The fledgling can fly just fine, but the parents apparently tell it to stay on Barb's roof while they hunt.
It sits crying by the chimney so that it seems to be in the great room with me.
Neighbors are trying to figure out how to dissuade the ravens, but they seem quite content here.
Ravens usually don't hang out this high in altitude, but this summer they seem right at home.

Back deck - no ravens allowed!

When you live next to wilderness, there are positives and negatives.
Luckily, for  me, the pluses are greater than the minuses.

Brook Cress on a little island in Lehman Creek

We only venture among people for groceries and errands.
We know quite a few people who tested positive and were very ill.
There is no reason to expose ourselves unnecessarily.
We miss family and friends but stay in contact by phone or text.
Occasionally, our sons come to the house, and we sit on the deck to visit.

beaver pond with Peak 10 in distance

All in all, our life continues much as it normally does.
I want to thank those of you who have e-mailed me, inquiring about our health.
Spring and summer are always busy, and I find less and less time for the computer.

sun flair in forest

Please stay well.
Find One Good Thing to make you smile.

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