Category Archives: Plants

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!

Funny Flower

It’s been awhile since I posted anything. Between work (busy season), work (finishing up what I started), bowling, school and the accompanying homework, and everyday stuff, I’ve been pressed for time and energy. Bowling and school are out for the summer and all work seems to have calmed down for a little bit.

I came home for lunch today and found this flower in my driveway. It’s a weed, really, but it sure was pretty, open and full. I took a lot of pictures with a real camera before I headed into the house to eat lunch. About 40 minutes later I went back outside to head back to work. I was going to shoot a quick picture with the iPhone to show a co-worker. By that time, the flower had closed up completely.

Funny Flower

When I got downtown, I noticed these flowers as I walked through the breezeway from the parking garage.

Historical Downtown Grand Junction Flower

It’s that time of year! Finally!

What to Do?!

For the class I attend this semester, Office Procedures, my classmates and I are each tasked with making a presentation. We’re not allowed to use Powerpoint so I believe I’ll have to do a video, then figure out how to post it to my YouTube channel. I’ve done it before, but mostly of my silly Patrón, or a montage of photos I’ve taken.

The biggest challenge is to decide what to present to the class. I’ve presented HDR photography before, and that is fun. It has to be a relatively simple task since the entire presentation should take somewhere between five and ten minutes.

This morning I thought perhaps, if making a video isn’t too complicated, I might try demonstrating how to make an omelet. I also thought it would be possible to get a small burner and actually cook one in class.

Alternatively, I could demonstrate how to put drops in a dog’s eyes. The fact she does not like the process could make it that much more comical. The process includes straddling her so she can’t get away, then prying open her eye—a hair-width, if I can. I then hope some of the drops that hit her lashes ooze their way into her eye where it will do some good.

Perhaps I could show how to draw a sun. With a face.

Or change a photo to art using a filter package.

How to irritate Patrón? THAT should be pretty easy. I’ve had lots of practice.

Any ideas out there? I have until Monday to get it figured out and complete.

As irritating as it is that I don’t have any wonderful ideas, this will be fun—whatever the result. I’m excited to see what others produce.

Meanwhile, here are some close-to-the-ground photos. This is such a different perspective.

deadwood

tumbleweed

It was pretty warm on the days these were shot. It’s supposed to snow this weekend. In fact, I hear there’s supposed to be snow on the ground in the morning. I’d like that—and time to take some pictures.

Happy almost Friday!

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.

Cactus: Up Close and Personal

Shot with my new 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Not getting it exactly right yet, but I’m having a blast.

Cactus, Close Up

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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Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

A New Adventure

I begin a new adventure on Monday when I report for work at a new job. I was awarded a part-time internship at a local accounting firm. This is what I have trained for and will finally have the opportunity to use that training. The dichotomy of the job search is that if you don’t have experience, you can’t get a job. If you can’t get a job, then you can’t get the experience. So, I’m excited (and a little nervous) to start and to learn. I know I will learn a lot.

I didn’t do it alone, either. There were so many people pulling for me, helping me, and teaching me. I owe so much to the people in my life—not just for this instance—but for all they’ve been and done in my life that brought me to this place.

Today, between other tasks, I took my camera out and put in the last lens I bought a year ago or so. It’s different. It’s a fixed lens and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. I think it will take nice closeups, like the images below. Today I took pictures of cactus blooms, a pine cone, and a huge, open dandelion seed pod. (Is that what it’s called?)

Pine Cone on Ground

Make a Big Wish

Cactus Bloom

Claret Cup Cactus Bloom

I think they turned out really well and I can’t wait to take more.

It WAS the Best Camera

I recently went to San Diego. When I go, I always haul my big camera, and this time was no exception. The difference was I only opened the case once, and I never did haul the camera out of it. I ended up carrying that thing through airports and back to my house, where it’s still sitting in its bag. Several times I’ve moved toward freeing it from the case and getting it ready for the shot. I guess I’ll get around to it.

The first shot I got that I really liked was of our ascent out of Salt Lake City over the Great Salt Lake.

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On this visit, I had a bicycle at my disposal, and rather than haul a big camera with me, I simply used the iPhone camera that also keeps the tunes I listen to (at a low volume in San Diego’s traffic). With the bike, I covered more ground than usual, and I got some sun and good exercise. I ended up walking that bike up some of the bigger hills, but I surprised myself that I could navigate as many of them as I did without getting off the bike. I’m not so out of shape as I thought.

At one point during my stay, I got frustrated with work and so simply walked out of the house and around a few blocks.

I don’t know what these are, but I love them. Every time I take a walk in San Diego, I see these spiky-soft, red flowers. I never miss them.

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Further on that walk, I happened to look up and saw these two palms leaning into each other. Light clouds kept the sky from being pure and uninterrupted blue, as it was so many times while I was there.

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One evening, a spooky fog crept up the hills from the ocean. I watched it move toward the house, obscuring everything much past where I stood, in a progressively opaque screen of white, until I could see no further.

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That night, I happened to awake and look out the window to see this. I had to remove color from this to make it a more realistic representation of what I saw, but you get the idea. It was spooky beautiful and fun to wake up to.

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Sitting in my friends’ front yard, soaking up the warm morning rays, the sun hit this solar lamp just right and I noticed this spider web.

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I did venture out several times on the bicycle and captured these two shots of the Sunset Cliffs area.

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And then there was this bit-o’-silliness.

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I did hate to leave the warmth of San Diego, and the company of my friends, but I had to. Bummer. I’m a window-seat kind of gal. I love the view from there. I had a somewhat better view before the flight attendant asked me to trade seats with a gal with a baby who was in an exit row (and we had together just struggled that car seat into submission!). I got the wing. Still, watching the sun rise at that elevation was a first for me. Even though the pockmarks on the window kept me from getting a clean shot (and it was an iPhone camera, after all), this was a pretty view and I love the picture I got.

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When I left Salt Lake City headed home, it was snowing. We had to wait in line for de-icing. Watching the other plane and ours being attended to by these things reminded me of a science fiction movie, and it was too cool a composition to pass up.

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And drops on the window.

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Another window seat, of course. One time I caught a college-age kid in my window seat and I made him move. I’ll bet he wondered what the big deal was. I love me a window seat!

From Salt Lake to Junction, I sat next to a gal who was traveling to meet friends in Colorado. Because of our delay for de-icing, I didn’t have my ear buds in, trying to catch whatever announcements came across the intercom. As a result of that, she and I struck up an interesting conversation and chatted about her life, her family, her independent daughter and how her independence affects those around her. As we talked, we found our lives paralleled in so many ways. She was some 84 years old and probably only looked a little older than I. She and I were born two days apart in February, and we briefly hit on an astrological link to explain our similarities. She is well-traveled, though; had spent time in Kenya. Married to the same man for 30 years, she struck out on her own and had a relationship with another man for nearly 30 years more. It was serendipitous that we should meet, I think. She had missed her connecting flight the day before because of fog in California. I wish I had asked for contact information, although we did exchange names. I already regret not risking embarrassing myself to ask how I might get in touch with her. Silly silly me.

It was a great Christmas, a great break from cold, and a terrific start to the New Year.

Thank you KC and Doyle!

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