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

 

2021 Adventures

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

January

I suppose this is pathetic, but getting my second vaccination was the highlight of January!

vaccination

The mRNA vaccine sounds like a brilliant idea. I sure hope it works!

Our bodies already produce and utilize messenger RNA (mRNA) every minute of the day to produce various proteins which are needed to keep these bodies going. So a very clever, and amazingly persistent, researcher, Katalin Karik√≥, realized that a custom-made mRNA strand  could tell the body to produce a new protein which is similar to a protein on the surface of an invading disease virion which would, in turn, stimulate the body's immune system to recognize and attack the virion. And, conveniently, each cell naturally destroys the mRNA after making the desired protein. Brilliant! So far, the idea seems to be working quite well!

Hiking near Boulder, Colorado today, and I wish I had a better photo of this Bald Eagle munching on a fish which she had just pulled out of this pond, but all I had with me was my cell phone camera... so you'll have to use your imagination:

 bald eagle

February

We had a few rather chilly days, with overnight temperatures around -15 deg (-26 deg C), which caused the humidified air inside the house to condense on the windows and form ice, mostly on the aluminum window frame:

window ice


Pleasant 50 deg (10 deg C) temperature today, quite windy, with very dry air and very little haze. Long's Peak, near the center of this photo, is about 30 miles (50 km) away, but looks so close and clear today, as viewed from a hiking trail on Rabbit Mountain east of Lyons, Colorado:

longs peak


Some standing lenticular clouds formed by the high winds aloft. Mostly I just liked the colors and contrasts in this scene:

lentiucular clouds

 

March

Could spring be arriving? This lovely Bluebird at Hall Ranch seems to think so:

bluebird


Well, it turns out that winter has not yet departed. I took this photo at about 10 PM as a snowstorm was just winding down:

night snow


And the next day, the sky was somewhat blue. And so was I, because I'd much rather be finished with winter:

snow in the daytime


After considerable groaning and moaning, I headed out to shovel my driveway. It took a while:

driveway snow


Hallelujah! On a hike near Boulder, I spied this tiny little Filaree flower! Yippee! Making progress toward Springtime:

harbinger of spring

 

April

Lovely day for a hike up the hills of Hall Ranch, west of Lyons, Colorado:

hall ranch


Hiking along the Mesa trail near Boulder Colorado. What a splendid day! Sunny. Blue sky. Delightful.

mesa trail


Ahh, good. The snow has been staying away for a while and the grass is getting green. Maybe the snow is over:

snow is gone


Oops. I spoke too soon, the snow is not finished:

snow is back


Sooner or later this snow will surely stop.

The snow looks quite beautiful on the high mountain peaks, as seen from along Golden Ponds, near my home:

golden ponds

 

May

It seems that the snow may be finished down here on the flatlands, and all those April showers (of snow) are awakening the spring flowers! Yea!

Here are some of the flowers I've met along the local hiking trails in May:



golden smoke

pucoon


wood sorrel buttercup
coral root
puccoon golden banner canada violet
green gentian blue penstemmon
blue lupine


Late afternoon sunlight and shadows on a greening hillside along the Mesa Trail south of Boulder, Colorado:

shadows


Odd collection of cloud shapes in the late afternoon sky at the end of a hike today:

strange clouds


June

A lovely late afternoon in Betaso Preserve, just west of Boulder, Colorado:

betaso afternoon


A lovely Sugar Bowl flower, a variety of Clematis:

sugar bowl


Trail to Bridal Veil Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park:

bridal vei trail


Bridal Veil Falls:

bridal veil falls


Along the Bridal Veil Falls trail:

trail to bridal veil falls


Ouzel Falls near Brainard Lake:

ouzel falls


I would rather see flowers and birds and streams, but today I met two snakes whilst meandering around Buttonrock Reservoir. First, this well disguised, almost invisible Bull Snake:

bull snake


And then, not long after that, I met this very colorful Milk Snake which has the coloring of a poisonous snake, but is not. This one was certainly easy to see!

milk snake

 

July

There have been a lot of cool, rainy days in this month, and hiking in the mountains has been delayed due to snow covered and/or muddy trail conditions.

Finally, the trail to Isabell Lake opened up. Yea! Such a lovely lake at 10,900 ft elevation! It was a cloudy and cool day, yet oh so beautiful:

isabelle 1


And another view at Lake Isabelle:

isabelle 2

 

It seems to come as a surprise to me that I'm getting older. I first began running about 40 years ago, and have been an avid (albeit slow) runner for all these years, and despite my attempts to run faster, I just keep getting slower and slower. I figure that I have run well over 25,000 miles on local streets, trails and sidewalks. Very funny, that's enough miles to have run all the way around the world, but I never even made it out of town.

I wondered if this slow-down is just me, or if this is a typical effect of aging, so I started a literature search and found an interesting article entitled: Accelerated Longitudinal Decline of Aerobic Capacity in Healthy Older Adults which said:

The rate of decline in peak VO2 in healthy adults is not constant across the age span in healthy persons, as assumed by cross-sectional studies, but accelerates markedly with each successive age decade, especially in men, regardless of physical activity habits.

