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Life... ya gotta be doin' something...

 

2014 Adventures

Updated:11-Apr-2015

January

Not much snow here in Longmont, Colorado in early January, but the air is rather chilly. I don't know how cold it was during the night, but at 8 AM, with bright sunshine, the temperature is only -23 deg C (-10 deg F)... brrrr.

january_snow

Too chilly here. So, I'm going to head somewhere warmer for a while.


February

Off to Puerto Morelos, Mexico for a couple of weeks. View from my hotel room balcony:

balcony_view


Went snorkeling near the reef, about 500 m (1/3 mile) from shore. Visibility underwater was not very good, perhaps 10 to 15 m (30 to 40 ft). Here are a few of the creatures that I met along the way:

Trumpet Fish:

pm_reef_1


Trunk Fish:

pm_reef_trunk_fish

pm_reef_2

pm_reef_3 


Yellow Stingray... color changing camouflage:

pm_reef_yellow_stingray

pm_reef_4


Puerto Morelos beach:

puerto_moelos_beach


The old lighthouse (foreground, damaged by hurricanes) and the new lighthouse (background, set back from beach-front):

puerto_morelos_lighthouse


Dances of Universal peace in Puerto Morelos:

dup_in_puerto_morelos

dup_puerto_morelos


Sunrise view from my hotel balcony:

sunrise_puerto_morelos 

 

March

Fantastic shapes in Kasha-Katuwe (Tent Rocks) National Monument, near Santa Fe, New Mexico:

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katuwe_2

katuwe_3


Spring flowers emerging near Carlsbad Caverns, new growth emerging from the clutter:

mar_flowers_1 


Ancient sea-bed and coral, now mountain tops, in the Guadalupe Mountains, near Carlsbad, New Mexico:

guadalupe_1


A few spring colors in the mountains near Carlsbad, New Mexico::

mar_flowers_1  mar_flowers_2 

mmar_flowers_3  mar_flowers_4


Devil's Hall, in the Guadalupe Mountains, cut through the rock by a seasonal mountain stream:

guadalupe_2

 

April

Hmmm.... not much going on in April in Colorado. A few wildflowers are emerging: 

apr_flowers_1 apr_flowers_2

 

May

Heading to the magnificent red rock of Moab, Utah.

This is Delicate Arch, a 20 m (65 ft) sandstone arch, with the snow capped La Sal Mountains in the background:

may_moab_1


Brilliant Claret Cup cactus near Delicate Arch:

may_moab_2


And a beautiful Ball Cactus, also near Delicate Arch:

may_moab_2


Some wildflowers in and around Arches National Park in the merry month of May:

may_flowers_1 may_flowers_2 may_flowers_3
may_flowers_5 may_flowers_4 may_flowers_12
may_flowers_7 may_flowers_8 may_flowers_9
may_flowers_6 may_flowers_10 may_flowers_22
may_flowers_13 may_flowers_14 may_flowers_15
may_flowers_16 may_flowers_17 may_flowers_18
may_flowers_23 may_flowers_21 may_flowers_20


Petroglyphs along the Mill Creek Trail, just outside Moab, Utah:

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Magical rock formations, Fisher Towers, a few miles east east of Moab, Utah:

may_moab_4


Some May wildflowers in Colorado: 

may_flowers_24 may_flowers_26 may_flowers_25

June

A very content butterfly:

jun_butterfly_1 

Blue Heron looking for a snack:

jun_heron_1

I can't help it... these Penstemons look like a couple of odd creatures with eyeballs on stalks, and white tongues:

jun_faces_1

A few June wildflowers in Colorado:

jun_flowers_1 jun_flowers_2 jun_flowers_3
jun_flowers_4 jun_flowers_5 jun_flowers_6
jun_flower_9 jun_flowers_7 jun_flower_8
jun_flower_10 jun_flower_11 jun_flower_12
jun_flower_13 jun_flower_14 jun_flower_15
jun_flower_16 jun_flower_17 jun_flower_18

Big Horn Sheep contentedly sunning themselves at an altitude of 3700 m (12,100 ft) along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park:

jun_rmnp_1

And this is the magnificent view that the Big Horn Sheep are looking out across:

jun_rmnp_2

North Saint Vrain creek filled with snow-melt runoff, as well as some left-over bits of trees large and small, in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park in mid-June:

jun_cold_water

Beautiful Fairy Slipper Orchids along the Ouzel Falls trail in Rocky Mountain National Park... surprising treats hidden in the shade of the forest:

jun_fairy_slipper

Also along the Ouzel Falls trail in Rocky Mountain National Park were these tiny Spotted Coral-Root Orchids, nearly hidden in deep shade under the evergreen trees.... magnificent little flowers on dead-looking brown stalks. These tiny flowers are only about 3 mm (1/8 inch) across the spotted white tongue:

jun_colralroot


On the Mesa Trail in the foothills near Boulder, Colorado, it seemed that I was hearing some very delicate, very faint footsteps behind us. And when I turned to look, a little fox was following patiently about 4 feet behind us, just waiting for an opportunity to get past us. So we stepped a few feet off of the trail, and the bushy-tailed little fox trotted right on past us, happily headed homeward with dinner for the family:

jun_fox_1

And shortly after that lovely encounter, a passing rain shower produced this exquisite (and faintly double) rainbow:

jun_rainbow_1

 

