23 July, 2014

Highlights from Colorado

It has been a busy and interesting summer so far.  I got to visit family in Colorado for 2 weeks toward the end of June.  Some of the highlights from the trip are shown below.
view from near my sister's place close to Livermore, CO.  Yes, that is snow just visible on the mountain tops near the center of the photo.
Late afternoon.
Cool clouds.
Most (maybe all?) of the pines are Ponderosa Pines.
Ponderosa pine bark, up close.  It smells like vanilla caramel.
Rufous Hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) at the feeder.  The immature male has the first of his red throat feathers.
A more mature male.
They were not shy birds, making it easy to get photos as they came to the feeders.
Handsome fellow
That flash of iridescence is definitely eyecatching.
Hummingbirds were not the only ones at the feeders ...
The chippers went for peanuts, too.
As did the resident Stellars jay.
Out in the meadow, we spotted the nest of a lark sparrow.  The sparrow itself flew off as we approached, otherwise we would never have seen the nest on the ground. I did manage some photos to get a good ID of the bird with its conspicuous spot on the breast.
Scorpionweed (Phacelia) flowers were a nice surprise.
The blue larkspurs were intensely, well, blue.  Some areas were just covered with them.
Prickly poppies were around and being visited by bees, beetles, and flies.
Last year's Miner's Candle was attractive to this small butterfly.  I don't have the butterfly ID - please leave a comment if you know what it is.
Mule deer (just look at the size of the ears to see where they get their name) came quite close to the house.
The 3 males were starting to grow their antlers, which are still in velvet.
My nephew patiently lured the mountain chickadee to the table using peanut fragments. 
closer ...
will he take it?  Not today, but he did the next day!
My nephew, a nascent conceptual artist, with his "set up" of rocks with crystals.  Not quite so obvious in this photo, but he arranged them with a fine eye for size, shape, and color. It won't be long before I will be saying "I knew him when ..."
I had a great trip spending time with my siblings and their families.  While I was gone, Dennis and the construction crew finished the deck and the railing around our cabana and work continued on the addition.  A construction update will follow soon.