First Pasqueflower of 2019. Each day it opens to show the light lavender color inside, and moves following the arc of the sun. Each night it closes and the silvery hairs covering the flower stalk and sepals catch water drops which glisten in the early morning sunlight.
The regular snow falls of 2019 have kept me inside far too long. Today I visit Elk Meadow and happily discover finding a patch of snow is almost impossible. Living in an area in the foothills where snow can appear and disappear within hours means a lot of surprises.
Lots of people are out today walking. Many have dogs with wagging tails. They seem to enjoy the warmth from the sun as much as me
Walking in the open meadow at the north end of park the grass has sprung back up after being packed under snow. It looks more like fall than spring.
By next week green may be breaking free, and it will be looking like spring.
This week I visit Flying J to hike. Here the snow from two weeks ago still lies heavy in the many shaded areas under the trees. The shadows, dead grass and animal tracks are all that change the white landscape.
I enjoy the crunch of snow mixed with ice hiking early. By 8am mud is already taking over the areas in the sun. Each day the islands of open ground expand under the trees. The moist brown mulch from the pine trees draw my attention to the tree itself. In warmer seasons the ground and trees meld together and it’s all the trees, the forest I see.
This park is home to many small, black Abert squirrels. They are shy so instead of seeing them sitting on a log, usually they appear in motion, running from tree to tree. Today I didn’t see one, but I saw the remains of their meal on the trail, Ponderosa needles and little pieces of bark.
Next week work starts again, and I will walk in the afternoons. Then I will enjoy the difference a few hours can make watching the shadows as they close the day.
March 13 the bomb cyclone hit Evergreen. It rained early morning, then snow started to get heavy mid-morning and continued into the night. The thing I noticed most was the high winds that whipped the snow and left visibility only a few feet. Lucily the original forecast changed; we missed the heart of the storm. After several hours of wind and snow it was nice to know the storm was not staying, that we might not lose power. School was cancelled but this was not the weather you could enjoy.
March 14th we alternated shoveling and playing outside with the dogs.Snow ranged from one to two feet; the winds were gone. School was cancelled so roads would have time to be cleared.
Three days later mounds of snow still border the roads. How wonderful this winter has been for moisture. There’s a good chance wildflowers will appears that have been dormit for years. And even better news is the extra moisture will ward off springs fires.
Evergreen has two recreation centers. Being across from Elk Meadow Park this one has beautiful views. Trails surround the center and Bergen Park.They connect under the highway to Elk Meadow and many miles of trails.. The hiking trails are hidden from the highway by trees. Walking you notice nature instead of roads.
There are two ponds in front of the center that don’t quite freeze because of pumps that keep the water moving. The reflection of the center in the water of the open areas is beautiful. This is a view the business complex on the other side of the pond enjoy daily. And in the summer families fish these stocked ponds and play on the sculptures on shore. There is always something to see from the rec center and office windows.
This yak was born last summer and lives with a small group. I watched it stay with its mom for months. Then follow its mom. And finally venture out on its own.
Home base for this group surrounds a pond and is next to where they are fed. In the pond are often local geese or some Canadian geese that stop while flying through. Neither the geese or yak seem afraid of each other, or to have much interest in each other.
At Christmas time I saw the young yak walking of the frozen pond. It would walk to the middle of the pond and check out the dog house that had been home to the geese. Looking closer at the pond yak tracks crisscross and cover it. Apparently this new adventure is fun. I wonder is this will change the relationship of geese and yak.
This weekend we had the first big snow of the winter. If would have been light and fluffy a month ago. Instead of flying off the deck from a broom it taunted the shovel and let your back know if was there.
Yesterday we were cacooned in gray. The temperature was near freezing so it was brisk, not cold. This morning it is cold but the sun is out and the sky back to Colorado blue. By the end of the day the trees with no longer carry their load and patches of grass with appear.
Today is a lazy day to watch the white fall to quickly return to the mountains.
Between Evergreen and Conifer is Marshdale. The sleepy looking area needs close inspection to find hidden history and trails.
For instance behind Marshdale Elementary is Denver Mountain Parks Conservation Property. Trails here may be best known to fourth graders who climb each spring while learning about Indians and checking out the wildlife. Starting up the trail is an old column of gray rocks. Students have added small painted rocks in the crevices leaving bright splashes of color.
New custom homes dot one side of the property. Another side has small cabins from the early 1900s. Like the column of rocks, new and old sit side by side.