Sunday, April 7, 2013

How Green Is My Valley



The Colorado front range valley area where I live  has suddenly turned many shades of green, due to the lovely spring weather we had all week.



My husband and I took a few long walks through our neighborhood to check out the community pools, tennis courts and community garden area. We explored some new trails ....some of which were paved.......



....and some on the wild open land that surrounds our valley and leads up into the foothills. I am determined to hike up to the top of those hills one day, but I know I will have to work up my strength and stamina first.


We also have to buy some good walking sticks and hiking boots, and arm ourselves with pepper spray, as there are truly wild animals up there! You can enlarge this photo to read the interesting information about these animals that was posted along a trail.  This and and all other photos in this post will enlarge by clicking on them once, and then again when they open on a new page.


These are part of the high plains and the prairie grass is so thick and spongy beneath our feet.  I could imagine how the herds of Bison, that once roamed this area, would thrive eating this grass. Can you see the red sandstone soil peeking out of the grass in this ravine?  Colorado was named by the first Spanish explorers who traveled through this land, as Colorado translates "colored red." The name was chosen for Colorado as a Territory by Congress in 1861. Colorado is also called "Colorful Colorado" because of the magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers and plains.

 
I love walking on these natural trails! I was used to noisy and crowded city sidewalks and the quiet peacefulness of these walks, where all I hear are birds chirping, feel magnificent to me!
 

Here is a common Western bird that I saw on one walk.


It is a Black-billed Magpie. He's pretty large and has beautiful iridescent blue wings.
 
 

Another Spring awakening, beside the grass and trees, are the wild cactus on the open land. They looked grey and dead in appearance a few weeks ago, but now are beginning to turn green and get plump.


 All this hiking has been wonderful. Like trees growing from rocks, living in Colorado is sure to make us hardy.  I am beginning to feel stronger every day!
 
Of course spring is an unusual season here in Colorado and this green grass will most likely be covered with snow again on Tuesday. This state needs the moisture, so it will be welcomed -- as long as Spring returns again quickly!



I'm adding this post to the following blog events:

Mosaic Monday

Blue Monday

Our World Tuesday

Outdoor Wednesday

Many thanks to all the blog hosts!



Bookmark and Share Pin It

60 comments:

Berto Garcia said...

Que lugares mas bonitos nos enseñas en tu blog ..Saludos desde las Islas Canarias

Lavender Cottage said...

You really do have a beautiful area to hike Pat. Some big wildlife in the area too.
Judith

The Gathering Place said...

I think it is wonderful that you are experiencing the beautiful area by walking out in the fresh air. You are sure to benefit in multiple ways!

Lorrie said...

Walking is the best way to get to know a place, I think. Isn't amazing how quickly brown can turn to green with just a few days of warmth? Nature is amazing. Enjoy the beauty of your new area!

Barbara F. said...

Arm yourself with plenty of pepper spray. ;-) I would probably get lost and not find my way back. Heard snow is coming again for Denver? 8-14 inches. :-( xo

The French Hutch said...

Hi Pat, Such beautiful landscapes! I think that is great inspiration for starting out slowly and work your way to the top. I bet the view will be amazing and worth every step. Wish I were there to hike with you!
Have a lovely week.

~Emily
The French Hutch

pam said...

I never knew about the meaning of Colorado. We have many starting to use walking sticks here in our area, so I've been trying to do a bit of research on them. I'll be curious to see what you end up getting. I saw that Tues. is going to be cold and snowy out there. We were talking with our daughter tonight and she was a little grumpy about that....she is ready for Spring. Joy to your week!

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

Things are definitely waking up and adding color. Great shots! I love the paved trails in your community... what fun on a bike!
Oh, the animals. Even smack-dab in the city, I now make sure I have my pepper spray handy. Deer (which are no problem... except in rutting season), fox, coyotes and even bear roam my neighborhood. Beware! And be ready for snow that's headed our way. Cheers!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful place with such lovely landscape. Very beautiful bird.

AdriBarr said...

Oh, you are going to spend many happy hours exploring your new home. It is absolutely gorgeous. There is so much time to think and reflect while walking. Your photos are so beautiful. I am in the city, and my views are nothing like yours. Have fun!

bettyl said...

Those are some lovely blue skies with great scenery. The signs are a bit intimidating!

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Morning Pat, I love exploring the surroundings of a new home and the expanse of land is huge for you to investigate. What a sense of achievement you will feel when you master the hill.
What fun seeing a Magpie, as Magpies thrive here in the North East of England. I was watching one in my garden this morning... and guess what the nickname of the local football team....yes, you've guessed it....The Magpies!
Have fun exploring.
Best wishes
Daphne

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Pretty pics Pat! I love that gorgeous bird:@)

podso said...

