Pulpit Rock

I spent a couple hours on a hazy afternoon exploring Pulpit Rock Open Space. Here’s the rock from the parking lot.

image

About twenty minutes later, I took this shot of the parking lot from the top of the rock. My car is the silver one on the left side of the small red lot by the pole.

image

Here’s what the top looked like from the almost-top.

image

It was a little tricky to clamber up, especially when I got to the brown rocks, but I managed to get up and own without a crisis. Here’s another shot from the top looking north.

image

And three pans that cover 360°. Looking west, with Pikes Peak just left of center.

image

Looking north and east along the spine of the hill.

image

Looking east and south, with Cheyenne Mountain in the distance.

image

Downtown Colorado Springs in the middle distance.

image

I explored the top of the hill, which was loaded with rock formations.

image

image

image

That’s the top in the foreground. The guy in the red shirt is standing where I took the photos above.

image

image

image

image

The red rocks at the base of the mountains is Garden of the Gods. They can be seen in several of the photos.

image

There were several Townsend’s Solitaires flying around on top of the rock.

image

I climbed back down and tried to walk around the outside of the park. I made it about halfway and ended up in a residential neighborhood.

image

image

image

image

image

image

I hadn’t felt like carrying the red chair up the rock, but I pulled it out when I got back to the car.

image

image

It’s close, it’s fun, and for a Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t very crowded. My guess is that I’ll make it back.

Posted in Birds, Hikes, Red Chair, Scenery | Leave a comment

Monument

I spent a couple hours this afternoon wandering about Monument, Colorado, taking photos of everything that was interesting and several things that weren’t.

image

On this site, on January 15, 2017, at 2:30 pm, Roger took a red chair photo.

15994753_1218779831533124_864000042214804023_o

A display to honor the fact that locals used to harvest ice on Monument Lake.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

There were enough benches in town that I’m pretty sure every resident could sit down at the same time.

image

Two shots in front of the lakeside mural.

image

image

Monument Lake with Mount Herman in the background.

image

image

image

image

Posted in Cities, Red Chair, Sculptures and Statues | Leave a comment

Needs Some Work

image

Posted in Photography | Leave a comment

Paint Mines

On a cloudy morning that turned into a beautiful day, we headed east into the plains to Paint Mines Interpretive Park.

image

We parked in the first lot we came to and headed off on the trail that looked most promising. That explains why we’d already walked almost three miles before we came to the major features of the park. But we enjoyed being outside and, as a bonus, we saw a Black-tailed Jack Rabbit.

image

Wow! These critters can run. It jumped up from a small depression next to the trail and headed up a hill. It stopped just long enough for me to get this photo, then it took off and didn’t stop again until it was out of sight over a rise. We scared it up again when we got up there about 20 minutes later. This time it tore off through the grass like a rocket. I looked online and discovered that they can motor at speeds up to 40 mph.

image

There wasn’t much else in the way of wildlife that we saw — a pair of Mountain Bluebirds off in the distance, a male Northern Harrier and a Red-tailed hawk. And this Mountain Cottontail.

image

Our trail took us in a big circle around the outside of the main canyon, with only glimpses of it in the distance.

image

image

image

When we finally crossed over this rise, we saw the canyon. It was filled with a large group of kids who were climbing all over the place while a group of women tried to get them herded to leave. Things got much quieter and enjoyable after they were gone.

image

image

image

We wound our way down to the bottom and spent about a half hour exploring.

image

image

image

image

image

The narrow pillars with mushroom tops are called “hoodoos.” 

image

image

image

image

image

15995320_10210758554895469_8646032848635062052_o

image

image

image

image

image

image

Definitely a place we’ll make it back to. 

Posted in Mammals, Red Chair, Scenery | Leave a comment

Sarah

Sarah Chase performed a short piece on the piano. And then there was Tuna and things got strange.

image

 

image

aimg_1323

Posted in Music, Red Chair | Leave a comment

Santa Fe Trail — Part Two

We tried a new church this morning. They gave us chocolate because we were first time visitors. This has happened to us before. We’ve decided, instead of settling down, that we’re just going to visit a new church every week.

In the afternoon, I went for a walk. My plan was to walk the next section of the New Santa Fe Trail. (I walked the northernmost section last Sunday.)  This would have taken me from Monument south to Baptist Road and back, a distance of about six miles. But by now you know my walks never go as planned. I began at the same point that I began and ended last week, but this time I headed south.

img_5037

I cut through downtown Monument, past some lovely sculptures.

img_5036

From there, the trail basically cut across a large prairie right next to I-25. Yes, there were mountains off to my right, but it was boring.

img_5035

After three miles, I made it to Baptist Road. I couldn’t bring myself to walk back the way I’d come. It was just too dull. I’ve coined a phrase for the motivation that keeps me walking — the lure of the next bend. There was no lure on this trail.

