Peacefulness and Chipmunk Portraits

Another Gorgeous Mountain ViewIMG_6381Little House in the Rockies is our tiny cabin retreat in Colorado.

We love it. It is sooooo very peaceful.

I can sit for hours and watch the birds and wildlife.

I was there recently, and pretty much just watched, and thought, and wrote, and photographed.

Of note were the chipmunks. They posed for me! When I looked at the photos later, they reminded me of high school senior pictures. You know, the incredibly attractive youth with the bright future posing in the sunlight for the professional photographer that Mom paid to get a great photo for the graduation announcements? What do you think?

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© 2018, Glover Gardens

Mountain Sunset Haiku and “Enviation”

purple serenity
soothing summer evening sky
clouds that drift and sigh

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Photo credit: Nancy L.

My friends stayed at Little House in the Rockies last weekend, and one of them snapped this lovely picture.

We get their photos from social media and feel oh-so-happy for them. But we also feel a little jealous because they’re there and we’re not. I like to call that feeling “enviation,” a mixture of envy and appreciation.

Enviation. That’s how I feel right now. I’d like to be on that porch at Little House in the Rockies, looking at that sunset, feeling the mountain air, shivering just a little.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Haiku: The Wheelbarrow’s Promise

Wheelbarrow Black and White

worn but not broken
ready for the next adventure ~
just waiting for you

Wheelbarrow in Color

This haiku sprung into being when I was walking around at Little House in the Rockies at the top of Indian Mountain and spied the wheelbarrow, resting at the moment but ready for action. Doesn’t it look plucky and determined? I would want it on my side in a fight.

You can take the Wheelbarrow’s Promise literally, or as a metaphor. I wonder what it means to you…

I couldn’t decide between black and white or color, so I’ve shared both. Black and white might fit the mood of the tired but determined character of the wheelbarrow, but I really love the contrast between the green of the summer aspen trees and the rusty red of the hand-wagon. What do you think?

© 2018, Glover Gardens

 

 

A Fire in the Fireplace in the Middle of Summer, a Haiku, and Wildflowers

Escaping the Southeast Texas heat for a few days, I’m chillin’ in the mountains at Little House in the Rockies.

Oh, the glory of it! 

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Dusk falling over Palmer Peak

It was 40°F when I awoke this morning (that’s 4.4°C for my international readers).

Oh, the glory of it! 

A little fire in the fireplace was just right for morning coffee and reading. And finding the names of all the Colorado wildflowers I picked yesterday.

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Oh, the glory of it!

Fire is mesmerizing – have you noticed? I sat with my coffee, staring into the flames, and dozens of welcome ideas came knocking, like neighbors with fresh-baked cookies. So here’s a haiku for the inspiration that flames can bring:

gazing at the blaze,
fiery hues, controlled-burn warmth,
flame-thrown ideas

Now to jot all those ideas down before they leave like Thanksgiving guests when it’s time to do the dishes!

But first, the wildflowers. What a beautiful bounty! Here’s a rundown of the bouquet: Bigelow Tansy-Aster, Black-eyed Susan, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Fairy Trumpet, Giant Red Paintbrush, Mountain Parsley, Parry Primrose, Canada Thistle and White Yarrow.

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I gathered this clutch of color in about 20 minutes yesterday afternoon, right before a mountain rainstorm came sweeping through. I hunkered down inside our tiny cabin with a book during the storm, listening to the rain pound rhythmically and peacefully on the metal roof.

Oh, the glory of it!

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The storm is coming over the mountains

I’ve been busy with the camera, so you’ll see posts about hummingbirds and mountains and chipmunks (oh my!) over the coming days and weeks, even as I settle back into the summer heat at Glover Gardens in Southeast Texas.

Wishing you a peaceful and cool Sunday.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Shared by a Fellow Blogger: Pikes Peak

Yesterday I posted about America the Beautiful and a small part of the story behind the icon poem and song, the fact that it was inspired in part by Pikes Peak in Colorado.  Fellow blogger Tanja Britton, who “lives and works at the foot of Pike’s Peak”, commented and shared a link to her post with much more information. It’s a good read! Check it out at Pikes Peak.

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Photo from Tanja Britton’s blog post about Pike’s Peak

For my original post, click here. It might include a gentle call to action to start treating our beautiful country better.