I remember those signs when I would walk at our friends' house where you live. A bit intimidating, But now we have coyotes here in our city neighborhood. I haven't seen one yet but our neighbors have.

Lovely pictures ... you have a good goal there and I'm sure you will reach it some day!

Old Kitty said...

I love the "if you get attacked by a lion, fight, don't run!" LOL!! Oh dear!! Awww but what a priviledge to see these wild, wild, wild creatures - from a very safe distance of course!! Yay!

Well I never new Colorado meant coloured red!! What a great name!!

You know the best part of going for a proper hike - it's the shopping!! LOL!! I love it - the boots, the socks, the equipment - I'm there!

Awwww you are in a gorgeous part of the world!! Take care
x

SmilingSally said...

Colorado is a beautiful place to live, and you've proved it with these pictures. However, after seeing the wild animals, I'd never try to hike those mountains!

I love your blues; thanks for sharing.

Happy Blue Monday, Pat.

Snap said...

I love walking your neighborhood with you ... community garden --Fun! Just wait until the cactus start blooming ... heaven!!!!!!!!!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

It must be exciting to start this new adventure so far away from New York. It's going to be fun and I look forward to seeing it through your posts. Valerie

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Concrete to prairie grass. What a difference a few months make in a persons life. The trails are beautiful and with all the hills you will be in the best shape of your life. Or at least your bum will be! Hill walking is great for lifting ones bottom! LOL

Cathy said...

Hi Pat! I`m glad you posted more pictures of your home area. We here in Arizona are hoping for a good snow melt coming down from Colorado. So far we are wetter than last year.

Glad you are enjoying the trails. It`s nice when bird songs are the only background noise you hear. I do enjoy your posts!

Jeanne said...

Good morning Pat, I love your post today. I haven't been visiting much lately and I have definitely missed visiting you. BTW, your header is awesome. Smile! I am keeping up on FB more cause it is quicker. However, I will never stop blogging.

We have been in Colorado many times to ski but when we took our long trip out west we saw this beautiful state without snow. Well, there was still snow in the Rocky Mountain National Park. I am so glad you are loving your quite different and new location. Bill just told me Colorado is one of the fast growing states in the US. No wonder. Your photos are awesome.

xo, Jeanne



Theanne said...

a walking stick is a good thing to have when hiking/walking on trails and be sure to watch out for snakes and scorpions!! it's so much fun to read of your excitement as you explore your patch of the southwest!

acreativeharbor.com said...

Wow! Spring has sprung ~ lovely photos for HBM ^_^

Amy Jarecki said...

Lovely photos, spring is so invigorating! I live on the other side of the Rockies in Southwestern Utah.

Pie Lady Pat said...

Beautiful country there, Pat! But still I am suffering from sympathetic culture shock for you. It's so wonderful to be near family, though... that is most important and we will all learn more about Colorado thanks to you!

Nellie said...

Amazing countryside, Pat! It seems that spring has arrived in your "neck of the woods."

ellen b. said...

Love seeing your new vistas and hiking trails, Pat. We bought walking sticks and they really do help especially on steeper downhills. They save the knees! Mountain Lions, Coyotes, and bears...oh my! :)

Pamela Gordon said...

I always enjoy seeing your photos of your new community. It is certainly beautiful. I didn't know how Colorado got it's name. Very interesting. I'm glad you take safety precautions when out walking. Be safe! And enjoy nature. Hugs, Pamela

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, it is so pretty. Mr. Magpie was in Denver a few weeks ago on business, just before a heavy snow, but he didn't get very good pictures. I'm glad to see these.

And you know I love that magpie! I don't know that I have ever actually seen one in real life. Maybe some day. In the mean time, I will live vicariously through my friends who have spotted them!

XO,

Sheila

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Such beauty to explore...and with spring on its way, you will so many more opportunities. We climbed a hill just southwest of Denver to get a photo of the city as the sun was setting. There was no paved trail...no trail at all really...and I looked down just in time to see a snake coiled up right where I was about to step. So...watch for mountain lion, bear, coyotes and snakes! And keep taking us along on your excursions.

Vee said...

Lovely spot on earth and it makes me smile to read that you feel stronger every day! You've become like Heidi!

Claudia said...

Love the magpie! What a tail! We're bracing for your snowstorm. (But less snow I think.) We ave much of the same wildlife here. Makes hikes ... interesting.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

So much beauty all around! It would be wonderful to see such vistas on a walk. Your photos are truly awesome.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks for your comments,
everyone!