I stopped for a moment to ponder the art instillation on the round-about.

img_5033

It’s called “Aspen Grove.” It “brings to light the interaction of light, wind and color highlighting one of our cherished species of trees. The intent is to draw upon the powerful images provided by the backdrop of Pike’s Peak, Rampart Range and rolling grasslands. The sculptures, fabricated in polished stainless steel, stand upright as an observation of nature. Each tree is made up of a collection of two-part coated cups (leaves) that lightly bounce with kinetic motion. Each tree stands collectively as a symbol of the various communities and neighborhoods comprising the Tri-Lakes area. The installation becomes a grove of Aspen trees, demonstrating the history of these communities’ collective culture.”

Alrighty then.

img_5032

img_5034

I headed west on Baptist Road across Teachout Creek.

img_5031

An American Tree Sparrow posed nicely for me.

img_5030

I soon found myself in the barren wasteland of a new housing development. Beaver Creek has been dammed to form a lake, and some decidedly posh homes are going up along its banks. That’s the south end of Monument and the north end of Colorado Springs in the distance. Our new house may even be in that shot somewhere.

image

I was beginning to wonder if I’d come to a dead end. I didn’t want to have to retrace my steps, having gone five miles by this time. I decided I would cut cross country if I had to, or even cut through someone’s yard. But I didn’t have to. After puffing up a steep road to the top of a bluff, I found myself on dirt roads that headed back toward Monument.

img_5029

At the bottom of the hill, I came upon a shy horse. It saw me coming and walked up to the fence, but every time I tried to take it’s picture, it turned away. Really.

adscf6472

This happened about four times before it finally allowed me to get a shot.

img_5028

Mount Herman. A helpful sign along the trail informed me that the bare spot was caused by a forest fire in the 1980s, I believe.

img_5027

A little further on, I spotted a small herd of Mule Deer.

img_5026

While I was taking these photos, two guys in a pickup stopped and asked me the name of the trail they’d just passed. I told them I didn’t know—I wasn’t from around here. At that moment, one of them saw the deer and said to his friend, “Look! Elk!” I may not be around here, but I can tell a Mule Deer from an Elk.

img_5025

The road I was on became the southern boundary of Pike National Forest.

img_5024

It finally ended at Mount Herman Road which took me down the hill into Monument.

img_5022

I crossed Dirty Woman Creek, which had been dammed by beavers.

img_5021

img_5020

I cut through downtown Monument again. I spotted Snoopy on his Sopwith Camel. I hadn’t been carrying the red chair with me this entire time, but I came back after I made it back to the car and got a couple shots.

img_5018

img_5017

I hit the trail about a quarter mile from my car and retraced my route. A flock of Eurasian Collared Doves were feeding along the way.

img_5019

In the end, my planned six-mile walk turned into this.

image

Posted in Birds, Hikes, Red Chair, Sculptures and Statues | Leave a comment

Denver Art

Within a block of the history museum were several other public buildings with giant works of art on display. 

The Yearling

We saw this chair and horse when we went downtown to see the Christmas lights a couple weeks ago. I determined to get back someday with a red chair and a horse of my own.

img_4949

The chair is 21 feet tall and the horse is six feet tall. It’s “meant to recall that time in life when even everyday objects seemed monumental.” 

img_4950

The sculpture sat in Central Park in NYC for a year before being moved to Denver. On our way to see it, we passed a sign outside the public library that led us to this.

img_4951

Big Sweep

This broom and dustpan are outside the art museum. The artists have this to say about it: “Riding a free city bus, we glimpsed sanitation workers demonstratively sweeping trash into dustpans as part of a campaign to keep Denver clean. The sight connected with a theme we had been working on, “The Dustbin of History,” which featured brooms and pans in action. As we talked over lunch, the clear blue sky combined with the characteristic browns of the Denver cityscape to elicit the image of a colossal broom and dustpan, which had appeared in a drawing in that color scheme. We visualized slits placed in the pan to restate the tall, narrow apertures of the Ponti building. The tilt of the pan might represent the slope of the mountain range and the broom the wind at its foothills. We chose to represent the moment of contact, when the bristles strike the pan, adding some debris as well.” 

I translated that from English to Arabic to Hmong to Swedish to Zulu to Chinese to Latin to Maori to Punjabi and back to English. Here’s what I ended up with (which makes about as much sense as the original): “Just before we took stock of the article Save, waste disposal, cleaning and garbage Borhan war, and is part of the global, in Denver. Pan Broom “has given instructions to the dustbin of history. And he spoke about the blue sky of the city in the shadow of a tree, and pulled accept cursor Brown Denver, and the art of colored paint . We put it in the pan and has a long narrow and pot dignissim two Peng shock. We have chosen, breathing, and to fry it in a pan with coarse hair, the closer, more want to point out the competition.”

