Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Huerfano River Valley

Bill and I try to take at least one trip each summer to hike in the Huerfano River Valley on the backside of Mount Blanca. This year, Bill, his daughter Laura, hubby Tim and I headed out at o'dark-thirty on Saturday morning. After stopping for breakfast at George's Drive Inn Restaurant in Walsenburg, we headed up the very bumpy road to the trail head. Did I mention it was BUMPY?

This is the view from the meadow which is about a mile down the trail. Each year this hike gets a little harder for me. The altitude is about 11,000 feet and now that we are spending more time in Florida - we can really feel it! I have not made it back to the headwaters of the river in a couple of years. Laura & Tim went ahead without us while we took our time, enjoyed the scenery, looked for birds and rested between every couple of steps.

The Columbines were just starting to bloom. Blue Columbines are the Colorado State Flower.

We didn't see many birds - just a couple of Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warblers, chickadees, juncos and the usual crows and vultures.

Tim and Laura treated us to their always fun company and a gourmet picnic after the hike. All-in-all, a great day in the mountains. We are already talking about next year.

Back at home, the yard is looking pretty good.

The "Kookin Haus" gets a lot of use in the summer months.

Let me tell you about these beautiful yellow flowers and the garden around the blue bird bath. It looked terrible the last couple of years - we couldn't get anything to grow but weeds. Last year we had had enough so Bill sprayed the area with weed killer - the kind that leaves the ground completely barren for a year. We were going to take the garden out - or start over from scratch. This year when we returned home it was FULL of flowers - the flowers we had not seen in several years. I guess they didn't like competing with the weeds! 

Bill likes to fly his float plane - but I think we need a larger pond!

This is the "Bloomin Haus" in the corner of the yard. The window is part of a front door we bought from a neighbor and the red door was added last year to keep the raccoons out.

Another of the gardens - full of wildflowers.

Even the Potentilla is prettier than usual.