Why this blog?

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Elk bugling (le brame du cerf)

Beep beep beep beep . . . The alarm goes off at 4:45 AM. Time to get up, grab a quick breakfast, and jump into the car so that we can be in Rocky Mountain National Park before dawn. It's the mating season and the bull elk are competing for females. It's quite a spectacle as you can see and hear below. Well worth getting up in the middle of the night.

Father and son
A large bull watching over his harem
This young male is too small to compete

Sunrise in Rocky Mountain National Park

Dawn breaking on Longs Peak

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Living in other people's houses

Sleeping in strange beds, getting used to a firm pillow. How does the shower work? Is there salt in the kitchen cupboard? Where are the light switches? And do we have an internet connection?

I'm learning my way around this house - the fourth one we've stayed in since our arrival in Colorado. It's cheaper this way, staying with friends and family and finding the occasional dog-sitting gig, but sometimes I weary of the constant upheaval, living out of suitcases, never fully unpacked, never fully at home.

But I'm the perfect housesitter or tenant. I'm respectful of personal property and always put things back in their proper places. I water plants, feed the fish, and walk the dogs.

We are now staying in Boulder where we are temporary guardians of two lovely dogs, Magic, a German shorthaired pointer, and Silver, a Weimaraner. They are in good shape, have a lot of energy, and love to run. They are well-trained and come when called - so they have been awarded the coveted green Voice and Sight Tags by the city of Boulder. This allows their guardians (they are not called dog owners in Boulder) the right to walk their dogs off-leash.

Magic and Silver also have a special dietary regimen. It took me a little while to learn their routines, as each dog has a completely different menu.

Silver's rice and chicken with vitamin powder
Antibiotics and digestive enzymes
Silver and Magic waiting for dinner

Do you need a house sitter? We come with excellent references. Just ask Magic and Silver.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mt. Evans

My brother's house is on the road to Mt. Evans. We weren't able to drive to the very top, but the views along the way are impressive.
Bristlecone pines at timberline
Summit Lake at 12,840 feet (3,914 m)
Elaine and son Eric

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mountain house

We've just returned from a three-day stay at my brother Joe's mountain house. The house sits on 140 acres of secluded woods near Idaho Springs. The house is only 45 minutes west of Denver, but a world away from the stresses of daily life. We arrived during the peak of the autumn colors as you can see for yourself. 
My brother Joe
Living room

The view from the front door

Playing chess on the terrace

Transportation for the trails behind the house

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ghost towns

The Colorado mountains are full of ghost towns, abandoned when the gold and silver mines closed.
This is not a ghost!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Maroon bells

We are currently taking a short road trip through the mountains of Colorado. Today's destination: the Maroon Bells near Aspen. Perhaps you can see why these are among the most photographed peaks in all of North America. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gold Hill

We're back in my home state of Colorado - known for its mountains and its mining history. On Tuesday, we visited Gold Hill which was the site of the first major discovery of gold during the 1859 Colorado Gold Rush. Here are a few of the buildings in the town today.

After visiting Gold Hill, we took a drive along the nearby "Switzerland Trail", a dirt road that follows a former railroad bed that carried supplies between the mines and the towns below.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Manned spaceflight

As a child, I dreamed of being an astronaut. Alas, being a myopic female, non-pilot, non-scientist ruled out any possibility of achieving that dream. And I don't see any space travel in my future as a tourist. Sigh. However, that hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for all things related to space.

You can imagine my happiness in Washington D.C. when we visited both locations of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

The star exhibit at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (near Dulles airport) is the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Apollo 11 lunar lander
floating in space