July 4, 2016 Red Feather — Our day began with a visit from a Blue Heron across the road on Sam’s Pond. Calmly surveying the options for a tasty morsel, this grand creature stood quietly while I hung over the porch railing to grab a few shots. Many of the weekend visitors had already departed for home, leaving Red Feather on this Monday morning quiet and returning to some sense of normalcy.
Big bird takes a graceful leap for a better vantage point. By now my breakfast is growing cold, but it doesn’t matter. Already this day seems special, and as we embark on our daily walks I will record whatever we find out there in “the wild.”
“A good stretch feels good after a long standing” . . . .
Doesn’t seem to be much action on the pond this morning and after peering intently into the water, our visitor needs a good “seventh inning stretch.”
One last image captures the reflection of “Big Bird” and the Aspen trees nearby. It will be hard to find another image so magical on our walk, but the day holds much promise.
Wild flowers are at their peak right now, and it is a challenge to decide which clusters to include.
I located some seeds once, but didn’t realize they only grow with sage. My plantings didn’t survive.
Should have packed my wild flower guide so I could identify these. Ah well, next time!
There were brilliant clusters of sunflowers along the road and in the meadows.
I will call these Lemon Drops . . . .
Perhaps a study of the predominant colors of wild flowers will reveal that “yellow” wins. Bright and cheerful, the yellow varieties stand out in the crowd.
My personal favorites are the blues.
After searching for more of these to see if they had “bloomed” I found them all to look alike. They are “in bloom.”
Didn’t want to disturb the insect perched on board, as it may be a pollinator. Looked like a very small wasp or bee-like creature.
These little pink roses are ubiquitous and the hips will be food for the bears.
Nothing is prettier than the Columbine, Colorado’s state flower. I grow them in my garden at home, but they don’t seem as vibrant as these found in the wild.
A camera fails to capture the true blue of these extraordinary flowers, but we keep trying.
Not to be left out, a thistle is also nature’s creation. Pesky, invasive and labeled a “weed,” it gets no respect. But it is an interesting specimen!
A lot of ducks . . . .
Eight babies seems like a tremendous challenge, but this mother calmly leads the way and her ducklings stay in formation.
This iconic rock formation juts into Hiawatha Lake and catches the evening sun as it is going down.
It wouldn’t be a walk without a trip down Elf Lane. This gentle reminder invokes a special respect to avoid disturbing all the gnomes, elves and other little creatures sprinkled through the rocks and along the creek.
Elves galore . . . .
The babble of a brook . . . .
Returning to the cabin, the evening sky put on a show of its own. One spectacular day.