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It seems as if he is saying, “Oh, darling, what is that glorious  perfume you’re wearing?!” These two were so lovey it was adorable, nuzzling, and giving elk kisses. He was about the only male in the herd, so clearly this was his chosen inamorata for the evening. (Sorry it’s a little blurry.)

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered.” — Nicholas Sparks

Daily gratitudes:
The lady styling the SpongeBob Squarepants  spike-heel ankle bootsHugging Mr. Man
When the day isn’t as hot as they say it’s going to be
MKL
That the beach is just days away

Because we have such an amazing place as Rocky Mountain National Park and Trail Ridge Road in our backyard. We had a girl’s trip yesterday to Silverthorne and back through Grand Lake and the Park, and it was wonderful. Great views and great talks. We saw oodles of elk and two moose (though I have yet to see an antlered moose). Love you, daughter, sister, niece.
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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “All things pass in time. We are far less significant than we imagine ourselves to be. All that we are, all that we have wrought, is but a shadow, no matter how durable it may seem. One day, when the last man has breathed his last breath, the sun will shine, the mountains will stand, the rain will fall, the streams will whisper—and they will not miss him.” — Jim Butcher

Daily gratitudes:
Children playing in dancing waters
Leftover wedding flowers
Ice cold milk
That the beach soon come
Sunsets

 

I love shooting reflections. At the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, they usually do a dip and drag in the lake, but conditions were warming up too fast this year, so only one or two balloons accepted the challenge.

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Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens

Daily gratitudes:
That Bridget’s dad is such a remarkable fighter
MKL
The Voodoo Donut fairy
Books
That the passive-aggressive postman did NOT leave my package of paper in a puddle

 

Peace and quiet were encouraged at Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. Not only did the management have people walking around with “Whisper Please” signs when it seemed people were getting too loud at the pools, cellphones were prohibited in most public places, the rooms did not have phones, and this was the public telephone. I was struck by another mild anxiety attack this afternoon, perhaps brought on by more prospective storms, so I am home curled up with Mr. Man, and remembering being happy and relaxed over the last two weekends.

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” — Chaim Potok

Daily gratitudes:
The man holding two tiny toddlers hands crossing the street this morning
Cowboy boots
Lunch outside
Cold milk
Mr. Man’s paws crossed on the computer

 

Because we love our hot air balloons. We have hot air balloon rodeos, like the one we went to this weekend, and in the mornings, I often see them floating in the blue as I am heading to work. Once at ex-Pat’s house, one flew so low over the backyard that we heard the whoosh of the flame as we were laying in bed in the morning. They represent light and freedom, and the epitome of air. I have never been up in one, but someday…though I think I’d prefer the basket to the chair that this gentleman is riding in.

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Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” — Terry Pratchett

Daily gratitudes:
Cheryl and her gratitude challenge
Seeing MKL for the first time in a week
Janalee for buying us our birthday lunch
A cool bath at the end of the day
My little workhorse of an air conditioner

And tonight, I send special prayers to my friend Bridget and her family. My thoughts are with you.

Kelsea and I took our annual trip to Steamboat Springs for hot air balloons, pro rodeo, and pizza that is so good we call it “crack pizza”. We had too much traffic on the way out of town, but it was the Universe making sure that we saw this most incredible rainbow. We could see from one end to the other, and took off down a muddy dirt track hoping that we could actually get to the end of it. We could see the end, in a field, but couldn’t get far enough off road to actually stand in the end of the rainbow. It’s now on both of our bucket lists. But it was an incredibly special moment for the two of us to share – one that will last in both of our memories.

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Grand County, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.” — Nora Roberts

Daily gratitudes:
Curvy roads
Kelsea
Actually hearing someone say “This is my first rodeo”
Getting lost
Talking late at night

 

MKL and I have been off the grid, spending three blissful days at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs in northern New Mexico. It has taken me some time to grow to love New Mexico, and some of the landscape is still too stark for me to feel it in my soul, but the sky is a clear blue that I have never seen anywhere else, the quality of light is magical, and the earth has little to hide. Ojo Caliente was historic, lovely, and soothing. They had six soaking pools, and each had its own energy. I”ll share more pictures from our trip this week.

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. When it happens to me after all these years it still takes my breath away.” — Carl Sagan

Daily gratitudes:
Birds flying motionless on air currents
The trees in the yard whipping in the pre-storm wind
Being away
Coming home
Cinnamon red dragonflies

 

Because we have mountains that are over 14,000 feet. In fact, we have 53 of them. Do you know that’s the cruising altitude of some small aircraft? We drove up to the top of Mt. Evans yesterday, which is 14,130 feet tall. We didn’t do the final ascent to the very tip-top of the rocks because MKL did not have a jacket and it was freezing up there, but we will on our next trip up. In fact, this might be a fourteener that I could climb, something I have on my list for the next year or two. It was a winding road up, snowbanks on the sides of the road in spots, and wild and windy at the top, with beautiful amazing views all the way to South Park and the Sawatch Range. I was definitely a little disoriented by the altitude, spinning in my head and having to hold onto MKL, or fall down. It was hot in Denver yesterday, so this was a perfect day to go up.

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Mt. Evans, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.  We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.” –  James Kavanaugh

Daily gratitudes:
Drinking coffee on the abstract bench this morning
Soft breezes
A new restaurant
Singing along to my iPod in the truck
Shoes that make my feet look tiny

 

 

A little beach dreaming on a Sunday morning after a long work week. This is from one of our favorite spots, Great Exuma in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the place we loved to stay (and in fact, the country) has disposed of it’s wonderful manager and chef and seems to be in decline. I have scoped out a lovely little house on the Tropic of Cancer beach for our next trip, but we’re going to explore a new island first – another that we hope to capture the heart of before it becomes overdeveloped.  In the meantime, back in Colorado, a trip to Mt. Evans is in store for today!

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: ““Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that makes you smile.” — Mark Twain (perhaps?)

Daily gratitudes:
The wedding I worked last night that made me smile
Sunflowers in sunshine
Seeing Kelsea and Joy
Cool breezes
My truck
The new girl at work yesterday who looks just like my friend Tina did 25 years ago – it took me aback every time I saw her

As promised, this is one of the many elk that roam the roads and yards of Estes Park. There are herds and herds of them, and at this time of year, they have lovely velvet on their antlers. Come fall, we will see bucks everywhere, and will be looking for the stags with the most points, and listening to them bugle their mating calls, a haunting, startling sound that can echo across open fields. This year, MKL and I will try to make an early morning run to my favorite big meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park, where the elk seem to congregate during mating season. Sort of like nature’s pick-up bar.

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Estes Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Connecting with the wilderness allows us to live in the flow of a meaningful, joyful life. Embracing this state of connectedness or oneness with other living beings including animals, as opposed to feeling an “otherness” or “separateness” brings a sense of harmony and enables us to be at peace with oneself and the world.” — Sylvia Dolson

Daily gratitudes:
The little boy trying to walk up the down escalator
Vintage railway cars at Union Station (I have pictures!)
The nice people at King Soopers who let me get my milk that I bought and forgot yesterday
Turquoise
MKL

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