Fungus is here

It’s mushroom time. This summer with all of the extra rain it was looking like lots of mushrooms would appear. Unfortunately the rain stopped and the heat went way up.

The climate in the foothills can change quickly and drastically. We have lots of tall grass from earlier moisture so the mushrooms that did show up this season have many great places to hide.

I see a few Puffballs, little white mushrooms, that are a mainstary around Evergreen on morning wallks. I check the usual hideouts for bright orange Charterelle and find them vacant.

This year I’m frustrated that I find so little on my searches, but I’m excited about my plan for next year because I found out about the Colorado Mycological Society. And about their forays to hunt mushrooms. I think it is time I look for expert guidance.

Forest management

At Flying J in Conifer the Forest Management Project re-opened trails on the north side this summer. Now the south side is closed most weekdays and the project still has a year to go.

The project goal is to reduce wildfire risk, promote more aspen trees and reduce confier overcrowding. Unfortunately walking the trails it is hard for me to see the big picture. Seeing trees that are beautiful cut down and lying on the ground hurts. The squirrels are more visible as they run across the horizontal trees dragging off pine cones and pieces of branches to make their winter nests.

Hopefully as I continue to walk the trails I will get use to the new more open look. Hopefully the project goals are met and I will have many years to see what changes occur.

Summer flowers

This has been a special summer. Spring provided lots of snow and rain to get the flowers started, but something even more unusual happened when rain appeared frequently in the afternoons each week.

Most summers by the end of June the dry heat shows ups by mid-morning and doesn’t stop until late afternoon as the sun sets and the temperature drops. This year late afternoon showers have continued into August. Sometimes the rain is steady and hard, with thunder and lightning thrown in for a little extra punch.


Because of all of the moisture the flowers line the trails as if spring were still here. The colors are strong, and the sun stays behind clouds enough in the afternoons for moisture to have a chance to hang around.

The mornings are dry and the temperatures dip to the high 50s so morning hikes are guaranteed.

In the afternoons sitting on the deck waiting to see how much rain will fall the birdfeeder is full of birds such as the Western Tanager that is flying through and the many kinds of woodpeckers in the Ponderosa and Lodgepoles. The smaller woodpeckers take turns chasing each other around the trees in their jerky little dance while the larger Flicker intimidate with just their size.

Why I hike

I grew up believing exercise was not meant to be fun, involved lots of sweat and caused some pain, but was good for you and needed to be done. Because of this belief I took a jogging class for one of my physical education classes in college in Denton, Texas.

First day in class I was excited when the teacher said after this class we would want to continue jogging for the rest of our lives, that the high you feel jogging is addictive. Hearing that anyone, not just professional athletics could get an adrenaline rush I was hopeful I’d enjoy this new sport.

Day after day jogging remained torture. I did my best to keep up with others in my class, and kept waiting for the jogging addiction to kick in. I did not give up because I needed the class, but I never became a jogger and when the class was over, I threw my jogging shoes away.

Fast forward thirty years and I’m no longer living in Texas. Now I live west of Denver, Colorado in the foothills of the Rockies. I started hiking to learn the wildflowers and to see wildlife. I let go of the voice in my head that said I was a wimp for not feeling pain and found hiking is my sport.

Walking outside is the perfect way to start off my day. After a walk my soul has been fed and any tension has flowed away. It’s as if I feel myself sink into all the beautiful, fun things Mother Nature shows me.

Marshdale hike

Yah! Found the trail behind Marshdale Elementary in the Denver Mountain Parks Conservation Property that goes to the top of the rock outcropping. I’ve been looking for two months, but with the snow I lose the trail and a large housing development adjacent with private property posting has been the only constant.

From the top the views are wonderful. The Barn Chapel in Evergreen Memorial Park is visible to the south. To the west snowy peaks line the horizon, and the view of Conifer Mountain is clear.

Along the trail flowers are starting to appear; stark white petals contrasting against dark green leathery leaves. Small gullets lining the path, and fuzzy Mullen leaves sprouting.

Buchanan Recreation Center

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.

Happy New Year Snow

This winter snow has not been often or heavy. On New Years Eve the snow fell lightly on and off all day and throughout the night. Waking up in 2019 the first thing to greet me was the cold.

Last Walks of 2018

Tonight there will be snow so today I’m enjoying cold weather with lots of sun at Elk Meadow. The fields are beautiful with tall grass bending gracefully in the morning light. Shadows play against the golden grasses and old buildings dot the landscape.

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