LIfe at High Altitude in Colorado

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

-Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Do Birds Pee and What Good is Snail Slime?

Hello Friends!
I've been busy since my last post:

Bob skiing down Cimarron on Peak 10, Breckenridge


West Ice Arena, Breckenridge




Hiking with friends in Nathrop - that's my doggy friend, Creede, in the distance

Blue River Trail, Breckenridge


Pasque Flowers in Nathrop
(too much snow in Breckenridge!)

enjoying Nature

Peak 8, Imperial Peak

However, weather at altitude changes quickly.
After a few weeks of warmer temperatures
and much snow melt,
we're back to winter.

Behind my house, a foot of new snow

Today, we glide through the purity of white.

Soon, if spring doesn't come to us,
we'll travel to find it!

When my Grandson (age 7) was visiting,
he read me some interesting facts.
I'll share them with you:
Birds do pee, but they only have one opening
for waste called a cloaca.
That's why bird poop is so runny.

Plus, snail slime can be used to soften skin.
I'm on the lookout for snails - I don't think they like snow, though...

PS My Book Review Page is up to date. Whew!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Break!

We had false-spring for over a week.
Sunshine and blue skies reigned.

In town, sitting outdoors with a treat and a coffee,
I enjoyed the views.
I removed my coat and sat in a t-shirt.
I began noticing tight buds on the aspen trees.

Of course I knew it wouldn't last.
High altitude means snow for at least a couple more months.
However, the little taste of spring was nice.

A winter storm is forecasted.
Grandchildren arrive soon over their spring breaks.
I'll be too busy playing to spend time on the computer.

Goodbye for awhile
- take care, stay well - 


(comments closed)

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Week in Review and Skywatch

Sometimes at the end of a week, it's fun to look back and remember this and that:


A female fox has been coming to our house 
for several years. (We don't feed her.)
She's very curious about what we're doing.

Sometimes, she peers in our windows.
Foxy and grandson Sam like to watch each other.


Though we've had snow showers all day,
it's been mostly sunny and spring-like this week.

At high altitude, winter hangs on through May,
so a bit of warmth and blue sky is welcome.
Sam digs in the snow with a kitchen spoon
and stops to watch planes crisscrossing above us.


On days I don't ski,
I try to walk at least five miles.
I attach "Yaktrax" to my trail shoes
so I don't slip on snow-covered/icy roads.

The snowbanks are still reaching for the sky
in front of our house.


Doesn't this look like it should be in a fairy tale?
It's a shed my friend, Pete, made for extra
storage behind their home.
I wonder if any Leprechauns are hiding in there?

The two Barbs - me on left and Barb S on right

We skied Vail yesterday and had
a belated birthday lunch at Sweet Basil
for our good friend, Barb S,
who had a terrible bicycle accident in August.
Barb turned 78 in February and, thankfully, is as healthy and active as ever.

Random Five (Thanks Nancy)

Skywatch (Thanks Yogi, Sylvia, and Sandy)

Bye for now - have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Gone but Not Forgotten

I had a dream about my mother recently.

She died when I was in my mid-30's,
so she's been gone for half my life.

Though I still think of her daily,
I've only dreamed of her twice.

Both times, my dreams were unsettling.
However, when my mother entered my dream state,
the mood suddenly changed from fearful to
calm and uplifting and happy.

In this recent dream, I was agitated because I was lost and couldn't find the right path.
I thought I'd call my mother on my cell phone.
I knew she could tell me which way to go.
However, in my dream, suddenly I realized
that I couldn't reach my mother by cell.
The shock of that thought woke me. 

I awakened with my mother on my mind
and with a smile on my face.
All day, she stayed with me - 
I didn't need a cell to reach her.

Have you ever dreamed of
someone you love who has died?

There is merely a thin veil between life and death.

The space between may seem like a dream.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Random Five

I'm happy to join Nancy at A Rural Journal
for Random Five:

1. March brings amazing skies to Summit County, CO.

2. Skiing is our main activity into April.
Views from the top of the mountain are part of the thrill.

3. Though our yard will be snowcovered through May,
inside, we enjoy a little springtime.

4. I like to think that even when we're past our prime,
the beauty within can still be seen.

5. Our grandson, Sam, teaches us to take time to smell the flowers.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stress Busters - Our World

Some antidotes for stress:

watch early-morning light leak onto the landscape

allow Nature to fill you with awe

our twin sons (soon 47!) leaving for the ski area

cherish the love of family and friends

seek solitude

be mindful of your blessings

Our World

PS All photos are taken in my backyard, Breckenridge, CO,
except the last which is a tiny cabin I pass on my cross country skis.
I have always loved its peaceful, pristine setting.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter Light

Early morning, as our son leaves to ski,
a pale lemony light permeates the forest.

Later, I glide on touring skis past blue shadows and delicate fox tracks.

New snow offers a blank canvas.

There is purity to the moment:
the "whomp" of snow packing
the creak of the skis as I climb
an inhale/exhale of breath
my beating heart

this is my turn-around point today - the Thermometer Tree
the thermometers are old and rusty - no longer accurate
plaques on the tree hold the names of deceased canines
they once roamed these trails with their families
a downed tree arches over the trail
I quickly pass beneath it

There is nothing I need to accomplish.
Muscle memory takes over - the kick and the glide.
I ski past snow-laden trees. 
In solitude, I feel connection.
I move through the blessing of winter light.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Waning Days of February and a Surprise

Can you believe February is soon over?

Bob at sunrise, Copper Mountain  - we were invited by the Summit Foundation and the Resort to ski "First Tracks" an hour before the lifts opened to the public 

We're doing a lot of downhill skiing.

Sometimes our Colorado sky is a bright blue.

Peak 9, Breckenridge Ski Resort

Other days, clouds and wind bring winter storms.

Sunrise from the village at Copper Mountain

Either way, we spend a lot of time playing outdoors. 

On weekends, grandchildren arrive.
The oldest ski while 2 year old Sam entertains us.

Sam likes to play with the old matchbox cars and trucks.
He has a bit of trouble with "r's" - 
he calls me "Mammy" instead of Grammy.

Watching the Gray Jays (he calls them "Gay Jays")
is a favorite pasttime.

Recently, I got a surprise that is brightening my week.

A former student from 20 years ago still sends me gifts.
I'm enjoying a bit of indoor springtime in February.

Did you have a surprise recently?
If so, I hope it made you smile.