347: Path

Path somewhere in Red Rock Canyon. Colorado Springs, Colorado. August 2010.

This week’s Photo Challenge is Path.  I have a fondness for photographing pathways and portals of all kinds, making this an easy challenge for me.  Although I prefer to use new photos for challenges, I’ll have to dig into the archives for this one because M and I are in Detroit for the Detroit Jazz Festival.  This is another scheduled post.

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338: Just in case

The shy flower

It occurs to me that with all we have going on today, I might end up doing another flash post.  I usually like to keep a post handy for those “just in case” days when I either don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to post.  So I got up early today to do a “just in case” post.  I will schedule it to post and, if I don’t find time to post live and in person later today, we can all visit Colorado Springs in 2010 and assume I met my commitment to get outdoors for the day which I will then tell you all about on Sunday.  Or something.

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202: Old

(Old and rusty fence.)

This week’s WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge is Old.  I could have posted a photo of me (haha), but I don’t consider myself old and certainly don’t feel old which is, I’m told, what counts.

Keeping the challenge theme in mind, I took a photo of an old fence while M and I were out on our 5k+ hike on Sunday.  I like to try to use new photos for challenges when I can.  Now that I’ve done that, how about a few from the archives?  Oldies of oldies, so to speak.

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In a mood (14)

(Lone tree in the distance.  Red Rock Canyon.  Colorado Springs, Colorado.)

I stepped outside early today, about a half hour or so before sunrise.  Not that there was much of a sunrise to speak of since the weather didn’t change overnight.  Clouds, rain, mists, and the occasional break from the rain and mists continue to be the norm.  Rumor has it that the spinning low will move out tonight and tomorrow will be bright and sunny.

The world looks and feels different during the twilight hours.  It’s not quite dark, yet not quite light.  The camera doesn’t capture it well.  It’s probably not the camera’s fault but that of its user.  I fiddled with manual settings just to see what would come of it since none of the pre-sets were working well for me.  Only one photo seemed to almost capture the light of that time of day:

It’s a reflection of the neighbor’s house in the pond.  I often feel as though the house looms over that part of the pond, perhaps because it is so big.  Or perhaps because it wasn’t there when we moved here and even after a few years of living with it as part of our scenery I am still not used to it.  It’s one of those McMansions that sprung up when people were still living large and spending money like crazy.

The other photo I like from this morning is one of the asparagus ferns with raindrops scattered over them.  The droplets remind me of diamonds or ice.  But let’s not think about ice just yet.

I have some photos from our Colorado trip I put aside for another day and today feels like another day to me.  They will go well with this post, I think.

(Windmill on the plains of Colorado.)

Tomorrow I will be hopping on a train to take a trip back east.  It’s been decades since I’ve been on a long train trip.  I love traveling by train.  If I could, I’d travel by train whenever and wherever I travel outside of walking distance.   I suppose it’s possible that nothing is outside of walking distance if you have the time and energy for it, but I’m hoping you’ll know what I mean.

(Silo on the plains.)

I have to get up early, around 3:00am.  That means I have to make sure I’m packed and ready before I go to bed tonight.  I don’t want to be rushing around trying to find things that early in the day when it’s likely I’ll still be half asleep.

The reason for the trip is a ceremony at the hospice where my mother died.  They (the folks at hospice) call it a “life celebration.”  I’m trying to think of it in positive terms, as an opportunity to, well, celebrate Mom’s life.  Still, going back to hospice for the first time since Mom’s death is going to be a little rough and rocky emotionally.

(Storm approaching.  Rocky Mountain National Park.  Colorado.)

The traveling presents a small dilemma, maybe, in terms of my 365 commitment.  I am sure I will be able to get outside for a minimum of 30 minutes each day.  No problem there.  But I am not sure I will be able to blog about it daily.  I should have internet access.  I am not sure I will have the time.

(On the mesa near Boulder, Colorado.)

It will be a quick trip.  I’ll be coming back on Sunday.  Sunday might be the hardest day to post as I won’t be getting home until 10:00pm or later.

(Somewhere near Colorado Springs, Colorado.)

I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.  In the meantime, I’ve set up a few auto-posts to take care of the daily posts and I’ll post when I can.


(Red Rock Canyon.  Colorado Springs, Colorado.)

Today’s Photo Friday challenge is Reflect.  I’m not officially entering the challenge but I do think it makes good fodder for a blog post.

(Pond reflections.  October 2008.)

There are so many different ways to capture reflections.  I could probably fill a month’s worth of blog posts with photos of reflections.  It would make a good theme for NaBloPoMo (if they haven’t already done it).

(Pond reflections II.  October 2008.)

Water is one of my favorite sources for photographing reflections.  It helps to have a nice, calm day when the water is like glass, but I’ve captured some interesting, abstract-like reflections on windy days when the water is rippling.

