All posts by Sheila

I have a passion for the outdoors and I am most happy enjoying what nature has to offer. Hobbies include photography, birding, Pickleball, astronomy, biking and hiking. I have been happily married, for 40 years, to an amazing person and we share our love with two smart, beautiful and wonderful doggies.

~Western Scrub Jay…

~July, 2018, Loveland, Colorado

Everyday she comes for a visit.

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Hopefully, she is molting, because she sure looks “scrubby”.

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We will be sitting outside having our morning coffee or out in the evening having a glass of wine and she will fly to the post you see her sitting on. She will peck at the wood for attention and pieces of wood will break off. (Naughty Bird)

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~

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This Western Scrub Jay is the same bird that visited us last summer.

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She will fly down to the deck railing and just sit there with us. Sometimes she will “sing” very softly.

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I read that a Scrub Jay can live to be fifteen years old. I sure hope this one is around for a long time.

Happy Birding

 

~Cloudy and Rainy Colorado-a walk…

~July 28, 2018, Loveland, Colorado, Devil’s Backbone.

[See information here Backbone. You can view the website to see what it looks like when the sun is shining.]

Howard and I decided to take a walk this morning after breakfast. We knew the day was going to be cloudy with a chance of rain, but we headed out anyway. It has been raining in Loveland almost everyday, which is usual but welcome. Our high temperature today was forecast to be 77 degrees. Nice, cool!

Howard purchased a new camera and he wanted to try it out. It is the new Sony RX100 VI. It is very small, but powerful. I am so excited that he has once again become interested in taking photos.

I had my Cannon 70D with me and took a few photos. I just wish we would have had a little sun to show off our normally clear, blue skies.

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A tiny purple flower.
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Howard trying out the Sony.
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Howard taking a photo of me taking a photo of him.
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The Devil’s Backbone nature area.
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Perhaps a blue bird house.
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Just to the east and outside the boundary of the nature area is a subdivision, about eleven, big, beautiful homes sit back behind this hill. They get to enjoy the views all the time.

Our house sits to the east, about two miles down highway 34, just over the ridge you see above.

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Another purple flower.
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Part of the Devil’s Backbone on the left.
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A short walk from the car to the trail.
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Walking along.
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Howard’s photo, trying out the Sony.
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The Backbone
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Howard along the trail.
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Some of the trail is rocky. Need to be very careful of rattlesnakes in this area.
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More flowers.

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We didn’t get to walk very far, because it started to rain and thunder so we headed to the car. People were passing us heading up the trail even though it was starting to rain. Perhaps they were tourist and didn’t know any better. Lots of open space, right at 5,000 feet, rain and thunder – hmmm.

The header photo was taken during a previous visit to this area.

Until next time…

~Landscaping…

We have been trying for over two years to get our yard professionally re-landscaped. Well, it finally happened. Over the last several weeks a company called Mother Nature’s Son, located here in Loveland, did a wonderful job.

Ryan, the owner, and his crew, worked extremely hard laying river rock and moss rock in our hilly yard. It was hard work.

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Bet you get the song “stuck” in your head.

All day long I’m sitting singing songs for everyone
Sit beside a mountain stream See her waters rise
Listen to the pretty sound of music as she flies

Do do do do do do do do do do do
do do do do do do do do do
Do do do do do do do do
Yeah yeah yeah

Find me in my field of grass Mother Nature’s son
Swaying daisies sing a lazy song beneath the sun

Do do do do do do do do do do do
do do do do do do do do do
Do do do do do do do do
Yeah yeah yeah

Oh Mother Nature’s Son

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Howard and I can’t believe we did the yard ourselves many years ago; of course we were a lot younger. There is no way we could have done what these guys did. We could have replaced the bark, but that is about the extent of it.

Sometimes we get strong winds up here on the hill and the bark would simply disappear. Over the years we replaced the bark many times.

The photo below shows the front yard prior to any work being done. It was a mess, with river rock and bark missing in some places.

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Arizona style landscaping – all rock and low maintenance. Hopefully, some splashes of color, maybe some metal art pieces, and my birding stations will liven things up. It will be fun trying.

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New layers of river rock in the foreground and new “butter” colored rock where the bark use to be.

I tried several times in different lighting conditions and just couldn’t seem to get any “good” photos. Hopefully, you will get the idea from these photos.

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Howard and I placed bark around our trees for a little added color.

Notice the little low laying juniper. A huge Apple tree use to be in that location. We had it taken down. It was old and some of the branches were dying. It also grew so tall it blocked our view to the east. The squirrels and the birds seem to miss the Apple tree the most. My poor hummingbirds really miss this tree, seeking a place to hide, watching for incoming enemies while waiting for the exact right moment to zoom in to the feeder. They are now using the big (my fav) pine tree for their activity.

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The yard is sloped so we had two moss rock retaining walls added. Hopefully, the river rock will stay in place.

While at Lowe’s the other day, I picked up three potted plants. When I went to pick up one of the pots, I was bitten by what I believe was a spider. For several days my index finger was swollen, painful and red.

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Moss Rock retaining wall.

Years ago I added the big boulder rocks you see in the foreground below. Can’t believe I did it. Those were left in place.

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I added a few potted plants for color.

Of course we still need to do a few updates especially in the flower beds, which have been recently neglected.

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Howard trying to saw down the remaining branches of the Apple tree prior to the river rock being placed.
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Back yard prep.

We ordered a new arbor, which will be placed behind the tree, replacing a very old one. It arrives this Friday ordered from Hayneedle.com.

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All river rock and flag stone in the backyard.

Behind the wall the yard slopes uphill, which we leave natural.

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Next project will be replacing the old wood wall we built years ago!

Of course there is still come clean-up and sprucing up to do.

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Several bird baths and feeders in the yard.

A coupe of photos for our “ham” friends.

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Howard’s antenna.

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It feels so good to have this project done. It is fun and more importantly peaceful just to go outside and walk around.

**Header photo taken this evening; beautiful, strange, light.

Until next time…

~A Gorgeous weekend in Colorado…

~Saturday run and ride. Sunday nine mile bike ride for us both.

This past Saturday Howard ran and I rode my bike a total of four miles. We went through one of our local parks, traversing along the Loveland trail system. Mehaffney is a beautiful park just two miles away from our house.

Sunday started off cloudy with a light breeze so we decided it would be a great morning for a bike ride. We left our house and rode over to Mehaffney park again and followed the bike trail. We hoped to reach ten miles, but came up short one mile.

Rocky Moutains in the background.
Nine mile Sunday bike ride.
Nine mile Sunday bike ride.
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View from the bike path looking west. Our house sits on the hill in the background with the Rocky Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park about 20 miles up the road.
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A glimpse of Mehaffney Park.
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Mehaffney Park (another view)
Part of Loveland Trail system going through Mehaffney Park
Part of Loveland Trail system going through Mehaffney Park
Mehaffney Park
Mehaffney Park has lots of walk ways and displays of beautiful gardens.
Meadowbrook Natural Area
Meadowbrook Natural Area

On our way to Mehaffney we pass Meadowbrook Natural Area.

Our steep road.
Our steep road. Time for a rest. I can’t ride my bike up our hill.

Up next photos of our re-landscaped yard….