OK. Sure. I guess that sounds better than, “We decided to make something silly.”

img_4948

Scottish Angus Cow and Calf

These two metal beasts can be found on the other side of the art museum from the broom and dustpan. I found this online: “Ostermiller carries forward into our time the noble tradition of animalier art from the 19th century and before, yet does it on a grand scale. This monolithic bronze celebrates his talent as a sculptor and the cattle culture of Colorado, on which Denver’s economy and society were partly based for many generations.”

I looked up “animalier” and found this: “An animalier is an artist, mainly from the 19th century, who specializes in, or is known for, skill in the realistic portrayal of animals. “Animal painter” is the more general term.”

Anyway, here it is. I had to wait for a couple to get out of the way to get this photo. The guy made his girlfriend climb up on the cows head and pose for him. He wanted her to stand up there, but she was already in a precarious position and resisted.

img_4947

Posted in Art, Red Chair | Leave a comment

History Colorado Center

We’re still looking to learn more about the history of our new state, so we headed to this oddly-named museum in downtown Denver. There were some fun bits, but the exhibits focused largely on political issues and interactive displays for kids. There was also a lot of empty space.

aimg_4921

img_4956

The instructions said to move the time machine over a place on the map of Colorado and them move the levers to learn about that spot. It didn’t work for us, but we saw other people using it later in the day.

img_4959

img_4958

img_4957

The next two photos are from an exhibit called Denver A-Z. The Barrel Man display was “D for Devoted.” 

img_4955

This is a miniature version of a giant blue bear that looks in the windows of the Denver convention center. The sign informed us that public buildings in Denver must designate 1% of their construction budget to public artworks. Hence the blue bear and my next post.

img_4954

On the top floor was an exhibit of Awkward Family Photos, from the blog of the same name.

img_4952

We had an opportunity to take awkward photos of our own and add them to the display, but Sally was off looking at the exhibit (we don’t go through museums at the same pace), and this is all I came up with.

img_4953

The museum was attractive, but not very informative, and the gift shop contained none of the Colorado history books we hoped to find. 

Posted in Museums, Red Chair | Leave a comment

Denver Food

We went exploring today and tried two Denver restaurants.

Duffeyroll Cafe — found on roadfood.com

img_4945

This bakery is known for cinnamon rolls that are light and flakey. We each ordered one along with a breakfast sandwich—the Bakin Sun, with “bacon, cheddar cheese, avocado, scrambled eggs with chipotle mayo served on Duffey’s signature rosemary ciabatta roll or pesto wrap.”

We found a table back in a corner and waited for our food. And waited. And waited. I finally got up to see what was taking so long. The women who took our order began apologizing almost immediately. Seems the guy who brings the food to the table had brought ours to another table. He asked the guy if he was Roger, and the guy said yes.

It’s possible, I suppose, but then what happened to his food? Anyway, while we were waiting for them to make our order a second time, they gave us each a free Duffeyroll and credited us for the entire meal. So we got that going for us. Which is good.

When the sandwiches finally came, they were amazing. Probably the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve ever had. The Duffeyrolls were also very good. This place is a keeper. And you can’t beat the price, this time anyway.

img_4946

The Bagel Deli and Restaurant — found on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

For supper, we tried out this Jewish restaurant that looked like it hadn’t been updated ever.

img_4942

Sal ordered the meal that Guy Fieri ate — the Triple D Sampler, with matzo ball soup, meat knish and kishke (a roll of dressing in sauce). We weren’t entirely sure what any of it was, but it was tasty. (I sampled it all.) I had a pastrami and beef brisket sandwich with Swiss cheese on marble rye. Also very good. We bought three bagels to go. I’m not sure we’ll head back here soon, but it was enjoyable.

img_4943

Posted in Food, Red Chair | Leave a comment

New Years Day on the Santa Fe

A week or so ago, I attempted to hike the New Santa Fe Trail from Palmer Lake to Monument. I got sidetracked (literally) and ended up climbing a mountain.

I tried again on the afternoon of New Years Day, and this time I made it—although I can’t say I stayed strictly on the trail the entire time. I also started at the opposite end, in Monument, and walked to Palmer Lake and back. And I brought my camera this time. Here’s what I saw in the approximate order I saw it.

image

image

image

image

image

The only member of a flock of Bushtits that stuck around long enough for me to get a photo.

image

image

Elephant Rock

image

image

Ben Lomand Mountain. A sign along the trail confirmed what I suspected — it was named for a somewhat similar-looking mountain in Scotland.

image

The outline of the Palmer Lake Star can be seen on the mountainside on the right. Three or four almost identical coal trains passed me, all heading north.

image

Another shot of Elephant Rock later in the afternoon after the sun came out.

image

A flock of Black-billed Magpies.

image

image

Red-tailed Hawk

image

image

image

image

That’s pretty much what the doves on the wire looked like, although I darkened the picture for effect. I didn’t stop there. Here are some other versions in which I played with various filters.

image

15822582_10210641503649261_1457021084400168284_n

image

Posted in Birds, Hikes, Mammals, Scenery | Leave a comment