Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.
― Helen Keller
You’ve got to love these happy flowers. They’re blooming all over now.
Patrón and I took an eight-hour drive that took me through Glenwood, Carbondale, Redstone, over McClure Pass, Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Cedaredge.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
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.
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.
When I got downtown, I noticed these flowers as I walked through the breezeway from the parking garage.
It’s that time of year! Finally!
I haven’t posted for a bit. Between a very busy day job, trying to keep up with the other job, school, bowling, and then being sick last Saturday, I’ve had a whirlwind existence lately. Tomorrow I’ll go in to work for awhile to get a head start on next week (for my comfort), take Patrón for another walk, then I’ll head to a friend’s for dinner.
I was able to go for a walk last Sunday and was saddened to see that someone had moved the weathered board so there were no more tufts of grass growing through its holes. Maybe that grass just blew away, but I doubt it. I was hoping for the grass to grow longer for a bit and be able to take another photo. I was sorry to see it no longer looked as it did. And I wondered that someone could come along and not see the artistry in that mess of old wood and clumps of grass.
Today I got homework done and that’s a relief. It was due Friday and we had a reprieve, thankfully. I was at wits end trying to figure out how I was going to get that done. What a relief. Just four more weeks, I think.
After bowling is over (two more weeks), school is over (fourish more weeks), and I’m not allowed overtime at the day job, I can take weekends and go sometimes. I’m tired of being trapped at home either having to do something — or thinking I should.
Today I downloaded a new camera app for my iPhone and I think I like it. I am disappointed with the native camera’s abilities and this app will at least make the photos look more vibrant. I’ve seen so many others’ photos from their phones and they look so good — and my phone photos kind of just suck. Anyway, the photos’ editability still isn’t great, but colors are vibrant and I am able to capture light and dark in a composition that is wildly different in tonal values. The name of the app is Pro HDR-X. It’s a toy, but a fun one.
I drove a little way up Unaweep Canyon this evening and took this picture.
This I took a little earlier on my walk on the desert. The clouds, where there’s nothing to block them, are so pretty.
After driving up Unaweep Canyon for bit, I backtracked to the Gunnison River Bluffs/Old Spanish Trail parking corral. As the sun set, I captured this. I didn’t get light adjusted properly, but even so, I thought this turned out cool. I had to wait until a hiker’s silhouette fell below the horizon. For the longest time, while the sun set lower, there was a solitary figure walking from the left to the right along the top of those hills in the background. Had I been able to zoom in on him, that might have made a nice photo, too, but with the phone, he would have just been too small for any artistic impact.
It’s been a nice quiet day and I’m ready to call it.
My relationship to plants becomes closer and closer. They make me quiet; I like to be in their company. —Peter Zumthor
It’s been a busy two weeks. The time change always kicks my butt. On top of that, there were reports and projects for school, learning gobs of new things at work, putting the finishing touches on documents for an old job, bowling, dinner with Dad, and enjoying the company of an old friend recently in town. I plan to relax this weekend and walk with Patrón on the desert. She’ll love it, and I need to get outside. It’s been SO nice here.
Last weekend she and I took an extra-long walk and we found this well weathered piece of plywood with grass growing up through the holes. We went back the next day with the real camera (instead of the iPhone) and took a few more pictures. It’s easy to pass up this sort of thing. I’m so glad we were less fixated on the destination, and more intent on enjoying the journey.
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.
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!
It’s a beautiful Saturday and I have some fun tonight to look forward to. My friends and I (of many years), will have dinner and paint ceramics. I believe that is the plan. Perhaps included in the fun will be wine. Well, I’m involved; there will be wine.
Last night I spent a lot of time writing a note to a friend and my mind is mush today because of the effort to spill my thoughts in an organized way, to allow someone else a glimpse into my inner world. Doing that doesn’t come naturally and it’s not a stingy thing. It’s that there’s so much more interesting to know about you than I have to tell about me. But I think sometimes people misunderstand that lack of forthcoming information as a lack of trust in them. It is more an interest in their stories.
Last night I “friended,” on Facebook, someone who has recently piqued my interest. She’s a much younger person and I am sure we are misaligned in many key areas of discussion, but I have read some of her posts, and think she has a lot of wisdom to offer this world. She’s an old soul and I think she has a story to tell about why she is. She provided a brief glimpse into that possibility earlier this semester. She has spoken in class and she’s articulate and thoughtful, and I find myself drawn to discover what she will eventually offer the world. Whatever it is, it will be good. I’m excited to get to know yet another person, even if it is from the safe distance of a Facebook friendship.
I am so pleased to be in the class I now attend. It’s not a difficult class, but for the first time in a couple of semesters, I am not surrounded by middle-aged, entitled, and lazy women who were given this educational opportunity they don’t take as seriously as they should. I am now surrounded by motivated, bright, young and young-at-heart women who will eventually influence our world—and from whom I will learn a great deal if I keep my mind’s doors wide open.
Well. I need to get something done. I played with this flower in Topaz Labs’ Impression this morning. I believe I’ll eventually play with this one a lot. It is perfect.
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.
Patrón, irritated at having to sit, rolled on the ground next to me, bumped my arm, and generally made a pest of herself.
I’ve stopped, yet again, to snap a picture, and you can see she just can’t seem to believe I’ve stopped again.
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!
I found this quote yesterday while looking for another one. In my case, it is so true. With the view I have of each sunrise, I’ve indeed won a lottery. They’re always different, and even the grey ones do not disappoint.
I count myself lucky, having long ago won a lottery paid to me in seven sunrises a week for life. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
It rained most of the day, today. It snowed somewhere close, but not here. When the clouds parted, they hung low over the surrounding mountains. While looking at the clouds hugging the horizon, I noticed the moon, high in the sky. It will be full soon. Meanwhile, it sure was pretty playing peek-a-boo with low-slung clouds. In the distance, a jet left a trail that I didn’t notice until after I had taken the picture.
A cloudless plain blue sky is like a flowerless garden.
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