Photos from the south Denver area looking west, March 8, 2014
Here we are just a week from SPRING! and yet it is white everywhere. Yesterday we had a cotton-ball fluffy, white-out blizzard thing blowing up in our faces and our noses here in my south Denver area and today it is melted off in all the right places and the sky is supernaturally blue. The snowmen, so carefully created yesterday afternoon at the height of the action are now slumped over and dripping sweat from this afternoon’s warm-up to a near 50 degrees. And so it goes in SPRING!
This will be the mother nature of things for the next couple months here in the Rocky Mountain region as SPRING! springs forward and then changes her feminine mind only to retreat and accept another wintry blast from the past. We actually like it, this back & forth, even while we complain about dressing in the morning for coldness and peeling off layers as the day progresses to warm, sunny afternoons. Shorts by afternoon is a not an uncommon thing for us in March and April.
We are almost ready to bid a fond adieu to the snowiest winter in over 20 years. Many of the mountain ski resorts have a base of well over 300 inches of snow and added another 2-3 ft. in the past few days. There is a long and winding slowly moving line of cars heading up through the canyons into the mountains to the ski areas, and SPRING! break is a perfect time to ski….our lovely neighbor to the west, Lake Tahoe, has not been blessed with the powder this winter. Some years you are the anointed one and some years you are not. We feel your pain; been there too and done that.
We here, however, are on a Rocky Mountain High. We breathe deeply the joy of living in this spectacular setting.
There is an especially large old oak tree down by the wetlands area near where I live. This tree towers above all others. In the “winter” months here in northern California’s rolling foothills of the Sierras, there is no real snow – you have to drive up the 80 about 40 miles on your way to Tahoe for the snow possibilites to begin. Here we welcome the rains of winter, and this year they have been scarce. The leaves of this majestic tree are still gone and you can see the enormous nests of the Blue Herons who reside there in the summer months. The nests look like they are about 4 ft across, and they are tangled up in the highest branches. The Herons have already returned, here at the onset of February, and one of these days I will get a photo when the light is right. By the time they get to their nests every evening it is almost dark and hard to see them. They have been out earning a living during the day, just like everyone else. But picture a half dozen gigantic birds, each probably 6 ft tall, standing in his/her nest in this mother of an oak tree, watching over the Safeway parking lot, the Starbucks, the Cleaners, the bank and the Jack-in-the-Box. There is plenty of traffic going on all day and night in that area. They seem fascinated by it. Not a one of them is pointed in the other direction.
Even in the low light of evening you can see they are blue – navy blue. They look as if they are dressed in gangster suits, all sraight up tall and somber. Motionless. Beady eyes watching. You kind of imagine them in dark sunglasses and an Al Capone type hat, brim turned down just right. And some Blues Brothers music.
It has been a week since I last posted and I am here to tell you that there is good reason. I have an excellent explanation wrapped around a thoroughly entrancing story, all true, which will remain undocumented in this Blog. It is a story well worth telling, but in another space and time. It is the kind of a story that marks a pivotal change; a “sea change” in my life – a story that will forever hold a bookmark as one of my favorite chapters.
I believe a theme runs through everything, and if there is a theme revealed in this untold tale it is that for everything there is a season, and a reason, and that timing is everything. However, SOMEDAY is not a day of the week. Don’t be putting stuff off for that future some day. Be alert and don’t be skittish – when opportunities brush quietly against you, notice that. Sometimes a softer touch delivers a more monumental impression that a wallop. Live in the now and sieze the magical moments that life offers you.
These photos were taken in Muir Woods – a northern California treasure near the Pacific coast just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The rains had come down in sheets for two solid days – walls of water – with serrated, biting teeth – leaving open wounds on trees, shrubbery – maiming things – tearing the last of the fall colors limb from limb. But then when it stopped, it stopped.
I found myself in Muir Woods, a glistening cathedral of giant redwood trees dripping irridescent liquid from every branch as if in holiday regalia. The filtered sun added golden sparkle to the silver, and the tumultuous creek became the hallelujah chorus. Mounds of newly washed moss appeared deeper green on tree trunks, rocks and entrances to the same hollowed logs you see in the pictures of fairy tales books. Rocks displayed new colors wet with rain, ferns uncurled their feathery fronds to lap up drippings.
The respect paid by fellow visitors to nature’s display was apparent and walking the woods became a prayer.