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

 

2022 Adventures

Updated: January 31, 2023

January

I'm growing a bit weary of this Covid plague. I haven't been more than 50 miles from my home for nearly two years, but nonetheless I'm thankful for good health and thankful that I live in a state where there are such spectacular natural wonders nearby.

Snowy, yet quite lovely!

snowy day


Could it be aliens? Quite an oddly shaped cloud at sunset:

alien clouds

 

February

Snow, snow, and more snow. I suppose that I should know by now that we get snow here in Colorado, but I'm bummed that we're getting so much, so frequently this year. I'd rather be outside running and hiking.

snow


We've had some lovely sunsets this month, here are a couple of them. This sunset captured my attention with its clear blue sky, orange/ red glow on the horizon and the first tiny sliver of moon hanging overhead:

sunset 1


Very busy sky this evening! Lots of different shapes, air currents meandering off in different directions:

sunset 2

 

March

Finally, the snow is melting and the grass is beginning to regain some green. I am grateful!

no snow


This is very encouraging! The first crocus flowers flowers have emerged in my yard:

crocus flowers

 

April

Yipee! Signs of springtime emerging along the local hiking trails. The flowers may be tiny, but they certainly cheer me up!



I am always so delighted to find these lovely Pasque flowers with their delicate colors, fuzzy leaves, and exuberant stamens!

pasque flower

May

I'm always amused by the unexpectedly baggy, lumpy appearance of mammatus clouds, such as these, seen from my back yard:

mammatus couds


And I'm always delighted by the variety of cacti blooming in the Colorado mountains, such as these lovely yellow flowers:

yellow cactus


I've seen at least 60 different varieties of wildflowers so far this month in the Colorado foothills, but none that delight my eyes more than the cactus flowers, due to their unusual colors and a remarkable sort of translucent/iridescent appearance of each flower petal, such as this:

purple cactus


Close-up of a fuzzy Penstemon. No wonder some people call these flowers Beardtongues:

penstemon


What a difference a day makes! Here was Saturday afternoon, not very good for running or hiking, as seen from my backyard:

saturday snow

And here's Sunday afternoon. A whole different world, just 24 hours later:

sunday sunshine

 

June

Silly rabbit, pretending to be totally invisible as I get into my car after a hike at Hall Ranch west of Lyons, Colorado:

invisible rabbit


Summer has arrived, with wonderful opportunities for hiking and running.

On a hike at ButtonRock near Lyons, Colorado this hillside caught my eye because none of the rocks seem to be in the same plane, they're all twisted, tormented and fractured in every direction:

twisted rocks


A lovely Columbine flower, posing for a photo:

columbine


Lovely family of brilliant hot-pink Shooting Star flowers along a little creek:

shooting star flowers


Some lovely Puccoons, showing off in the sunshine:

puccoon flowers


Personally, I try to stay out of the thistles, but this butterfly is really loving this one:

butterfly on thistle


Yea! Some more cacti. A Prickly Pear flower this time:

prickly pear cactus flower


McGregor Falls. There's not actually any proper hiking trail to get here, you just need to bushwhack your way along the creek until you find it, in the Lumpy Ridge area of Rocky Mountain National Park. The fallen trees make the waterfalls difficult to see, but there are eight or nine cascading falls all in row:

McGregor Falls


Not long after the snow melts, these lovely Coral Root orchids begin to appear in the wooded areas. The colorfully spotted "tongue" of each flower is only about an eight of an inch (3 mm) wide:

coral root flowers


These delicate little Saxifrage flowers were in bloom all along the creeks:

saxifrage flowers


The boulders on top of that hill look (to me) like some interesting characters. Sentinels perhaps:

hilltop rock formation


A sad day. I was leaving Estes Park, Colorado at dusk, after a great day of hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, when a deer suddenly ran out of the woods and into the road. Fortunately we were only going about 45 mph when the deer appeared, and I had time hit the brakes before impact. Nonetheless, I hit the deer, and ran completely over it. I pulled over and looked at both the car and deer. The deer was clearly quite dead, but the car wasn't! The car had no obvious fluid leaks, the headlights were ok, the steering and brakes seemed fine, so I was able to drive on home. I was very fortunate to be going relatively slowly, and to have a brief moment to hit the brakes before the impact. It could have been a lot worse.

car after hitting deer

 

July

A lovely spotted variety of Saxifrage, this flower is about half an inch (1cm) across:

spotted saxifrage


A lovely Mariposa Lily, about 2 inches (5 cm) wide:

mariposa lily


A white Trumpet flower, about 2 inches long:

white trumpet flower

Finally, the snow is mostly melted in the high mountains, and the hiking trails up there are fully open and not too muddy. So, off to do some more hiking up a bit higher than last month's hikes.

