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)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Blog Friendships and Still Winter in Breckenridge

When I visit my blog friends,
I think about all the people (and animals) I've "met"
all over the world.
In the 7 years I've had the blog,
I've learned about:
joys and heartaches
hobbies and skills
avid interests
diverse locales.

I travel vicariously with fellow bloggers.
I spend time in their homes.
I see what they're cooking.
I admire their gardens.
I marvel at their talents.

In short, I treat them as cherished friends.
Saying my lovingkindness mantra,
it's not unusual to include thoughts for a blog friend
along with thoughts for family and real-time friends.

I could never have imagined this connection would occur.
I still marvel at it.

A word about our weather:

when I took the above photos yesterday,
the sun shone as we walked upon frozen snow
down the Burro Trail to town

today we woke to about 6" (152mm) of wet snow
more floats downward as I write
though (hopefully) it will melt quickly
my landscape remains white

We'll escape over a western pass tomorrow,
hoping to find warmth and spring.

Could you tell me in your comments
why you blog
and also
mention your locale: 
city, state, or country?

I'd like to see how many areas are represented.
Thank you!

Poppy blooming last week at Denver Botanic Garden

(Smell the flowers for me...)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Denver in Springtime plus Congratulations!

We just returned to Breckenridge
after spending several days in Denver.
Unbelievably, the snow followed us to Denver!
Saturday night snow fell wet and heavy in the city
breaking branches, scattering blossoms,
and weighing down blooming bulbs.
Luckily, most was melted by Monday.
I declined to take any photos of the snow!

Here are a few snaps from our latest urban adventure:

Denver Skyline taken from the Hillside Neighborhood where we stayed

Millennium Bridge at night

cratered landscape along S Platte Rec Path

koi in reflecting pond - Denver Botanic Garden

spring in Denver

in the shade of a leaf, a busy bee at work

Speaking of busy bees,
two of my favorite people
deserve congratulations.

Our d-i-l, Hyun-Jung, is graduating from DU this weekend
with a degree in Community and Family Relations
plus a minor in Health Care Management.
We're proud of her hard work,
earning top grades while volunteering many hours at
her children's school and caring for her family.
Hyun-Jung is a very creative and accomplished woman -
we applaud her efforts.

Our 12 year old Granddaughter
was recently named 6th Grade Student of the Year
at her Middle School.
During the award presentation,
she was commended not only
for academic excellence,
but also for
kindness, compassion, helpfulness,
and a positive attitude.

Amanda and her parents, Jim and Michelle, after the award dinner 

This is the second year in a row Amanda
received the Student of the Year Award.
Good Job, Amanda!

The weather in Breckenridge continues swaying
between winter and spring.
Luckily, I hold the promise of spring in my heart.

Wherever you are in the world,
I hope you have something to celebrate and applaud.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Celebration Weekend

storm clouds over Baldy Mountain, Breckenridge

Winter won't release its grip on Breckenridge.
We've had rain, sleet, and snow all week.
More is on the way for the weekend.
If the sky doesn't look too threatening,
I take a 5 mile walk as soon as I awaken.
Weather changes quickly at high altitude.
I prefer not to be caught outside in a cold downpour.

Tomorrow, we leave for Denver.
Rain and snow are predicted.
We're taking the bikes in case
 there's any break in the inclement weather.

May 9 is my 71st birthday
May 10 is Mother's Day.

I'll celebrate with my Family.
My son says I'm on "bonus time"
now that I'm over 70.
I try to use the time wisely!


To me, Motherhood means patience, sacrifice,
understanding, hard work, and nurture.
The best gift to honor a mother's dedication is
the appreciation, respect, and love of her child.

I celebrate Mothers everywhere.
I give thanks for my own Mother, who lives on in my memory.
Her strength and lovingkindness still set an example for me. 
I'm especially grateful for the Mothers of my grandchildren
who endlessly protect and teach and love.

Happy Mother's Day!

(Photos of flowers were taken at lower altitude
in Aspen and Glenwood Springs - snow remains in my yard)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Traveling to Find Spring

Rec Path, Glenwood Canyon

Bob and I spent a wonderful week
enjoying the warmth and rebirth of spring.

fields of yellow Dandelions along Rio Grande Trail 

We left snow behind in Breckenridge
while we biked and hiked
in Glenwood Canyon, along the Rio Grande Trail,
and in the Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen.

Balsamroot on hillside in Glenwood Springs

In the lower elevation of Glenwood Springs,
trees, shrubs, and wildflowers are blooming.

New Growth - Glenwood Springs

We relished lush colors against the backdrop
of red rocks and blue skies.

Aspens line the way to the Maroon Bells
(road was still closed to vehicular traffic)

In the Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen,
the Maroon Bells glowed white with new snow.
Aspens were just beginning to bud as temperatures still dipped below freezing overnight. 
However, the warmth of the midday sun made
hiking and biking a joy.

Pussy Willows opening along Maroon Creek

We're back to white again in Breckenridge.
But, it's less white than it was a week ago!
Spring is slow to come to altitude,
but it's finally showing some signs of staying.

sunrise reflecting on Tenmile Range from my house in Breckenridge

I want to say a big "thank you"
to all those who commented about
photography and technique
in the last post.

delicate flax blooming in Glenwood Springs

We learn from each other!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Personal Thoughts about Photography

We just returned from a trip to find spring!
The Colorado River reflected the green of springtime in Glenwood Canyon, CO. 

I've been thinking recently about photography and story.
I'm taking less photos than usual,
trying to develop a keener eye.
Focusing my camera, I think,
"What story do I want to tell?"
Often, when I press the shutter release,
the words are already in my mind.
I want the viewer to know what I'm experiencing,
what's in my mind and heart.

Pasque Flower open in the sunshine

I'm interested in the spontaneity of natural landscapes.
I rarely stage a scene to create a still life shot.
I let Nature speak, and I try to interpret.
I like candid photos that suggest more than the visual.

I'm drawn to steps and winding trails.
I like natural curves and rough textures.
I prefer to snap the shot when a person isn't posing.
Children  and animals are the best, of course.
They disregard appearances.

along the river, the sweet smell of springtime

Sometimes, what's out of the frame or not quite in focus
is as important as what's included.

Old Rail Car used as housing along Rio Grande Trail near Aspen

I edit.
Nothing I post is right out of the camera.
I always do several drafts of anything I write.
It's no different with the photos.
Even if I shoot on the iPhone, I process the photo.
Whether I shoot in JPEG or RAW format,
the editing is part of my creative process.
Since I'm trying to practice staying in the present,
I try to use photos that I've taken recently.
The photos tell a story of what I'm experiencing now - 
not what happened last year.

We biked the Rio Grande Trail toward Aspen - the old rail bed is still visible

Photography is a learning experience for me.
Often, I learn from fellow bloggers/photographers.
Sometimes, I even ask, "What did you do to achieve that look?"
 Some talented photographers have such a rich and deep sense
of person and place that I'm amazed.

I don't hope for perfection in my photography - I prefer to play.
But, I do want to convey something truthful about my life.

Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon - new growth on trees and shrubs

Do you use photography to express something about yourself?
What kind of photos do you prefer taking?
Would I be able to know you better if I studied your photos?
Do you strive for story or do you concentrate
on the visual impact of your photos?

Thanks for sharing! 

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!