The beauty of mountain flowers never ceases to catch my attention. They seem extra brilliant, maybe due to the rugged landscape surrounding them. Having to survive harsher condition than our Oklahoma flowers and shine brighter for survival my have something to do with it. Maybe there’s a life lesson here.
Yesterday I talked about the things I plan and look forward to every year for summertime that I did not find the time to fit in or explore. Today, I thought I would highlight the few new things I was able to try.
First off, Tulsa Botanic Gardens. I’ve been meaning to visit for years now and just made it recently. So close to home, yet secluded and pretty in my most favorite part of northeast Oklahoma in the Osage foothills.
I’ve since been back a few times and was able to take the pleasant trail through the woods and Persimmon Grove. The dogs enjoy all of it and it’s generous that they allow you to bring pets on leashes. I did not get any great shots of them, but Charlie was ready to dive right in the water. Eddie was a little more hesitant until he saw some birds he wanted to chase.
They just request a $2.00 donation for admission and have all kinds of classes for families and kids. Usually at 10am on Saturday mornings. They’re only open until the end of October, so just a couple weekend left to enjoy this place.
I have never seen this type of plant before, interesting. The plantings around the lake are manicured and have signs describing everything and there are also some pretty water plants on the north side of the lake.
Happy to knock even the smallest amount of goals out each season.
- Tulsa Botanic Garden visit.
- Pick-your-own bluberries at Thunderbird Berry Farm.
- Visit Durango at the height of summer (was tricked this year and when we went in August left behind an unseasonably comfortable summer).
The list is short and sweet, but I think just recording these details of my life here will remind me to try and fit more of my goals into my world.
As the years keep slipping by I get closer to trying all the (very many) new things I’d like to do. I tend to think about them more as the seasons change and I realize it will be one more year before I get another chance.
Just for the record, a few items to focus on next year.
- Spend some time outside. I think there was only one day this year I was able to stay in the sun long enough to get a tan line.
- Pickles – make pickles. Also in that vein: jalapeno peach jelly, pesto (loads extra to freeze), can tomatoes, and pick your own strawberries, blackberries and blueberries (actually did that this year).
- Swim? Not sure how long it’s been since I’ve even donned a suit. Maybe I need some sort of vacation for this one.
- Grow sunflowers, gourds and pumpkins.
- Lay on a blanket in the grass and stare at the clouds.
Just a few things to think about and work towards this February when winter has settled down upon us and I start dreaming of gardens.
Photos of wildflowers at Electra Lake in Southwest Colorado, August 2013.
We had been planning to hike Ice Lake on this trip so we also planned on hiking every day of vacation just to make sure we’d be ready for it. I was looking for something close to town for the first couple of days and though we had planned on Junction Creek or some of the Durango Mountain trails nearby, we ended up at Animas City Mountain. Overall, it didn’t disappoint.
After a few early switchbacks and some steep climbing right at the beginning, we were quickly rewarded with a view of the city nestled in the valley. I always admire the curves of the Animas River, how it seems almost as a discarded yarn curling almost back on itself instead of the force of nature that is really is.
Shortly after though, we walked for what seemed to be quite awhile on some rocky trails, no shade and just surrounded as far as we could see with scrub oak. Just when we were a bit disappointed with trail, we decided to keep on truckin’ and found these views.
Lots of people might find this next admittance funny, but I just want to always remember that this is the first time I realized there was a parallel valley just on the other side of the 550, or as we would describe it in the family, on the other side of the horse place. As much as I love this city and as many times as I’ve visited over the years, I’ve not made the time to explore much by vehicle in and around the neighborhoods and outskirts of town.
What’s more exciting is that this place is secluded, has a couple of small lakes, and is so close to town! It couldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get to the closest school and then in just a few more, you’re in town! If, instead of turning back north to go to the little valley you see here, you continue out west, then you get to Junction Creek and the southern trail head for the Colorado Trail.
The way down was nice and easy from here and we guessed that the local runners come up the south side and down the north. We also think this trail is used a lot more in the winter when some of the higher elevation are less accessible.
We were also blessed with perfect timing as the storm started moving in behind us with distant peals of thunder. The light was so different in each direction, I was just quickly snapping those last few with the iphone just trying to capture the mood.