Brilliantly colored Parry Primrose flowers, along a creek, near Long Lake in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, near Ward, Colorado:

Parry Primrose

 
I had never seen this flower before, at first I thought it was just a large clover, but the flowers are quite unusual. It's called Parry's Clover:

 Parry's Clover


So lovely!  A cluster of Blue Columbine flowers, posing for a family photo:

blue columbines


It is so easy to just stroll by these frequently-seen flowers along the mountain trails, but it's really worthwhile to stop and look at their beauty up close. This is a Yellow Stone Crop flower, less than half and inch (4 cm) wide:

 stone crop


This is lovely Lake Isabelle, at an elevation of around 11,000 ft. A wonderful destination for a mid-summer picnic:

Lake Isabelle


The eastern end of Long lake at an elevation of around 10,600 ft:

east end of Long Lake

August

To start off the month, I met this new flower along the Cub Lake trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, although the name is not quite so magnificent as the flower. This is allegedly called Marsh Woundwart:

marsh woundwart


Late afternoon light across Bear Lake, in Rocky Mountain National Park. The stillness of the water produced such a splendid reflection:

bear lake


And up the trail a bit farther, Nymph Lake:

nymph lake

September

Oh no. These Gentians are a sign that summer is over! Lovely flowers, but a sad omen:

blue gentians

Lake Isabelle:

lake isabelle


My imagination sees a wooden bird on this log:

bird shaped log

Lovely sunset at the end of a hike to/from Lake Isabelle:

brainard sunset


Fall colors at Caribou Ranch:

fall colors 2


Fall colors along the road to Brainard Lake:

fall color 1


Fall colors along the Peak-to-Peak Highway, near Ward, Colorado:

fall colors pk to pk highway

 

October

Time for a little road trip! I haven't been out of Colorado since this nasty Covid mess started, but now I'm hankerin' to go somewhere, anywhere. Off I go... here are some of the fall colors around Wolf Creek Pass:

wolf creek pass fall colors


On Wolf Creek pass, looking to the west:

west of wolf creek pass


I stayed in Durango overnight, and had a mighty fine breakfast at the College Drive Cafe. Red chili sauce on the outside, with green chilies and cheese on the inside:

breakfast


I thought I might head to Page, Az after breakfast, but there is a storm moving in around there. So, I'm going to meander over to Monument Valley in Northern Arizona, and head up toward Moab:

heading into monument valley


These red rock formations are so magnificent! But it surely must be a harsh life for those who struggle to eke out a living on the Navajo Reservation:

moumnet vallley 1

monument valley 2

monument valley 3


And on up the road to Moab, where I spent another night. Dinner at pasta Jay's and an exquisite omelet breakfast at the Jailhouse Cafe. Then on up the road to Arches National Park.

These sandstone figures, probably 100 to 150 ft high, look (to me) like a gathering of very tall friends:

a favorite rock formation


And here's balanced rock:

balanced rock


Layer upon layer of sandstone, with each layer having it's own color and shape:

layer upon layer of sandstone

 

November

Yup, it's getting to be that time of the fall... although I'm certainly not eager for the return of winter:

snow


Great humor, from the internet:

crows


Well, here's another dilemma on a hiking trail... I can't decide which root to take:

tree roots


Lovely sunset:

red sunset

 

December

It seems that whenever the outdoor temperature is below -5 deg F (-20 deg C), my window frames get covered with ice:

ice on window frame


A lovely sunset in a cold, clear sky with the new moon heading for the horizon:

lovely sunset


No doubt there will be a lot more snow this winter, but we're already ahead of the seasonal average, so maybe it will slow down a bit in the coming weeks:

more snow


That's it for 2022! I'm hoping to get out and about much more in 2023. Off we go........