Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Bill and I started the day today with a short hike in Palmer Park followed with a brunch at Nancy and Joe's. Thanks Nancy for a great meal and even better company! We really enjoyed meeting your sister Susie and her husband Arturo.

The whole gang posed for me to take a picture: Nancy, her sister, Susie, Lucy, Joe, Arturo, Mike and Bill.

Nancy is a wonderful hostess and I couldn't resist taking a picture of the table before we sat down to eat our Memorial Day feast of baked French toast (I got the recipe) and a chorizo sausage casserole. Yum! I ate more than my share.

Last Thursday, Bill and his sister finally closed on a house in Denver that they have had on the market for over a year. Check in hand, we stopped on the way home and Bill bought himself a new set of binoculars and me a new camera. It is a Nikon Coolpix with 12.1 megapixels and a wide 24 X zoom. I have a huge learning curve with the new camera - so bear with me.

On Friday, Bill and I headed to the park, each with our own set of binoculars and me with my new camera.

A snow-capped Pikes Peak was peeking through and above the low clouds and early-morning mist.

We took one of the more difficult trails on the north end of Palmer Park.

Climbing up the rocky paths is challenging - but I love it.

I walk slower than Bill - so he has to wait for me to catch up. The sun washed out the center of this picture. I'll have to change settings when I'm in the bright outdoors.

I love this beautifully weathered gnarled tree stump that we passed on the trail.

This Spotted Towhee was deep in the bushes - but I was able to zoom in for a decent shot that didn't fall apart when I cropped it.

I think this bird is a Western Wood Pewee.

The Pewee is abundant in Colorado at the present, but populations are declining about one percent each year.

Both this picture and the next one are of Black-billed Magpies. The first picture is not in the correct focus - but it shows the blue colors of his wings and tail.

Magpies have beautiful long tails and markings - but are not well liked by most people because they are loud and obnoxious.

The wild Lilac bushes were in full bloom and they smelled delicious. The Humming-birds loved them too and were everywhere! We could hear them flying around the entire time we hiked.

We have a Lilac bush in our yard that Bill planted five years ago. This was the first year it had any flowers - we counted three. Maybe next year.

This Western Scrub Jay posed for a picture - but for only a very short time.

Bill took my picture as I rested on the rocks near the top of the bluffs. My blue socks have birds on them (Pileated Wood-peckers) and were a gift from our friends Mike and Mel.

Until we went to Florida, I thought they would be the only Pileated Woodpeckers I would ever see. Mike and Mel kept promising me I would see one in their yard - but I never did - so they bought me the socks instead.

I don't know what this is - but the bushes were beautiful and smelled wonderful.

I was practicing taking pictures with a close-up setting. If you look closely, you'll see an ant on the flower. I never saw it until I got home and enlarged the picture on the computer.

My camera lens was just inches from these yellow flowers. It's amazing they can grow in the arid, rocky soil.

More pretty yellow wild flowers. I didn't use the close-up setting for this picture and the focus is not as sharp.

I was delighted to see this cute chipmunk and be able to get his picture before he scampered away.

This is, I think, a Scaled Quail. Bill took this picture at his daughters house in Midway - north of Pueblo and south of Colorado Springs.

We were there for a party to celebrate the high-school graduation of his oldest grandson, Kyle. I think this cute bird wanted some of the delicious pulled-Pork Kyle's dad, Tim, made for the occasion.

Today we celebrated another grandson's eighth birthday and the fifth anniversary of the wonderful day when Bill and I first met. We were introduced with the help of E-Harmony.Com. We had corresponded for a short time before meeting face-to-face at a local coffee shop. The rest, as they say, is history.

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