Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mt. Nebo Scenic Byway



 
We took a drive yesterday over the Mt. Nebo Scenic Byway.  It was pretty stunning from start to finish - hoodoos, mountain views, free-roaming cows and calves, a huge variety of trees, soaring birds, steep and windy roads with huge drop offs and not a single guard rail, autumn colors just starting to show.  It was gorgeous.  I kept saying that if this were a national park, it would be way more crowded.  Mt. Nebo is the highest peak in the Wasatch Range at just under 12,000 feet.  I felt as though I were in the Alps somewhere in Austria!  There was a bit of snow on its peak and a few of those on either side of it, and while parts of the terrain were still quite green, pops of yellow, red and orange could be seen all around.  We're hoping to go back in a week or two in hopes the Aspen trees will be in full autumnal splendor.  
 



Devil's Kitchen aka "A Mini-Bryce Canyon"

At around 9,000 feet, we saw Indian Paintbrush in mid-September!



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Well....just because.





Mary Chapin Carpenter at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City.  Beautiful night, great show, wonderful woman whose music has inspired me for years.
 







Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Recollecting

Even though I've had feline companions in my life off and on since I was around fourteen, man had I forgotten how much work they can be.  When they're all cute and cuddly and purring or waking up from a nap doing kitty yoga and yawning, they sure are cute.  You think to yourself "I'm so glad this little one came into my life."  Then they grow several inches in less than two weeks, and they suddenly decide your toes and fingers are available for their sharp teeth and razor sharp claws to attack.  Then you think to yourself "somehow I forgot that itty bitty kittens do this."  Our new kitten is stinking adorable, no doubt about it.  Just check out the pictures below.  But I am already finding myself looking forward to a more mature kitten who likes to nap and cuddle on laps and watch birds from the window sill and "talk" to us with her meows and lower her forehead for incoming kisses.  Kind of like our Miss Penny.  Also see photo below.  Maybe I'm just in need of a nap of my own.





On an unrelated topic, I made some ornament/sun catcher-type things as gifts for my older sister's (very, very belated) birthday package.  Back in 2014 I took a pottery class and made loads of clay shapes with holes for hanging them - some carved, some stamped, some full of pattern from lace and button impressions.  I've been meaning to turn them into something to be displayed or gifted, and this was a good opportunity to do so.  I often choose to make presents for friends and family.  Heaven knows I have plenty of crafty stuff and beads to utilize for such projects.

 
 
This last one is a simple metal frame and glass slides embellished with fun craft paper, pretty beads and a long ribbon. 



   

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Anthomania


An extravagant obsession with flowers?  Not really sure about the word extravagant in the definition of anthomania in that my affection hardly seems absurd nor do I spend a lot of money on flowers.  I just really, really like them.  Wildflowers or hot house flowers, public gardens or private ones, rows of perennials outside Home Depot or the plantings in my own back yard -- I'm enraptured.  There might be a strong correlation between my general love of nature and my enjoyment of flowers.  After all, aren't they a showy version of what nature provides as a soothing balm to indoor sterility and the time of year when seemingly nothing is actively growing?  What I do know for sure (to steal a line from Oprah) is that to me, nearly all things that fall under the umbrella of flora delight me.  I suppose there are worse "obsessions" to have.

Here are some more subjects from the last few weekends:






There is a new addition to our family.  On Thursday we heard about four abandoned kittens that were left in a dumpster.  No one is sure how long they were there, and the culprit (that's not the only word I've used to describe this person) is unknown.  Thankfully, they were rescued before the garbage truck arrived.  We'd been thinking of getting a companion for our much-loved calico, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.  She's an eight week old, long-haired tortoiseshell according to the vet we visited over the weekend.  Tim and I are already in love with her.  Take a look:


No name yet, but we've considered Little Spitfire, Lucy, Sophie, June Bug and Amy (as in Amy Farah Fowler of Big Bang Theory fame since Penny is named after a character on that show).

Miss Penny enjoying the last light of the evening.

Penny doing what she enjoys most - watching birds, hiding in the grass.

We get some pretty lovely sunsets here in Utah.

Friday, June 2, 2017

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and winds long to play with your hair.” –Kahlil Gibran

Some of my favorite things about summer - bare feet and driving with the windows down. 

Last Sunday, Tim and I walked up a steep road just to see where it led.  It seemed we might get to a saddle with the chance to walk along it for a bit.  However, the road petered out, and the game trails (or as I sometimes call them - animal super highways) weren't wide enough for us to follow.  A short hike in the end, but we were rewarded with some lovely wildflowers.  Arrowleaf balsamroot, Indian paintbrush, larkspur, phlox, forget-me-not.  I looked for shooting stars, but perhaps it was too late in the season to see any.






Afterward we went for a drive down a long, dusty dirt road.  We saw several pronghorn which is always a pleasure.  I never tire of their pretty faces, dainty legs and coloring.  They're found in this part of Utah year-round so sightings are common.  Even so, I perk up whenever I spot them.


not a great photo, but they were moving away from the road as we passed

Toward the end of our drive, we were rewarded with a large band of wild horses.  Despite being wild, this particular group seems rather tolerant of humans watching and photographing them.  (Lucky perhaps for the folks who irresponsibly approach them within a few feet or yards.)  This herd has spent days and days in this area, grazing, rolling in the muddy ponds and doing what it is that horses do.  I feel pretty blessed that we live in a place inhabited by all sorts of wildlife.  From snakes to birds, from pronghorn to mustangs, we see and hear all manner of critters on a daily basis.  Further reason to enjoy and admire summer.