Beautiful bighorn sheep were grazing alongside Highway 285 near Bailey, Colorado last Sunday.
I had my camera with me and The Grill-Meister was happy to pull the car over. One of the sheep let me get very close, and it seemed that he was either mildly annoyed or mildly amused by me. He moved slowly, turning this way and that. Posing for me, I think. What visual riches! It was an awesome experience.
So I had to write a haiku or two. Or three. Serious and not-so-serious.
ancient memories, yesterdays and tomorrows, in your horns and fur
regal, princely stare – you wondrous, animal, you! thank you for posing
what are you thinking? “get back, lady with camera – let me eat in peace!”
said the Grill-Meister as he fired up the outdoor burner to cook bacon in 5° weather.
It was also snowing.
We don’t cook bacon inside because our tiny cabin will retain the smell for days. That marvelous aroma that warms your cockles when it’s freshly cooked and ready to eat becomes your worst enemy later, don’t you think? The Grill-Meister was definitely “taking one for the team” when he fried up the bacon on the snowy porch.
Simple food tastes really great in the mountains: scrambled eggs with peppers and sausage, bacon and drop biscuits were a New Year’s breakfast fit for royalty.
On a recent trip business trip to Europe, I was startled awake by the alarm song on my iPad. It was Love Shack by the B-52s – a personal favorite – but not a great way to wake up when you are feeling like a 55-gallon drum full of jet-lagged sludge. Ay-eee!!!
Must. Pick. Different. Song.
Must. Ease. Into. Wakedness.
So the next night, I remembered to choose a new wake-up tune right as I went to bed. Being lazy – or still jet-lagged – I quickly started scrolling through the default sort of songs by title. I don’t have that much music on my iPad (unlike the 6K+ songs on my computer’s iTunes). I’m not even really sure how the music got onto my iPad, actually. I was in a hurry to pick a song and go to sleep, but none of the first few I scrolled past in the A’s were appropriate for a gentle, jet-lag respectful wakeup.
Africa by Toto? Nope. Too 80s. Might be tempted to make my hair big.
Ain’t Anyone Here for Love (from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) by Marilyn Monroe and Rosalyn Russell? Wrong subject matter, although I did consider it briefly, because that scene is set in Paris, and Paris is where I was.
Akobi: First Born S(u)n by Somi? Lovely, but no. I’d be tempted to stay in my hotel room and listen to the album.
All of Me by Tchavolo Schmitt (“gypsy jazz guitarist)? Nope, too upbeat, although Tchavolo is Parisian…I was really tempted but it could be as jarring as Love Shack if I was mid-dream.
All by Myself by Eric Carmen? Too depressing; my limbs would feel numb and I’d never be able to climb out of the jet lag pit.
Ally Ally Oxen Free by The Kingston Trio? Yes, that’s it! I hadn’t heard that song for quite a while, since my days by the water, growing up at my parents’ house, but I knew it would have just the right tone and tempo to get me out of bed, happy to face the day.
I got more than I bargained for.
Ally Ally Oxen Free was a perfect wake-up song. The sound of it made me happy. It made me thoughtful. It made me get out of bed and walk across the room to replay it and listen again. It woke me up every morning after that on an 11-day, 3-country trip, and stayed in my head for days. I had either forgotten or was too young or distracted to remember that it was a (peaceful) protest song.
It is incredibly timely. Incredibly.
Ally Ally Oxen Free (McKuen / Yates)
Time to let the rain fall without the help of man Time to let the trees grow tall, now, if they only can Time to let our children, live in a land that’s free Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free (Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free)
Time to blow the smoke away, look at the sky again Time to let our friends know we’d like to begin again Time to send a message across the land and sea Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free (Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free)
Strong and weak, mild and meek, no more hide and seek
Time to see the fairness of a children’s game Time for men to stop and learn to do the same Time to make our minds up if the world at last will be Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free (Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free)
This is not a political blog, but one has only to breathe the air in an any major city, read the reports about plastic particles in the ocean to, or look at the violence and anger in every day’s news reports from every country to know that something needs to change. A lot of things.
In almost six years, we never saw a magpie at Little House in the Rockies.
And then on the Fall Colors 2018 Trek in late September, there they were at Tarryall Reservoir. With the blue on their wings, they are mag(pie)nificent!
And over Thanksgiving, they finally came right up to our front porch to feed on the suet. Despite their chatty reputation, our maggies were a little shy, so I wasn’t able to get many photos of their tuxedo coloring with bright blue wingtips. However, the one below, which is accidentally dark, made me happy enough to haiku. Intensifying the blue made me even happier. So I give you, Magpie’s Blue Period:
blue-winged forager stopping at the suet bar gorgeous in profile
just like Dorothy what we sought was always there in our own backyard
We went to Little House in the Rockies a few weeks ago, seeking the fall color.
We’ve had this tiny log cabin for five years, and for five years, we’ve managed a trip up there sometime in the fall color date window. Mid-September, late September, early October, mid-October. We travel all ’round each fall, going hither and yon, looking for that perfect vista of autumn leaves, that soul-satisfying mix of reds, yellows and oranges.
We’ve seen some nice colors on these treks, taken lots of pictures and made some lasting memories.
On the last afternoon of this most recent visit, our 2018 Fall Colors Roundup, after hithering and yonning for days, we hunkered down and just enjoyed Indian Mountain where Little House is located. The bright yellow aspen, birds, wildlife and big blue mountain-bordered skies were just as satisfying as anything we encountered on our day trips. It was always right there in our own backyard.
Just like Dorothy.
If you’ve read this far, I have a confession to make. I was almost guilty of self-plagiarism!It’s also known as “recycling fraud,” when an author uses his or her own work without citing it. I searched the Glover Gardens blog for other posts about Little House in the Rockies and I found this one from last year: Dorothy Was Right: It Was In Our Own Back Yard (fall colors). Can you believe it? How could I forget? But I’m going forward with the 2018 version anyway, now that I’ve properly cited my work. And also, although last year’s “backyard” colors are more vibrant, this year’s post has a haiku!
You have probably figured out that The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies. It’s all allegory and human nature and fairy tale truths. And it was also a really good book.
it all just grabbed me trees sky mountains fence road shed “my eyes were happy”
Outside of Jefferson, Colorado. Beautiful, peaceful, inspiring. Credit for the phrase “my eyes were happy” goes to The Girl Who is Always Hungry (as she’s know in the Glover Gardens blog), after seeing similar sights in Jefferson last autumn.
Which reminds me…we also had the Blizzard on a Train last autumn in Colorado while trying to check out the fall color…one year ago today.
Little House in the Rockies is our tiny cabin retreat in Colorado.
We love it. It is sooooo very peaceful.
View from the back 40
Always a beautiful sunset
Cute young buck on Boreas Pass
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?
purple serenity soothing summer evening sky clouds that drift and sigh
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.