Ah yes, snakes! There are snakes on this open land, including rattlesnakes, so I am very careful where I step, and where I place my hands if we are climbing rocks! Most of the snakes are supposed to be helpful, as they eat insects and rodents, but rattlesnakes are worrisome! I don't think scorpions live here, as it is too cold in the winter.

We will see the weather tomorrow brings..we may have a blizzard!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh how wonderful to be hiking on a daily basis amid all that beauty Pat. It's a far cry from Brooklyn.

Jann Olson said...

Pat, Colorado is a beautiful state. We are getting lots of green popping up here in UT too! Loving every inch of it! Hubby and I enjoy hiking the hills close to us. Being in nature and enjoying God's creations always make me in awe!
hugs,
Jann

Ann said...

Oh Pat I know how much you are going to enjoy ALL of this gorgeous nature this spring and summer. The valley is gorgeous. Hiking on those trails will be really wonderful.
Ann

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Loving your views! Laughing that SLC is getting some snow and rain but we hear you are likely to get a foot of snow???? Oh my!
Aw, it'll melt soon enough!

Joy H said...

Great post! I love birds too.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

You don't need to sell me - I love Colorado! Gorgeous views.

I hear you have a big storm coming in tomorrow - stay safe!

ladyfi said...

What fabulous scenery! Lovely shots.

Kusum Sanu said...

Thats a lovely area to hike! Thanks for sharing.

Christy Larsen said...

well...i am ashamed of myself. it has been far too long since i have visited your site. glad to see you have settled well in colorado! i will be back more often and look forward to learning more about your new hometown!
best
christy

Kay L. Davies said...

Beautiful photos! I love the magpie. And the last photo is my favorite.
K

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely place to hike. Great shot of the magpie.Good idea to bring the pepper spray too. We have bears in our mountains. Not sure if the pepper spray would work on them though :)
Sam

Cathy said...

I love your Colorado photos, Pat. They bring back wonderful memories of my visits when my son went to college at CU.

Cindy said...

Hi Pat, Your photos are always beautiful and todays are no exception. I am so glad that I can follow you as you explore your new home. Thank you for all of the info and photos. It makes me wish I could really be there.
I hope you don't get too much snow.
Hugs, Cindy

Al said...

I'm glad you're enjoying Colorado, nice photos. But I wouldn't expect this to be the last snowstorm, it's not uncommon for at least one more yet - May snow isn't unusual here.

Ann said...

Those long walks with your husband were well worth while, the scenery is just beautiful, you took such lovely photos. The magpie is a common visitor to my garden, nice looking bird, but can be quite bold. Enjoy your walks.

Willow said...

Yes, the trails in Colorado are so very different from urban metropolitan sidewalks. How fortunate you are to have access to these trails right from your neighborhood!

Kay L. Davies said...

Gorgeous photos, and you have a lot more green there than we have here, but we also have cacti, and coyotes, although they don't come too close. Lindy loves to see small herds of deer, though. She doesn't bark, but she gets very excited. We think she'd like to run with them. And thanks for your comment — you're right, Lindy is a wonderful companion indeed. We adopted her from a rescue society and we love her dearly.
K

Barb said...

Hi Pat - you've moved to CO! I think I've biked near your home - I recognize the landscape. I live in Breckenridge, but we also spend time at a house in Cherry Creek, Denver. I bet you have snow on the ground now. I believe you got more that we did here in the mountains. Enjoy your new state!

Lovella ♥ said...

I can't imagine all the beauty surrounding you there. It must be so exciting to see spring arriving with all the promises of warmth and beauty.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Such a change... Just as wonderful. But, very different from where you came. =) blessings ~ tanna

Margaret said...

I sure enjoyed your interesting post and magnificent photos Pat! Hiking is my favorite activity! I'm looking forward to your future hikes! You have so much to look forward to...health and family, marvelous memories ahead :) Your first photo reminds me of my daughters Ireland photos. She visited there the year she lived in France in 2011-2012.
Margaret from B.C.

Laura said...

such a treat to view different landscapes... beautiful photos!

La Petite Gallery said...

What a thrill to see a Magpie, they are beautiful. I have been feeding my
birds like crazy. Can you believe
we will get more snow in Maine
Friday Apr.12. You better carry a
stun gun when you go walking out there.. TeeHee!
yvonne

Janet said...

Beautiful pictures! You're fortunate to have so much scenery to enjoy. Love that bird...very pretty!

GailO said...

After all the walking I am sure you did in NYC and Brooklyn I bet you aer in better shape than most of us!

Annesphamily said...

Walking is so wonderful! We have not had much opportunity since the snow came! I am hoping the hot weather doesn't settle in too quickly. Enjoy the week.