Purple Mountain Majesties

On the 4th of July, I’m thinking of our beautiful country. We’re smack-dab in the middle of some gorgeous countryside here at Little House in the Rockies. Just off the western edge of Pike National Forest in Colorado, Little House in the Rockies is surrounded by mountains.

83688074c1b24bcbe84345d53f7a7c81It brings to mind America the Beautiful. The song. The poem.

Originally titled “Pike’s Peak,” Katherine Lee Bates wrote the poem in 1893 during a visit to Colorado. She was inspired by the beauty of the country, having traveled by train from the northeast across the plains to Colorado Springs. It was published a couple of years later to commemorate the 4th of July, and later set to music by Samuel A. Ward. I love the first stanza:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

More than a century later, this is still inspiring country. I took this photo on Monday during a picnic in Pike National Forest. I didn’t realize until I looked at it on the computer later that there is a tinge of purple in the mountain range. Purple mountain majesties.

Purple Mountains Majesty

There’s a recent poll that says Americans are less patriotic than we used to be. Maybe so, maybe not. It depends on how you define patriotism (in my humble opinion). My patriotism today is focused on our beautiful country, the way that it was portrayed in that famous poem from so long ago.

Are we doing enough to take care of it?

I don’t think so.

Fires and pollution and global warming are taking their toll.

Will it be America the Beautiful in 50 years?

It depends. On us.

We need to do more.

I need to do more.

I will do more. In my own little way. Here in Glover Gardens with my words and conversations with all of you, and by joining the Palmer Land Trust. And by reducing my carbon footprint and the waste I produce. And most importantly, by voting for candidates who will make choices that preserve our environment rather than pillaging it.

I want it to be America the Beautiful forever. For my kids, and yours.

Flagpole

Happy Independence Day.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

 

Haiku: Wildlife and Wildfire

Wildfires abound in Colorado right now. Nearest to us here at Little House in the Rockies (but not an imminent threat) is the Weston Pass fire southwest of FairPlay. It’s about 25 miles away, as the crow flies. We can see and smell the smoke. The photo below is waaay zoomed in, taken last night at sunset by The Girl Who is Always Hungry.

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Looking southeast at sunset; an unnatural light

There are fewer birds at our feeders than usual, and I keep seeing them look in the direction of the fire, as though they are planning when to evacuate. They’re probably better predictors of what’s going to happen than any of their human counterparts. A haiku for them:

birds on the lookout 
do they know? where’ll they go?
they’re my bellwethers

 

This is the view from the back porch this morning, zooming in on the mountain range.

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This is how it normally looks, in a photo from late May.

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This is a vacation spot for us, and like the birds, we are free to leave at any time. Not so for the full-time residents all over Colorado who are watching multiple fires spread quickly in this hot, dry summer and worrying about their homes, land, pets, livestock and livelihoods. We pray for rain.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Haiku: The Road to…

Some sights inspire, and must be captured. With the camera and the pen.  On Elkhorn Road headed North toward Como, CO and headed straight for a mountain range, the tired and weather-beaten old asphalt is framed in spring by spunky yellow wildflowers. It’s breathtaking.

The Grill-Meister went out of his way to help me get this photo, waiting patiently until there were no cars, giving me advice on the angle, etc. It’s an imperfect representation of what we saw, but…can you feel yourself being pulled toward a bright and unexpected future, on this road lined with bright yellow wildflowers?

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Anything could be possible up ahead. Anything.

Haiku: The Road to…

the yellow road to
endless possibilities –
what lies ahead?

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Rabbit, Run!

Nature is all the entertainment we need here at Little House in the Rockies, our little cabin in Central Colorado. It’s a wonderful getaway from the busyness and frenetic pace of everyday life, an oasis of mindfulness.

This morning, our entertainment was a rabbit, a cute little Peter Cottontail who hopped up to enjoy the seeds the careless birds were strewing from the feeder.

He was a shy little thing.

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He hopped away when I approached with my camera, but I caught him mid-jump.

Bunny Rabbit, Mid-Hop

Rabbit, run! (No reference to the John Updike novel intended; well, not much, anyway.)

It’s the little things.

© 2018 Glover Gardens