Updated: Dec 31, 2017
Still alive! Yea! After last year's struggles following heart valve surgery, I'm happily looking forward to the wonder and mystery of each day, just one day at a time, one moment at a time, simply striving to see more clearly "what is", right now, right here.
What a marvel it is to merely experience aliveness! Wonders to be seen and felt everywhere.
Very pretty view out my bedroom window this morning, but the year is off to a rather chilly start, -28 deg C (-19 deg
F)! Nonetheless, it's delightful to see the
changing seasons and share in the blessings of this precious (yet
mysterious) quality we call "life".
Okay, I'm apparently a bit of a packrat. I have this fine collection of ancient books, including some of my old college textbooks, on a shelf in my workshop. Many of the books have probably not been opened in 30 or 40 years, perhaps it's time to dispose of them! Out they go.
And I may as well get rid of this nice djembe drum that Gayan Gregory Long made for me about 15 years ago... I haven't played it for years. My hands get too bruised playing this thing. It has a nice custom made case and a nifty waist strap, but it just sits there in it case, not being played. Perhaps this is a good time to sell it to somebody who will actually play it. (Edit: Jyoti Joy Brook is now the owner of this beautiful djembe!)
Blue Heron pondering how to get fish from a nearby frozen-solid stream. We've had some very chilly days recently, and the ice on the stream is about 4 inches thick, which presents a bit of a problem for the herons which are accustomed to fishing along here every morning. Apparently they are creatures of habit. I wonder how they survive around here in the winter. And I wonder how they stand on one leg so easily, even sometimes seeming to be asleep whilst standing on one leg.
Oh happy day! The crocuses (or croci, if you prefer) have begun to bloom in my front yard. Yea! Winter is surely ending. I like warmer weather a lot better than winter's cold.
Heavy sigh. I was changing oil in my car, and somehow while getting up off of the garage floor, that movement tore the meniscus in my knee. Darn. I can hobble ok, but now there is great discomfort whenever that knee is twisted or loaded laterally. Just an annoyance, but quite an activity spoiler. I've had so many years of excellent health, episodes like this are an excellent reminder of just how fortunate I've been for most of my life, and are also a tiny glimpse into the physical challenges which so many other people face every day.
Vultures congregating along the hiking trail that I'm on. And four more circling overhead... hmmm... is this a bad sign? I'm not nearly dead yet, you silly birds! I'm just limping a little! You'll have to go elsewhere for dinner.
Magnificent Pasque flowers beginning to bloom along Mesa Trail south of Boulder, Colorado. I think these are some of the most delightful spring wildflowers!
Spring is just beginning in the mountain foothills here in April, and these wildflowers have begun to emerge:
Hiking in Fisher Canyon, west of Moab, Utah:
Some early May wildflowers around Moab, Utah
Magnificent sandstone walls in Arches National park:
Relatively "modern" petroglyphs on sandstone wall in Arches National Park, likely made by Utes, dating to the 17th or 18th century, depicting riders on horseback tending their flock:
Splendid view, outside of Estes Park, Colorado, along the Lumpy Ridge trail:
Another view along the Lumpy Ridge trail. The rock formation in this photo always reminds me of Devils Tower in Wyoming:
Oh, isn't Nature marvelous?? Such colors, such shapes, such textures, such amazing variety.
Lovely Shooting Star flower, about 2 cm long, likes to grow in wet areas as the spring snows melt:
Hiking on the Homestead Trail south of Boulder, Colorado, this lovely little (1 cm) flower caught my eye with its splendid adornments:
Wild roses, with old life departing, new life springing forth:
Such radiant splendor in this Blanketflower!!
Beautiful Mariposa Lily, with raindrops:
This delightful little (1/2 cm) flower is called Deptford Pink:
Lovely view from the end of Long Lake, near Ward, Colorado:
Lake Isabelle, at an elevation of 3300 m (11,000 ft) in the glorious Colorado Rocky Mountains:
These Parry Primrose flowers, often found along streams, are such a spectacular color:
The hillsides along the Fourth of July Trail, near Eldora, Colorado, look like flower gardens:
Beautiful Columbine flowers along the trail:
Perhaps you can see why they call these flowers "Elephant Heads"...
This is Brook Saxifrage, which likes to grow along streams, and has these tiny little flowers that look like propellers:
Found these nice petroglyphs along the Dragonfly Trail outside of Silver City, New Mexico... now I see why this is called the Dragonfly Trail:
Another cluster of petroglyphs nearby:
A lizard sunning herself along a stream:
Cute little toad trying to hide from me:
Spectacular rock formations in Kasha-Katuwe National Monument near Santa Fe, New Mexico:
These formations are made of volcanic ash which has eroded. In some places, the volcanic ash is around 200 feet deep!
Fall colors are arriving in the Colorado mountains in late September:
Strolling amongst the trees... just meandering along the path:
I met this fellow traveller along the path. She looks a lot like a Monarch, but is actually called a Painted Lady:
Most of the Aspen trees turn brilliant golden yellow in the fall, but some have a splendid reddish orange hue:
Looks like winter is beginning up in the mountains, and the colors are changing down here on the flatlands This is the view from my backyard:
Changing colors in southern Colorado, as viewed from atop Wolf Creek Pass:
Changing colors between Ridgway and Telluride, Colorado:
Multi-colored mountains, south of Telluride, Colorado:
Strange rock formations in the Bisti Badlands, south of Farmington, New Mexico. Looks like an emu on top of the hill at the left:
More bewildering rock formations in the Bisti Badlands. There are called Cracked Eggs:
Wings atop hillsides in the Bisti Badlands. They remind me of eagle rays in the ocean:
And yet more fantastic work of erosion in the Bisti Badlands:
Not many opportunities to go hiking in November, but I did interrupt these deer having a late afternoon snack:
I've been blessed with generally good health for most of my life, and for that I'm thankful. Nonetheless, just as I was continuing to recover from last year's heart valve surgery, a pinched nerve in my neck and a torn meniscus in my knee put an end to, or greatly reduced, a lot of my favorite activities during much of this year.
Thanks to the marvelous healing ability of the body (and some physical therapy), the knee is much better now and the neck pain (which radiates in nasty muscle spasms across my shoulders and sometimes into the upper arms) is reduced somewhat. These annoyances have really cut down on my "public appearances" and slowed down my updating of this web page during the year. This too shall pass! Things change, and life goes on.
Lovely hawk happily sitting atop a tree. Viewed from my kitchen window:
Bought a Yamaha guitar to take travelling... now I just need to find someplace to go!
Well... that's it for 2017. Now, onward into the mystery...