July

A lot of rain this summer in Colorado. Not so much fun for hiking, but the plentiful wildflowers are a delightful treat.

jul_flowers_1 jul_flowers_2 jul_flowers_3
jul_flowers_4 ajul_flowers_5 jul_flowers_6
jul_flowers_7 jul_flowers_8 jul_flowers_9
jul_flowers_10 jul_flowers_11 jul_flowers_12
jul_flowers_13 jul_flowers_14 jul_flowers_15
jul_flowers_17 jul_flowers_16 jul_flowers_18
jul_flowers_19 jul_flowers_20 jul_flowers_21
jul_flowers_23 jul_flowers_22 jul_flowers_24
 jul_flowers_25

On the way homeward after a hike.... beautiful double rainbow sweeping through the dark sky:

jul_rainbow_1 

Native American cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park:

jul_cliff_dwelling_1

About 30 Turkey Vultures roosting in a tree, near one of the cliff dwellings. Apparently very social critters::

jul_vultures


Another view of a Native American cliff dwelling:

jul_cliff_swelling_2

This is an odd sign... if we're supposed to overlook something, why would they point at it with a sign? Gees, if I wanted to keep someone from looking at something, I surely would not put up a sign!

jul_overlook


Magnificent mountains near Telluride, Colorado:

jul_telluride_1

Oh, the Blue Columbine flowers are so magnificent:

jul_columbine_!


August

This pesky Marmot was chirping loudly at anything and everything along the Fourth of July hiking trail, near Nederland, Colorado. This large rodent, a relative of squirrels, was perhaps about 1/2 m (20 inches) tall:

aug_marmot

Hummingbird Moth having dinner from some lovely Larkspur along the Fourth of July trail:

aug_moth_1


August in Colorado has been very wet and cool, which makes the wildflowers very happy:

aug_wildflowers_1 aug_wildflowers_2 aug_wildflowers_3
aug_wildflowers_4 aug_wildflowers_5 aug_wildflowers_6
aug_wildflowers_7 aug_wildflowers_11 aug_wildflowers_9
aug_wildflowers_10 aug_wildflowers_8 aug_wildflowers_12
aug_wildflowers_13 aug_wildflowers_14 aug_wildflowers_15
aug_wildflowers_16 aug_wildflowers_17 aug_wildflowers_18
aug_wildflowers_19 aug_wildflowers_20 aug_wildflowers_21
aug_wildflowers_22 aug_wildflowers_23 aug_wildflowers_24
aug_wildflowers_25 aug_wildflowers_26 aug_wildflowers_27
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aug_wildflowers_31 aug_wildflowers_32 aug_wildflowers_33
aug_wildflowers_34 aug_wildflowers_35 aug_wildflowers_36
 aug_wildflowers_37

An ever-curious (and apparently ever-hungry) Chipmunk munching on a grape (a snack from my hiking pack), near Lake Isabelle  in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, near Ward, Colorado:

aug_chipmunk

Beautiful Blue Columbine flowers near Lake Isabelle:

aug_columbine_1 

A splendid field of wildflowers on the south side of Long Lake, in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, near Ward, Colorado:

aug_long_flowers

A beautiful bouquet of Indian Paintbrush flowers, along Long Lake:

aug_paintbrush_1

Elephant Head flowers ( I wonder why they chose that name) along Long Lake:

aug_heads

Tiny Wood Nymph flower, near Long Lake. This shy little flower is about 12mm (half inch) across, and hangs with the flower "face" pointed toward the ground:

aug_nymph

A very unusual wildflower called Spotted Touch-Me-Not (or Spotted Jewelweed) discovered along a creek in north Boulder, Colorado. The 25mm (1 inch) long tubular orange flower (with a cute little curvy little tail) hangs beneath the leaves of the plant:

aug_jewelweed

A wild Turkey meandering through the woods, along the Green Mountain hiking trail, near Boulder, Colorado:

 aug_turkey

 

September

Lovely Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park:

ouzel_falls


A few wildflowers are still happily blooming in Colorado in September:

sep_wildflowers_1 sep_wildflowers_3 sep_wildflowers_2
sep_wildflowers_4 sep_wildflowers_5 sep_wildflowers_6


Magnificent red rock countryside near Moab, Utah:

red_rock_1


A few photos of an area called Fiery Furnace, in Arches National Park:

fiery_furnace_1


fiery_furnace_2


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These cacti greatly amused me... the one in the middle looks like a chubby alien being, with two very sharp eyes:

cactii_being

 

October

Beautiful autumn day, brilliant blue sky and the leaves are just beginning to change color. The view out my kitchen window:

autumn_1


A sure sign of fall arriving, lovely St John's Wort in bloom along a favorite hiking trail:

st_johns

 

November

Spectacular sunset, with mammatus clouds appearing beneath a mountain wave cloud:

nov_sunset_1

 

December

This pesky coyote just kept standing in the middle of the hiking trail. He was so unconcerned about humans approaching that I wondered if he might be rabid, but after I did some yelling and arm waving, he finally made a leisurely retreat into the nearby brush:

coyote_1


Well, winter finally seems to be arriving here in Colorado, with it's own unique manner of wonder and beauty:

winter_1