Saturday, August 29, 2015

Squirrels on the Trail

I took a nice hike at Roxborough State Park this morning.  The hike was notable for the the presence of friendly squirrels along the trail.  They seemed to have no fear of me at all, although they would scurry off if any other hikers approached.  Perhaps they lacked fear of me because I am so slow moving.  Or perhaps they could sense that I was a kindred spirit, a sort of Tarzan of the Squirrels.

At any rate, here is a plump brown squirrel (with auburn highlights), who stopped digging a burrow and posed for me.  Its tail was luxuriant.

I judged that the squirrel was about 15% fatter than normal, presumably in preparation for winter.  Coincidentally, I am currently 15% fatter than normal with respect to the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart.  Therefore, I should take a lesson from the squirrel.  If I sleep away the coming cold months, I will emerge in the spring time frisky and slim.

I continued along the trail to the top of Carpenter Peak, where I saw two chipmunks.  They were content to frolic around my feet, but got shy when other hikers approached.  Consequently, the following pictures had to be taken from a distance.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Machu Picchu USA

I took another of my Mt. Falcon hikes this morning.  I failed to reach the top again, but this failure was more encouraging than past failures: I traveled farther and I reached the edge of a very pretty wooded section of the trail before succumbing to wobbly legs.  This next stretch of the trail should be a pleasure.

I made a halt adjacent to a six-foot boulder.  This will be the marker to beat on my next attempt.

From the trail I espied an ersatz Machu Picchu in the distance.

Despite its expansive terraces, this is a pale imitation of the original.  Not a llama in sight. 

So, be on your guard if your travel brochure for Machu Picchu identifies its location as Morrison, Colorado instead of Peru. By way of comparison, here is the real Machu Picchu.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hiking with Horses

I took vacation time today to go on a weekday hike instead of my accustomed Saturday hike. 

I expected that there would be fewer hikers on a Friday and perhaps more animals about.  My expectation was proven correct.  Here are animals that I had never seen on the trail before.

A man and a woman in their fifties rode past me as they went up the trail and again as they went down.  Cowboy hats on riders are apparently outmoded.  Safety-conscious modern riders have adopted polo helmets for their trail riding.  I'm glad that John Wayne didn't live to see this.

The parks are remarkably strict about making dog owners pick up dog waste on the trail.  Horse owners, however, are a favored lot.  They are not required to carry along a jumbo garbage bag to collect horse droppings.  (In the interest of maintaining a high tone for this blog, I have refrained from adding photographs of the many piles of manure that I had to hop over on the trail.)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Nature Walk at Roxborough Park

I decided to take a leisurely walk at Roxborough State Park today and enjoy nature.

The Alpine Daisy Flowers were in full bloom.

Here is a long tail with a lizard attached to it.

Here is a rock outcropping with a peak that reminded me of a rhinoceros horn.  (I guess you had to be there.)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Snake by the Trail

I rose early this morning to make another hiking attempt on the Mount Falcon trail.  The cool morning temperature would surely help my endurance, I thought.

I was mistaken.  It was the same miserable story as the previous two attempts:  gasping for breath, staggering along with leaden legs, sweating profusely.  However, on this attempt I had a small adventure.

A rattlesnake was resting beneath a small bush beside the trail.  It started to rattle its tail -- actually, the sound was more like a loud fizz than a rattle -- as I approached.  I took a quick photograph and then left the snake in peace.

The Swedish Anvil

Last Sunday my younger son and I traveled to Buena Vista, Colorado to pick up an anvil that he had bought on eBay.  The anvil was stored at a small shop that sold antique trifles and tourist souvenirs.

The proprietor took us to the anvil.  We loaded it into the trunk of my Mazda (my son did the lifting) and we headed back to Denver.  Unfortunately, we decided to take Interstate 70, which was remarkably clogged with traffic coming down from the mountain resorts. 

Now, it is usually the height of foolishness for a driver to take pictures while going down the highway.  However, when the traffic is moving at five miles per hour, the risk is minor.  Here is a photograph of scenery on the way back to Denver.

I will not prolong the suspense.  Here is a photograph of the new anvil -- a petite 70 lb. anvil from Sweden with a pretty turned up horn and clean edges -- that is sitting atop my son's 120 lb. Peter Wright anvil.  The new anvil was made in 1928.  (Not so long ago, really.  My father was five years old when the Swedes were making this anvil.)

  The only thing better than having one anvil is having two!