Colorado Tales 64

August 7th, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized.

We have been having real summer with temperatures in the 90’s lately.  A few weeks ago, we had a month of daily rain and fog.  The ground was so saturated that the farmers could not harvest their crops, as their heavy machinery would sink into the earth.  Our nearby Foothills are still green and this is the last day of July when they are usually brown.

My gardens are absolutely beautiful.  Certainly the abundant rain has benefited them.  Last summer I planted several hyssop plants, as the hummingbirds love them.  Just a couple of days ago we were rewarded with the visit of a couple of hummingbirds who travel from Costa Rica to enjoy the nectar of our hyssops.

Last month I invited Longmont Artists Guild to our home for a plein aire painting session in our yard, and for taking some photos.  It was good camaraderie and an enjoyable get together.  Just a week ago, Pastel Society of Colorado came over to our home for the same type of event.  It was hot, but a wonderful day of sharing our gardens and painting with friends.

A few days ago, while sitting on our patio, underneath the maple tree that I planted 16 years ago, a baby bird landed on Ken’s left shoulder.  It remained there for several seconds and then must have realized it should not be there and flew off.

In early July we were having coffee at sunrise as we routinely do, looking at the Foothills and Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak when I noticed that one of our neighbor’s horses was directing its attention north.  I looked in that direction and saw a rather large animal.  Using binoculars, I discovered it was a young female moose probably less than a year old.  This youngster is 7 feet tall and very confident.  It walked thru our yard and into our neighbor’s property where it ate a few branches of a willow tree.  Yum!  We called both our closest neighbors at 6 am to let them know their horses might meet a moose.  Of course, we apologized for the early call.

The following Friday, once again during our morning coffee, the moose returned.  Passing 15 feet from our house it ambled down to our pond to have a drink and then leisurely walked thru the front yard.  It appears to go slow, but the stride is 5 ft and plenty of ground is covered in no time.  I have named her Molly.  Molly will be the subject of a painting.

In July I took a workshop from Liz Hayward Sullivan.  She is a native of Massachusetts.  We worked inside the first day and then went out to paint on site.  One of the places was the Denver Botanic Gardens.  I must say that I have more color in my gardens then they do.  Evidently, they were hard hit by hailstorms.  I sat on one of their benches for a few minutes and looked around me.  There was a Canadian thistle blossoming in the garden and it was over 3 ft. tall.  I was tempted to uproot this invasive monster, but thought they might throw me out for disturbing their gardens.  However I was wondering why they did not pull this noxious weed.

Our son Scott just retired from the National Park Service.  He now has a pickup truck and a travel trailer that will serve as his home for perhaps a year.  The first stop on his year of wandering will be our home.  This should be an interesting adventure for Scott and for us.

Ken has taken a couple of trips into the mountains on his BMW motorcycle.  He used the towns of Walden and Leadville for accommodations.  Walden is a tiny community of ranchers and hunters in an area known as North Park.  Leadville is a once-prosperous old mining town at 10,000 feet altitude.

Ken is trying his hand at fly-fishing for trout in the rivers of the Rockies.  He has caught a few but released them back to the river.  The first time fishing we got together with our friend Leo from University of Northern Colorado and spent a morning in Rocky Mountain National Park where we each caught a couple of small brown trout.

July 30th I had the opportunity to be a judge at 4H.  I judged Creative and Visual Arts.  I was quite impressed with the youngsters that I met and interviewed.  They are building character and speaking skills along with art skills.  Some of the youngsters are involved in archery, shooting, cake decorating, feeding the homeless and visiting nursing homes with gifts at Christmas time and Easter time.  There are many other opportunities with horses and animals.  This was the most difficult judging that I have ever done.  I wish I could have given them all Blue Ribbons and Champion status.  Only blue ribbon winners are assured of going to the State Fair competition.  Our county fair is going on right now and the art I reviewed will be on display.   I will have to visit to see the kids I worked with and their artwork.

I can’t tell you how impressed I was with these children.  You read about the problems and troublemakers.  With these kids, they can only improve our world.  Go 4H!!

Sunday, August 3 – we just got back from viewing the competitors in an Ironman triathlon that passed our home.  Almost three thousand people have entered this Boulder event.  We stood on the roadside clapping and shouting encouragement.  The riders were happy to see us.  However, we did not stay to watch all 3,000.  This Ironman event is claimed to be the largest in the world.  The winner finished in under 9 hours for 3 miles swimming, 100 miles biking and 26 miles running.

I got word that I had all three of my artwork paintings judged into the International Meeker Sheepdog Trials Art Show.  Ken will bring my work to Meeker, 5 hours from here, on the 10th of August and drop them off at Wendell’s Wonderous Things.  He will find out more about this business when he drops them off.  While in Meeker he will bring his fishing gear and fish on the White River.  The art is displayed in the Meeker Library and then moved to the dog trial site on September 9th.

We travel to Meeker on September 10 for the reception and awards.  After that there is a lamb cook off.  There are 5 days of sheepdog trials.  Entry is limited to 125 dogs.  Saturday and Sunday will show off the best dogs in rounding up the sheep.

If my paintings do not sell, we pick them up at the art show set up located at the trial site.  I am really happy my work has been selected.

Hope you are well and enjoying summer.


Diane and Ken

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