Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Annual Colorado Springs Balloon Classic

This year, instead of heading to Memorial Park for to see the Annual Balloon Classic, we decided to hike up the bluffs in Palmer Park for a panoramic view of lift-off. It was awesome!

We counted about 75 balloons in the air at one time.

The colors were fabulous with the early morning sun lighting up the city.

We watched as the sun came up.

 This is my favorite picture with downtown to the right, Cheyenne Mountain in the back and Memorial Park in the foreground.

The ReMax Balloon visited the city making me wonder if it was for sale.

What a beautiful day!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Month of Family

Bill and I are still taking pictures but our main focus over the last month has been family. Daughter Pamela and grandson Gabriel visited from Maryland and Camron and Sidney have been visiting often. We hiked in the Upper Huerfano Valley with Bill's daughter Laura & hubby Tim, Pamela & Gabriel and Camron.

Bill took this beautiful picture.

We didn't see too many birds this year on the hike as we were concentrating more on the walk. Last year I barely got out of the parking area, but this year with my new hip I was able to get 3/4 of the way to the old mill site at timberline. We did stop often as the wildflowers were magnificent and we saw lots of butterflies.

The younger folks were way ahead of us when we saw this deer peeking at us through the trees.

The landscape is amazing as we walked by the river.

And the Columbines were blooming everywhere.

There were whole fields of yellow flowers.

The day was warm enough that at times I contemplated a dip in the water...

just like this American Dipper.

Aren't these just the cutest?

We also took Gabriel to Garden of the Gods where he spotted these Big Horn Sheep climbing in the hills.

Back at home, the hummingbirds are gathering and filling up with sweet juices before their incredible journey south.

This morning I counted almost a dozen of the little birds fighting for space on the feeders. We have both Broad-tailed and Rufus Hummingbirds but I couldn't get a decent picture of the Rufus as they were busy dive bombing the other birds to keep them away.

Yesterday, we hiked for a couple of hours in Palmer Park. I didn't have my camera so naturally we saw lots of great birds including tons of Nuthatches. But the most interesting sighting was a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers. Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers have similar markings and I often wondered if I got them mixed-up --- until yesterday. The Hairy Woodpeckers are huge compared to the diminutive Downys. I think that we've seen lots and lots of Downys and very few Hairys over the years.

Every Wednesday, from 4 to 12 ladies gather at my house for an afternoon of Mah Jongg. It's been great fun and has kept my game sharp so that I can get right back into the games when we return to Florida. This year, beginning in early October we will again be playing Tournament Bocce on Tuesdays & Thursdays. As you see, we are thinking about and planning our return to Ocala sometime in September.