Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Wrap-up

Man, I sure haven't taken many pictures this summer.  I've been a few places, but as in the past couple of years, family health crises have really put a dent in my travels.  So, here's a few left-overs from the summer. 

Early in June Connie and I went camping up along the upper Arkansas River.  We were lucky and got our fav spot right next to the river.  We've been lucky the past two years and gotten one of these choice spots.  Here's Connie enjoying libations next to the river.  Such a great spot.  The river noise is so nice.  Some years almost too much.  Just right this year.   And there are rarely any bugs.  No fires this year, due to high fire danger.  You might not the fire ban sticker on the fire ring grate. We had too cook all our meals on the Coleman stove.

One evening we took a walk up the river looking for birds.  Didn't see much, but found this thistle flower just filled with these beetles.  I don't know what they were doing - feeding, mating?  I've seen these beetles in mass before, but on the ground in great numbers.  I don't know what kind of beetle we have here. 

Connie's family has had a time share condo in Vail for years.  It's always like the second or third week in June.  Often it's kind of a wet chilly week, but this year it was really nice.  One day we took a hike up  Booth Creek.  I think that was the name.  It was steep at first as we climbed up out of the Vail valley and up into the Eagle's Nest Wilderness, but it leveled out.  We went as far as a waterfall on the creek - maybe a couple of miles.  Shot this looking back down into the Vail valley.

In July I went camping down around Salida.  One morning driving along I spied this pair of mountain blue birds working on a family in a bird box at Ruby Mountain.  The males are such a beautiful shade of blue in breeding plumage - just like the Colorado sky.   I didn't want to bother them too long, but got a few shots.

Every summer in August, there's the big Rocky Mtn. Airshow at the Jeffco airport about a mile north of our house.  Depending on the winds, the glide paths for takeoff and landings bring the planes right over our neighborhood.  This year, there was a B-29 and a B-24 at the show.  We saw both a couple of times.  I'd never seen a B-29 before.  What a huge plane.  I decided the Sunday of the show, I'd go over to the business park just south of the airport to see if I could see any of the show.  They were supposed to fly the B-29 for the show, but for some reason it didn't fly.  I did get shots of this wing-walker doing her thing.  I've been to some airshows, but I don't think I ever saw a wing-walker perform.  Brave lady.  There were some other WWII planes that flew, but didn't get any decent shots of them.  They didn't venture over my way very far. 

Went up camping along the upper Colorado River couple weeks back.  Lucky again, and got my fav spot under some cottonwoods right next to the river.  There was a mud puddle from recent rains that some yellow butterflies were using as a lick.  If I'm not mistaken, I think that's how butterflies get their moisture - soaking up moisture through their feet.  There must have been 30 or 40 of these butterflies at the lick at one time. 

Waiting for it to cool off so I can go down to Pueblo and do some dutch oven cooking at Lake Pueblo State Park.  I was there in the spring and the lake was pretty low.  I had to drag my boat down a long arroyo to get to the water.  I think the water level is even lower now.  But, I like Pueblo in the fall and winter.  Usually warmer there by a few degrees, and there's always the usual suspects to photograph - mockingbirds, curve-bill thrashers and canyon towhees.  Plus, some good train watching.  Plus, there's electrical hook-ups so I can have constant heat.  Even when it's quite cold out, my little camper stays nice and toasty with my little electric heater going.  Don't have to use the propane  that way.