Category Archives: Creatures: Great and Small

Eight-Hour Drive

Patrón and I took an eight-hour drive that took me through Glenwood, Carbondale, Redstone, over McClure Pass, Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Cedaredge.

Crystal River

Crystal River

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We drove over the Grand Mesa first on 65, then the Old Grand Mesa Road, and stopped at the small parking spot below the Crag Crest Trail so Patrón could stretch her legs. She and I enjoyed some time sitting at the lake and walking along the road.

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I took a few pictures of sunflowers that were obviously past their prime, but they were so pretty anyway. There’s some serious standing water in the low spots, too — presumably from all the recent rains.

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We then got back on 65 at the Visitor Center and soon took off onto the Land’s End Road. That first mile or so going down is kind of spooky. (I have no idea how they do that Lands End Road Rally [?] every year without someone seriously falling off the mountain.)

Looking South.

Looking South.

Looking West.

Looking West.

It was a really nice day, but Patrón wasn’t too thrilled with being tied down in the vehicle. I gave her enough lead to hang her head out the window (I’m not a completely horrible mother), but I need to find a better way to tie her down. She got herself completely tangled in her leash and the harness I bought just to keep her in place in the vehicle. I’d hate to buy a cage for her to travel in when part of the purpose is for her to have some “head-hanging” time. But she cannot wander the vehicle. I stopped several times for her to water and pee. She did neither, and she wouldn’t get back in of her own accord—I had to lift her into the seat. I also wanted to do a little exploring (like Redstone Castle), but couldn’t with her in tow. (Why can’t I lock the doors with the keys in the ignition?!! I have another set of keys!)

I won’t take her every time, but this was interesting and fun trying to figure out what to do with her. When she tried to wallow in a dead fish, I was not completely sold on this arrangement.

Outside of Paonia, I finally saw the coal mine(s) where my son used to work. While in Paonia, I visited the Orchard Valley Farms & Market and Black Bridge Winery and discovered a new, interesting addition to their vinegars—Ripe Peach White Balsamic Vinegar. Yummy! Not sure it’s new, but it is to me.

It was a pleasant day, for sure!

Day Trip to Rifle, Colorado

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

—Confucius

I try to remember to see it. Last weekend, my daughter, her daughters, my friend, and I went to Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls, and Harvey Gap. From there, we drove through a beautiful sheep and cattle (and spring-and-wet-green) valley behind the Hogbacks, then we went through Newcastle and went back home to Rifle. We had a lot of fun, and I found it was beautiful there. I’ve lived in Western Colorado for 38 years, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen those places. Below are pictures I took of our trip. I told the grand kids that when I went up there again, I’d take them with me. I expect that will be a blast.

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Beautiful Western Colorado Weekend

Surely it will be winter again soon. But while it’s warm, I’ve taken advantage by getting Miss Patrón out for her walks. I think she’s slimming down, too. She and I went on a long one today and she never tired, so she’s doing better. I took these pictures yesterday, but I left the camera in the vehicle today. She got impatient with all the stopping we did yesterday. I owed her a real walk.

We walk on the desert behind the landfill. It doesn’t take a long time to get far enough out that it seems pretty remote. Yesterday, while we were walking, I saw something move in the distance. Since the landfill is not very far away, there are some pretty large ravens out there—but from a distance, I can’t really tell what I’m seeing. I’ve heard rumors of big cats, and I’ve seen wolves (or coyotes—I don’t know). So, I’m observant and cautious when I’m not sure. Since I walk alone (except for that silly dog who I believe would roll over and not help protect us), I’m not cavalier about the possibility of meeting wildlife. So, when I saw movement but couldn’t tell it was only a big bird, Patrón and I turned around. Once I got on top of a hill to look back, I saw it was actually a very large raven, dining on his catch. The pictures I took are below. While they didn’t turn out well, I’m posting them anyway. It was pretty fascinating to watch, but I about got an eye cramp waiting for that bird to move. He was pretty busy with his meal. Based on the number of times he took flight, I suspect he was trying to figure out how to transport his leftovers.

raven

raven raven raven raven

Patrón, irritated at having to sit, rolled on the ground next to me, bumped my arm, and generally made a pest of herself.

Patrón

I’ve stopped, yet again, to snap a picture, and you can see she just can’t seem to believe I’ve stopped again.

Patrón

And again.

Patrón

I can safely say I drove her bonkers yesterday. It’s my job.

The weekend’s over. Back to work and school for me!

Have a good week!

Wine Tour

Toured some of the Palisade wineries today. We stopped at Red Fox Cellars. What a fun place! Among other attractions, not the least of which was their wine, was this arrangement of flowers that I have filtered.

Flowers

Flowers

 

We wandered around Palisade Colorado via Clyde and his wagon.

Meet Clyde!

Meet Clyde

Meet Clyde

We had such a fun time. Palisade is a sweet little town that sits below Mt. Garfield, in Colorado. They grow grapes and make great wine. You should visit sometime.

It was a great day in Western Colorado.

#westerncolorado #palisade #winetour

 

 

Black Canyon, South Rim

Spring Hike, 2014

I took these pictures with an iPhone 5s. I think it takes pretty respectable pictures. Once I learned not to use the zoom (and I still forget) I am getting pretty consistently good pictures. I’ve also watched a few videos aimed at teaching how best to capture photos with the that camera.

This was a fun hike with my friend, Carol, on May 23, 2014. I believe she did some geo-caching along the way. And she knows stuff. I saw yellow flowers and greenish caterpillars. She saw [insert correct names here]. A hike with Carol is always informative and fun. We sat toward the top and ate lunch and enjoyed the view.

Unaweep Canyon is one my favorite places. It’s pretty every season; in rain, snow, or sunshine.

Make a Wish

Today, I drove the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Upon entering the National Park, I could go straight, to see the overlooks and the Visitor Center, or head the other direction which went to the bottom of the gorge. The ranger warned me that although the roads are good, the grade is 16% and so quite steep. The payoff was great though.

On the way down, the colors were gorgeous and vibrant.

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

 

The river is running clean, the fish were jumping, and the light was getting long. It was fairly quiet there, too. There weren’t a lot of people.

Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

 

I love these things. They’re not too special, but I got a good shot.

Make a Wish

Make a Wish

 

I went further up the road and was able to take a shot looking the other direction.

Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

 

More little plants and a bug behind.

This was just interesting.

This was just interesting.

 

This bug was so pretty, but by the time I saw him and got focused on him, he turned shy and then flew away.

Shy bug.

Shy bug.

 

The bug was not the only shy critter I focused on today. This deer was not too happy about my stopping and was getting ready to run.

Deer. Black Canyon of the Gunnision, Colorado.

Deer. Black Canyon of the Gunnision, Colorado.

 

I had a really nice day. I took more pictures on the top, then got some sunset and sundog shots outside of Montrose.

What a pretty place to live.

Serendipitous

I was going through my photos the other night and ran across this one. There’s a bee I didn’t know I’d captured. He’s on the upper right side of the photo.

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