(An Autumn day in Pennsylvania.  October 2007)

You don’t need a big body of water such as a pond, lake, or river, either.  The puddle from an overnight rain provided reflections in Red Rock Canyon (the top photo in this series).

I have a large collection of reflections on water, windows, mirrors, and a variety of shiny surfaces (including just-washed cars).  I may make this a regular feature here at Life in the Bogs.  It would be worth exploring just for fun and to see what comes up.

Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.

~ Ernest Holmes

A foggy start to the day

The day started out foggy and gray with the occasional blue patch of sky showing between the holes in the clouds and fog.  I had planned to go back to the Garden of the Gods to get a photo of Pikes Peak through the Siamese Twins rock formation but it was a no go.  Pikes Peak was shrouded in clouds and fog.

Instead we went to Red Rock Canyon (part of the Colorado Springs Open Space) for an early morning hike.  It was earlier than expected because our plans to sleep in were thwarted by an alarm going off at 6:00am.  It turned out to be the ice machine which was located across the hall from us, not the smoke alarm we thought it might be.

A glimpse of the Garden of the Gods from Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon is, in my opinion, almost as good as (and maybe better in some ways) the Garden of the Gods.  It is less touristy yet still seems to get plenty of visitors on the weekends and I suspect many of them are locals.  Having gone on a Monday morning, we practically had the place to ourselves.

The fog, as fog tends to do, added an element of peacefulness to the morning.  It also kept the temperature fairly cool which was nice for hiking.  We made our way to the quarry which is near the center of Red Rock Canyon.  It was a moderate hike with a slight climb up stairs cut into the rock at the quarry.

The problem with being a visitor is the limited time we have to explore.  We had to check out of our hotel by 11:00am and that meant we were unable to wander around for as long as we would have liked.  I am rather glad the weather didn’t work out as planned because it gave us the time to visit an area we might have skipped due to time constraints.

There were plenty of wildflowers in bloom with the sunflowers dominating.  They lined most of the trails and sometimes ran right down the middle.

As I mentioned earlier, the blue sky would peer through the clouds every now and then.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain on this trip.  The local people we’ve talked with seem to think it is a rainier than usual year.

We hiked for about an hour or so and then made our way back to the hotel to check out.  From there we went east to the high plains.  I have wanted to see the plains (which everyone keeps telling me is boring).  M and I independently managed to find the same place to visit that would satisfy his need to climb a little and my wish to see the plains.

The weather was not cooperative (for hiking) at first.  The problem we had was determining whether we should continue to our destination or give it up.  Being out on the plains (or prairie) where the sky is so wide open, you can see storms coming but we had no idea how fast or slow the storms were moving.

Our destination was Painted Mines Interpretive Park in El Paso County, Colorado.  We found our way there, walked out a short way to an overlook, heard the thunder rumble, saw the lightning light up the sky, and decided to go back to the nearest town to search for some Wi-Fi.  We couldn’t find a library but we did find a coffee shop/internet cafe that turned out to be a jewel of a find.  We had lunch there and the food was fresh and delicious.  I have to admit that was unexpected given the size of the town and the apparent desolation of the area.

The radar showed a break in the storms so we went back to Painted Mines, donned our rain gear, and set out on our hike towards the middle of the Painted Mine formations.  The sky continued to remain threatening throughout most of the hike with the occasional rumble of thunder in the background.  We were lucky in that the storms seemed to move around us.

It was windy and cold when we started out.  The wind died down later and that was an unfortunate turn of events as it invited large swarms of mosquitoes to come out and feed upon us.  It’s a good way to burn calories, running from mosquitoes.  M and I haven’t been on that kind of run since August of 1984.  We were vacationing in Hunting Island, South Carolina (one of my favorite spots in the world!), and had gone out on a nature hike through the marshes.  Five or ten minutes in, we were attacked by what seemed like billions of mosquitoes and ended up running on the boardwalk through the woods and marshes, taking turns wiping mosquitoes off each other.

I remember the year and the vacation well because that was when M the Younger entered our lives although we didn’t know it at the time and didn’t meet him until nine months later.

Well, my friends, I am exhausted and as much as I would like to continue rambling on about our day, I need to go to bed.  The hike turned out well (except for the mosquitoes).  We are now back in the Boulder area so we can spend some more time with M the Younger and Merdi.  We drove through a dust storm and rain storms to get here.

Driving through a dust storm

All that atmospheric disturbance resulted in one of the most unusual rainbows I’ve ever seen.  Sorry, no pictures.  I was busy admiring it and by the time I pulled out the camera it was too late to capture it.  The mix of weather also brought a beautiful sunset.

Sunset on the road to Boulder

(This post was written around midnight last night.  Now we’re off to do some morning hiking before meeting M the Younger for lunch.  We’ll probably spend the afternoon doing laundry as M and I are both pretty much out of clothing to wear that isn’t dirty and smelly from all the hiking we’ve been doing.)