And they provided this sobering graph of human aerobic performance changes over the years:

vo2 decline with age

And when I look back at my running times 40 years ago, when I was in my mid-30's, and compare them to today, my experience exactly matches their graph. Heavy sigh. So, I'll just have to be content with what I can do!

Long, long ago, when I was in High School, one year I went out for Track. However, I ran so slowly, and was also so miserable getting over hurdles, that the coach had me throw the discus, which I was also not good at! Oh well. I'm still alive!

Another lovely day, and a lovely hike near Rollinsville, Colorado, in the midst of a splendid array of wildflowers. Here's a sample of a few:

rollinsville flowers


And here's a closeup of a delightful Monkeyflower which was hiding in a swampy area:

monkeyflower


Ah, amusement. There's a Tex-Mex restaurant in Austin, Texas which posts a new sign every day, and when I saw this sign on the internet, I understood what it means when someone arrives late:

late


Yup, actions can certainly speak louder than words!

 

August

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, heading up to Mills Lake. Very busy trail, reminded me of DisneyLand for the first couple of miles, until the crowd thinned out. Here's the lake, at about 10,000 ft elevation:

mills lake


A fine surprise! This lily in my back yard had not bloomed for several years, and I had totally forgotten about it. But it had not forgotten how to bloom, so up it popped:

surprise lily


Magnificent hike up to Blue Lake, west of Ward, Colorado. Lovely little stream with lots of wildflowers on its banks:

stream near blue lake


There sure are a lot of rocks in the Rocky Mountains:

rocks


Hiking around Long Lake and up to Lake Isabelle today, and saw this very funny broken tree which looks sort of like woody woodpecker:

broken tree


A stream on the way up to Lake Isabelle:

stream on the way


Lovely Lake Isabelle, at about 11,000 ft elevation:

lake isabelle


September

Hiking in the aptly named Lumpy Ridge area of Rocky Mountain National Park, such splendid formations:

lumpy ridge formations


Along a favorite creek in the Lumpy Ridge area, a great place for a snack, sitting on the rocky banks of the stream:

lumpy ridge creek


Hiking along a stream in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park:

wild basin stream


Oh my. I love the brilliant colors of the trees, but I'm not so keen on the idea that winter will soon cover this area with snow, and put an end to my fair-weather hiking:

peak to peak highway


Hiking in an aspen grove, with pure blue sky overhead. The yellows, golds and blue go together so nicely:

aspen grove


Miles and miles of lovely colors, along the Peak-to-Peak Highway, north of Nederland, Colorado:

aspen hillside

 

October

Meandering through a brilliantly colored aspen grove, in the Caribou Ranch area, north of Nederland, Colorado, in late afternoon. This is one of my favorite photos of the year:

aspen grove


Whilst I was out for a stroll around a little lake about a mile from my home, this serene scene with the mountains, blue sky, changing leaves and peacefully grazing cattle caught my eye:

cows


Hiking along the Homestesd Trail south of Boulder, Colorado on a lovely fall day:

homestead trail


And now for something entirely different... this photo is of a risk-taker who passed me on the road, going over 45 mph in traffic on an electric scooter with two tiny little tires. He stayed on this busy street, passing cars and garnering doubletakes from motorists, for a couple of miles before turning:

45 mph scoooter

 

November

This was a surprise! Whilst out for a walk in my neighborhood, this rose was blooming... in November, in Colorado! Global warming?

november rose


A colorful sunset, viewed from my backyard:

sunset


Walking around Lake McIntosh, about a mile from my home, on a nice sunny late November day. Snow on the mountains, dry down here on the flatlands:

lake McIntosh

 

December

For amusement, I signed up for an Ancestry DNA test to see where my distant ancestors might have come from. I was really hoping for some astonishing surprises, but alas, here are my results:

Ethnicity Estimate:

     England and Northwestern Europe 47%
     Scotland 26%
     Ireland 11%
     Sweden and Denmark 10%
     Wales 3%
     Norway 3%

Out of all this entire vast world of possibilities, my DNA most closely resembles the people who live in these areas:

ancestry map


I was a bit surprised to have such a significant Scottish and Irish genetic component. But really I was hoping for some much more intriguing surprise, perhaps evidence of some unexpected liaisons somewhere along the bloodline, perhaps relatives from the middle east, or maybe native american, but alas the result seems rather unspectacular. Oh well, I guess that's entirely appropriate for me!

On Dec 30, hurricane-force winds up to 105 mph were blowing south of Boulder, Colorado when somehow a fire broke out and quickly spread through residential communities and businesses in Superior and Louisville, killing two people and destroying nearly 1,000 homes and businesses.

The fire was about 10 to 15 miles south of my home, yet just after sunset, the fire was so huge, with flames leaping so far into the night sky, that I could see the flames from my backyard. What an unimaginable tragedy, an urban wildfire!

homes ablaze

 

Over and out for this year. And here's hoping that this Covid pandemic goes away soon.