Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Wonderful Holiday Weekend

Bill and I again spent the morning hiking, this time in Red Rock Canyon. It is a fairly new park near Manitou Springs off Route 24 on the west side of Colorado Springs. We headed out early - before 8 a.m. - before it got too hot and before our daily thunderstorms.

The trails are well marked and range in difficulty from an easy stroll to a challenging climb. The views of Garden of the Gods are fabulous. We hiked from the parking lot up to the far southwest border near Bear Creek Park and Gold Camp Road - about six miles with an elevation climb of 500-600 feet.

The birds were singing as we climbed. This is one of my favorites - a young Spotted Towhee.

I'm not sure what this is - I think it's a Mockingbird - but it sang a wonderful welcoming song as we passed.

Tall Coneflowers were everywhere along the trails.

This is the quarry area. We had the coordinates of a geocache hidden in this beautiful area - but after yesterday's rain, we had to trek through deep puddles and lots of mud to find the cache. Bill located it first - on a rock wall. It was in a very small camouflaged container with just enough room for a small log - which we signed before we hid it for the next cacher.

I was surprised to see a Great Blue Heron on top of the rocks. It seemed out of place.

On our way back to the parking lot, this deer watched us for quite some time before continuing on his way. We watched him back.

We found another cache, hidden by five-year-old "Noah" along the path, but could not locate a third cache, "Slippery Rocks," even after searching the area for almost half an hour. I suspect it was just at the edge of a sharp drop-off. We decided to play in safe and not get too close as the area was covered with slippery rocks as the name of the cache indicates.

Back at home, I took some pictures in the backyard - our haven from the world. Our roses have never been more beautiful.

The feeders were busy. These little yellow finches are our most abundant visitors.

Last summer Bill's sister, Terry, gave us this beautiful orange hibiscus. It was gorgeous right up till the time we were ready to leave for Florida. We hated to just let it die - so our good friend, Nancy took it over the winter - along with two red geraniums. She took wonderful care of all three plants - and thanks to her loving care - this hibiscus is full of beautiful flowers again this summer. The geraniums are also treating us to an endless supply of bright red flowers.

The Downy Woodpeckers are back. We hadn't seen them for a couple of weeks while they were busy with their young.

Our Day Lilies are in their full glory. Each bloom lasts only one day - but just as one fades another takes its place.

Yesterday was the 233rd birthday of America. We celebrated with son John and "son" Erik who are in Colorado Springs to teach at the ANA Summer Seminar. Bill, as usual, made a delicious dinner with the help of his outdoor grill (The Benford) and I opened a nice aged red wine. Nice, very nice.

No comments: