Friday, June 28, 2013

Good Rain

For me, watching nature wield power is a spectator sport. That's the only reason for this post.

According to my thermometer, the high today at my house was 95 degrees. Mid afternoon the clouds started rolling in. About six, the clouds were getting darker. There was rain and hail in those green-gray clouds. An occasional lightening bolt managed to scare me and my neighbor campers.

Probably wasn't too wise for me to head out for photos with the occasional lightening strike. Figured I was safe under the nearby power lines. Probably a poor assumption. The power pole would be struck and the lightening bolt would head down to the ground and short out the electrical circuits in this body.

That didn't happen, so I managed to get a few more photos of the leading edge of the clouds.

With the ominous color of the clouds and the increasing winds, it was time to get back to my home. Inside I noted the temperature was at 80 degrees.  The wind started to build. Soon neighbor campers were taking down their awnings. Then they were putting away the "portable shades" that were over the picnic tables.

Soon the rain started and it rained hard with some hail included in the mix. Sure does get noisy in this box -- I call home -- as the rain fell by the bucket full. Looking out my windows, visibility was less than a hundred yards.

By nine o'clock the rain had dissipated and the outside temperature had dropped 15 degrees to a comfortable 64.

The rain spoiled some campers planned campfire on this Friday evening of the beginning holiday week. It happens.

It was a good day and it was a good rain.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sunset Birding

At the end of most every day during my stay at Boyd Lake SP, I take a sunset walk.

An almost island surrounded by water and almost impenetrable undergrowth is where the pelicans preen and hang out. Wondering where the pelican nests were, the park ranger said these were non-breeding pelicans.

No longer migrating, the Canada geese are year round residents along Colorado's Front Range. Protecting their brood, this pair was ever watching of my location. Too close and they would head into the water.

Found a monument of feathers. Guessing the geese have not evolved to create this.

The great blue heron walks the shallow areas of the lake looking for an evening meal.

Spotting an immature eagle atop the power pole was a rare sighting. Not sure if it is a golden or bald. After referencing a bird book, this amateur birder concludes that it is probably a bald. Only a guess.

Since it was a sunset walk, the last photo is a gallery version of a sunset.

Good night.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Enthusiam -- Revisited

In the post Enthusiasm, I had concluded that although I still had enthusiasm for exploring and learning, I had lost the enthusiasm for the road travel. Upon further reflection, I've concluded that is not entirely true.

The road travel of dragging the trailer up and down mountain roads is no longer enjoyable. The price of three transmissions in the past twelve years hasn't made it any more comfortable. The most recent replacement last summer included a transmission cooler. (Never had one.) Hoping that will allow a longer life for the current transmission.

With a short memory, the transmission issues are background noise in my mind as Silver Slug continues to get me where I am going.

Sometimes that going includes freeways. Freeway driving is pure bore -- with or without the trailer in tow. Secondary roads are much more interesting. However, the Silver Slug and Wandrin Wagon combination doesn't always allow for spontaneous stops for the perfect photo op -- or to get the story. Sometimes there is no place (or a wide enough shoulder) to pull over 40 plus feet of truck and trailer. Driving along in search of such a place, I am willing to walk back. Rare to find such a place when looking for one.

No doubt I could find a campground and then head back for that photo op and story with the Silver Slug. That would be a lot of hassle and money for an hour long detour.

That has been my experience along the easily traveled secondary roads.

I've abandoned hopes for other secondary roads. Planning travel routes and looking at Google Earth reveals narrow two lanes winding through the mountains. I would enjoy the opportunity to drive those roads except for the trailer in the rear view mirror.

So what is the solution. Downsizing to a Super B sized RV would be perfect for that off the beaten path traveling. I explored that option previously in Could I Do That. Yeah. I know there are people (and bloggers) who live full time in those units and smaller.

I am not ready for that kind of living. Even if I were ready, there is the matter of money. After twelve years, Silver Slug and Wandrin Wagon are worth little on the resale market. No matter what RV choice could be made to replace the perfect home on wheels, new or used, it would cost a good portion of my savings.

So why change anything. Accept that my enthusiasm for travel has changed and continue nomadic exploring with Wandrin Wagon in tow wherever I travel -- or park.

There are many who couldn't live in my "hard sided tent". That was what an acquaintance dubbed Wandrin Wagon when I told him that I had no slide; no furnace; no awning and no microwave. There is also no TV.

Another person asked how could I live in that "hard sided tent". Hmmm. My home has a bed, a bathroom, a kitchen -- with a refrigerator. Is there something I am missing. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's Summer

Celebrating Summer Solstice

Since I arrived on the Colorado Front Range at the end of May, 
there are many times I stop to marvel at nature's decorating 
of dormant brown trees with green. 
Not just a little green; 
there is a lot of green. 
Absolutely beautiful.

Green on the shore of Standley Lake.

Green leaves of a cottonwood.

Green of Shanahan Ridge in Boulder

Green sunset looking east at Boyd Lake State Park

Wishing you a good day to
enjoy and
celebrate Summer Solstice 2013.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Vacation

I know my life is one long vacation, but sometimes I just have to get away. It was time for a vacation from the parking lot of RVs at the Elks Lodge. Heading north on I-25, it was a stressful start to the vacation. Traveling at 60 with trailer in tow, I -- and the semi ahead of me -- was passed by everything (including semis) where the suggested speed limit was 75 MPH.

50 miles later, it was with relief and great pleasure to arrive at Boyd Lake State Park. Campground spaces are large and many with trees.

Compared to the Elks, it is quiet. No nearby railway grade crossings. No apartment complex within miles. No high school practice fields next door.

The great part is that I can be in a natural world without driving to find a place to walk. Just step out of Wandrin Wagon and start walking.

The bike path is about a 100 yards away. Walking along the path, there are lots of birds going about their lives. Noted some kingbirds collecting nesting materials. The robin was gathering food for its nestlings. The meadowlark was perched on a post and warbling its distinctive tune.

The lakes along the bike path are a great place for the great blue heron to stand in the shallows hunting for a meal.

Or just standing on a tree branch.

A few years ago before the inner ear problem affected my balance, I had biked that paved trail from the campground to downtown Loveland. That distance could be walked. However, I do not enjoy walking on concrete. Especially for that distance.

Rather than just a vacation, Boyd Lake SP would be a great place to spend a couple of months. Suppose I could always get one of those positions as campground host. Hmmm. It's a thought.

While I think about that possibility, I will enjoy this two week vacation.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nineteen Eighty-Four

After the latest revelations about the NSA snooping, there has been a large jump in sales for Nineteen Eighty-Four** -- the novel written by George Orwell in 1949.

To feed on the popularity of the book, I've heard from a reliable source, that the book 2013 will be published shortly.

2013 is a non-fiction book with details how the USA promotes perpetual war; a decades long surveillance of its population; and media brain washing through 24 hour news programs. Further, 2013 identifies the process through which the citizens' representatives for federal government are dictated by a small portion of the population who own all of the country's assets. Most of the citizens do not question the status quo of living in the USA. The few that would expose government malfeasance are discouraged through trials and long jail sentences.

Note: I made this up. No such book is to be published. At least, I am not aware of any book.

** The first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for Nineteen Eighty-Four: Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel by George Orwell published in 1949. The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

From The Gallery


Memories from boyhood on the Wisconsin dairy farm
are the smells of freshly cut grasses and alfalfa. 
As the grass and alfalfa dries awaiting barn storage,
those fresh smells fill the air. 
Nothing like it.

Taking some shoots to relive that distinctive fresh smell, 
the next step was scanning and Photoshop enhancement.

Your assumption is correct. I am having fun doing this.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It was a walk at Standley Lake Regional Park. Didn't qualify as a hike. Hiking would require some exertion due to a changing elevation.

Considering the number of times I stopped looking for photo ops in those three miles, it might not qualify as a walk. Perhaps it was just resting interrupted by walking.

Yucca are beginning to bloom.

Good place for an infestation of aphids. With aphids, there are ladybugs. This pair of ladybugs is in the process of reproduction. At least the first step in the process.

After being stabbed by a yucca leaf, I was more careful where I stepped for future photos.

Probably a primrose that hadn't opened at the early hour I was walking.

More color for the green hillsides was provided by Indian paintbrush.

Other than the sound of some ducks on the lake, the other fauna was the prairie dog.

The hillsides were covered with the huge colony of prairie dogs.

Need some predators to help control the expansion. Where are the hawks, coyote and the fox.

It was a great restful walk. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

From The Gallery -- Almost

Bet you thought I created this with Photoshop.

Sorry. Not quite that creative. I noted what looked like eyes when I downloaded the photos. Had to share.

There is an open weave fence behind the iris. It was just a chance photo. Just moving left or right a half inch may have made a very different photo. Also would not have been as interesting.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Staying Cool

Reading the blogs I follow, there are many comments about the weather where RVing bloggers are parked. The most common weather -- depending on geographic location -- reports are about winds, heat, tornadoes, rain or flooding. One recently read post mentioned snow and cold. No cold or snow in Denver. It's warming heating up. Predictions for the week ahead are for several over 90 degree days.

Not complaining. This Denver stay was my choice for doctor, dentist, family and friends. If the hot weather is still an issue at the end of July, I will be heading to higher elevations -- and cooler temps -- in Colorado's mountains.

It's all about adapting. Get out in the morning for hikes before it heats up. Then head off for indoor exploring when it's hot outside. Or just go to an air conditioned Starbucks and do some reading.

Or I could just sprawl on a cool lawn under a shade tree.

The positive is that it cools down at night. Yup. That is a good thing.

Friday, June 7, 2013

From The Gallery

Some kind of grass.
Called tickle grass when I was a kid.
Also called squirrel tail of fox tail.

Selection was scanned and then Photoshop enhanced

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Garbage Truck

Maybe not garbage. 

Considering the contents, it might be a recycling container.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ya Gotta Wonder

A classic strip from Calvin and Hobbes (05/13/2013):

That is so true.

Standing in the check out line at the grocery store, this is the view as you wait.

Not too many years ago, that rack also displayed Time, Newsweek, and US News. Not today.

Quoting Calvin, "I know more about the private lives of celebrities than I do about any governmental policy that will actually affect me."

No wandering today. Just wondering.

Monday, June 3, 2013