Why this blog?

To understand why this blog was created and where it got its name, start here

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oregon coast

The Pacific Ocean is only an hour and a half from my home in Portland. Sunny weather on a recent weekend provided the perfect opportunity for a two-day excursion.
First stop: Cannon Beach with its iconic Haystack Rock
I spent the night further south, near Depot Bay. Here's the view from my balcony after the sun went down. I even saw some whales from my window!

The next day, I visited the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, the tallest on the Oregon coast.
I finished the trip with a hike along the Nature Conservancy Trail on Cascade Head.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Portland - my new apartment

After spending the summer in my native Colorado, I have now relocated to Portland, Oregon. I found a fully-equipped apartment in a lovely, walkable neighborhood near Laurelhurst park, Whole Foods, tons of restaurants, and, best of all, walking distance from Philippe and Rachel. My new home is three times larger than my studio apartment in Paris and I sit at a large desk looking out at flowers and trees. Here are some photos of my new place, from front to back.
Shady front porch
Spacious living room with wood burning fireplace

Main bedroom
 Guest bedroom / office
A real kitchen!

The backyard and view from kitchen and office
While I miss speaking French and the cultural life of Paris, I am very happy exploring my new surroundings.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Brainard Lake

I took another hike in the Brainard Lake recreation area west of Boulder yesterday. And although I do go for the sightseeing and the exercise,
Brainard Lake

I always enjoy the flowers

 and the waterfalls,
Blue Lake

but the real reason I go is because . . . . .

of the mushrooms!! This prized edible is known by various names: boletus edulis (Latin), king bolete (English), porcini (Italian) or c├Ępe (French). But whatever you call it, it is delicious!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lake Isabelle

Every once in a while, my solitude - admittedly self-imposed - finds me in a melancholy mood. My favorite form of self-medication is a hike in my beloved Rocky Mountains.
We've had a lot of rain lately and I set out yesterday to look for mushrooms on the Isabelle Glacier trail near Brainard Lake west of Boulder.

I didn't find any mushrooms, but the wildflowers were out in force.
And the streams were flowing swiftly.
I walked as far as Lake Isabelle, only two miles from the trailhead

And took a selfie before turning around
to head back down the way I came.
As an extra bonus, I encountered a couple of bull moose who stopped eating long enough to have their pictures taken.
Check out the size of those antlers - still covered with velvet!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Denver Botanic Gardens Chihuly Exhibit

A spur of the moment decision yesterday afternoon took me to the Denver Botanic Gardens. A typical visit might focus on the flowers such as the ones below: 
However, the Denver Botanic Gardens is currently featuring a special exhibition by the renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly. The Blue Icicle Towers (below) is the first glass sculpture to greet the visitor

 Further on, the Monet Pool Fiori weaves artistry among the water lilies:

 Chihuly has installed a Blue and Purple Boat and Walla Wallas in the Japanese garden.

I loved the perennial gardens with their fantastical shapes and colors:

 There are plenty of whimsical exhibits
And darkness lends mystery to the collection

The exhibition is bewitching. Try to see it different lighting conditions.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cache la Poudre

Sunday's drive took me west of the town of Fort Collins where I attended college. I followed the Cache la Poudre river which was named by French trappers in the 1820s when they were caught by a snowstorm and were forced to bury part of their gunpowder along its banks.

The narrow canyon walls create stunning views

and some great white water rafting.
 The water is very cold and no one finishes the trip without getting wet!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mount Evans

I'm back in Colorado enjoying the sunny skies and mountains of my home state. I took a drive this week to the summit of Mount Evans west of Denver.
Looking down through the clouds below the summit

I didn't see any of the mountain goats or bighorn sheep that frequent the mountain, but there were plenty of marmots out sunning themselves.

I always enjoy the twisted shapes of the bristle cone pines near treeline
Exposed roots of fallen bristle cone pine

and melting snow at the summit.