Happy Fall Equinox and a Haiku from Pike National Forest

We’re at Little House in the Rockies enjoying the fall colors splashed across central Colorado and glorious azure skies.

To celebrate the fall equinox, here are couple of quick shots from yesterday’s day trip exploring Bald Mountain and Montgomery Reservoir in and around Pike National Forest.

ecotourism:
nature’s rugged perfection
on vivid display

 

Montgomery Reservoir
Montgomery Reservoir

Montgomery Reservoir
The mountain road along Montgomery Reservoir, dotted with aspen and pines in the rocks
Fall Equinox from Bald Mountain
Looking north from Bald Mountain in Pike National Forest at the majestic ranges near Breckenridge

More to come! We’re headed out now in search of an aspen canopy near Como and then lunch in Bailey at Aspen Peak Cellars.

© 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

 

 

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: 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

Memorial Day, Andy Rooney, the Thankful Foreigner, and Blowin’ in the Wind

11263025_10206545505667097_3146148380970970297_nIt’s Memorial Day here in the U.S. The day we remember those who served in our military and did not live to come home.

Andy Rooney Rethinks Memorial Day

I saw a thoughtful piece by the late commentator Andy Rooney that’s worth sharing, Rooney Rethinks Memorial Day. He said:

Remembering doesn’t do the remembered any good, of course. It’s for ourselves, the living. I wish we could dedicate Memorial Day, not to the memory of those who have died at war, but to the idea of saving the lives of the young people who are going to die in the future if we don’t find some new way – some new religion maybe – that takes war out of our lives.

That would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating.”

I wholeheartedly agree. It makes me want to sing: “the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind”. The whole clip is worth watching.

A Hummingbird’s Salute

For a Memorial Day photo, here’s a hummingbird and our flag. Just because. The hummingbirds have been happy with our feeder over this Memorial Day weekend here at Little House in the Rockies. Perhaps that tiny bird is saluting our fallen men and women by posing for me in front of the flag.

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The Thankful Foreigner

Another remembrance is this post from the Glover Gardens archive about a young French man who grew up near Normandy and appreciated the D-Day sacrifice: by the Allies: The Thankful Foreigner: An Award-Winning Essay from a Millennial. It’s a bit of a read, but a sweet little story and quite apropos on Memorial Day.

Blowin’ in the Wind

I’ll leave you with these lyrics from Bob Dylan, so very much in line with the theme from Andy Rooney’s commentary.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before they can call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
How many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
How many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
How many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
How many deaths will it take ’til he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Blowin’ in the Wind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Audiam, Inc
© 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

 

 

 

Haiku: Simple Pleasures in the Mountain Air

the simple pleasures
of mountains and hummingbirds
feed my hungry soul

The haiku above sprung into being because the Grill-Meister and I are back at Little House in the Rockies for the Memorial Day weekend, where absolute peace and tranquility abound. The aspen trees dance in the gentle breeze with their young, bright green leaves, and birds of all kinds sing their unique odes to spring. The mountains we can see from the back porch still glisten with snow on their stately and imposing peaks. It is impossible to be grumpy here. Nature is a restorative and sustaining force. (This is a common theme here in the Glover Gardens blog.)

Life is good.

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The hummingbirds are visiting early this year
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These pretty little trees are everywhere
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The zoomed in view of the mountains from the back porch; “purple mountains’ majesty,” indeed

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

 

Magnificent Mountains: Same View, Different Weather, Life is Good

I love, love, love being in the mountains; there is so much variety in the weather. Here are two versions of the view from the back porch of Little House in the Rockies, close-ups of the mountain range behind us. What a difference a day made!

A winter storm dominated the view in the first photo, and only Palmer Peak is visible. The snow-filled sky cloaks the higher summits of Mount Silverheels behind it.

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The brooding storm approaches

The next afternoon, the broad expanse of this part of the Front Range is exposed, with Palmer Peak dominated by the higher mountaintops behind it.

Palmer Peak in Sun
The calm and beautiful aftermath; more snow atop the peaks in the distance

A snowstorm came and went between these two photos, and we were snug and warm in our little cabin, watching.

Watching the storm roll in, watching the snow hide the mountains, watching the birds take a few last seeds from the feeder.

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Life is good.

Copyright 2018, Glover Gardens

 

Dorothy Was Right: It Was In Our Own Back Yard (fall colors)

i_love_colorado_sticker-r308252d39b3f4c6ab2202943167b8cab_v9wxo_8byvr_324
I love Colorado.

I love it in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Although I haven’t noticed that much difference between the spring, summer and fall – it can snow like crazy in any of those seasons. A sage local once told me that he’s seen snow in every month in Colorado, multiple times.

I’ve had the distinct privilege of being in Colorado many times each year since 2013, because we have a tiny little cabin in Jefferson. But I’ve never been here during the prime viewing season for aspens changing color.

We planned our trip this fall with military precision. Web sites told us that peak fall color would take place the last week in September, and we were on it.

  • Plane reservations? Check.
  • Tickets for the fall color train ride? Check.

fullsizeoutput_171aWe were all set. And then we had our Blizzard on a Train adventure on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad, while in search of our blazing fall colors. We definitely had an adventure, an experience that we’ll remember for a lifetime, but not the fall color experience we were looking for. We missed it by a week, because these things happen in Colorado. Mother Nature decides to get a bit colder than usual in the Collegiate Peaks area, and the aspens dutifully shed their leaves.

fullsizeoutput_1734Undeterred, we set out today for a trek around Jefferson Lake. It was lovely. You can enjoy it with us here: Hiking Around Jefferson Lake in Autumn. But it was not the fall color mecca, either.

On the way home to Little House in the Rockies from Jefferson Lake, the closer we got, the more the landscape lit up with aspens strutting their stuff. The Girl Who’s Always Hungry said, “My eyes are happy!” She nailed it.

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Enjoy it with us, this bounty of beauty we found, right in our own backyard in Indian Mountain, our Little House in the Rockies “neighborhood”.

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This very last photo (above) is, quite literally, our “front yard” here at Little House in the Rockies. Our aspens are a little slow to turn golden, but the overall effect is quite nice. And our “back 40” is below, with the impending storm rolling in.

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There’s no place like home, like Dorothy said.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook