Monday, June 27, 2022

June Wildflowers

I love this time of the year as our part of Colorado --the Front Range foothills--explodes in masses of wildflowers!  As we walk the trails in our community my camera is always at the ready to capture their beauty.

Here are some of my favorite wildflowers...

Our state flower is the Colorado Columbine

Another prolific wildflower we see now is the Prickly Poppy

This beauty is the Desert Indian Paintbrush.

A bee was enjoying a Tower Larkspur!

We passed many clusters full of Silvery Lupine

So many wildflowers!

"I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one."

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul. 
~ Luther Burbank

We feel very fortunate to have the ability to see and enjoy such a large variety of Colorado wildflowers almost in our own backyard.  It is one of the best pleasures that summer brings every year. I also hope you are all having a lovely summer. Please tell me the name of your favorite wildflower.

PS: Congratulations to the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team that won the 2022 Stanley Cup today!! 

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Nature's Miracle Outside My Window

This is a view I had outside my kitchen window yesterday--a brand new fawn nuzzling its mother!


They shared many kisses while...

,,, a twin sibling fawn slept all curled up at the bottom of my backyard retaining wall!

Early in the morning of June 15th my husband and I were opening our window shades and were surprised to see this mule deer doe give birth to twin fawns!  They came out one at a time, all wet and dark and still covered with their amniotic sack.  The doe diligently licked each one clean from head to toe, and as she did the fawns' eyes opened and they began to move--it was a miracle to watch!

I took the YouTube video above of the doe giving birth to the second fawn. It was amazing to see!  After resting for a while and nursing the fawns she completely removed all traces of giving birth from our lawn.  One would never be able to tell what had just occurred. We kept very quiet and allowed her to stay as long as she wanted. 

By the late afternoon, the twins were walking well and even hopping and leaping at times!   If you'd like to see a short video of them at this stage you can watch it on my blog's Facebook page at Mille Fiori Favoriti on this link. 

It was an unusually warm day in Colorado and the doe kept moving the fawns into the shade to keep them cool.  She is a very attentive mother!

One important fact to know about all deer is that a few hours after birth, when the fawn can stand and walk, the doe will move it from the birth spot to a new hiding place. A fawn spends most of its first weeks of life bedded down alone. The doe stays away from her newborn except to nurse it periodically and to lead it to new bed sites.  The doe does this to protect it from predators.  If you come across a fawn that is all alone DO NOT PICK IT UP!  Most likely the mother is nearby and is taking care of it.  Sadly, many people think a fawn that is alone is abandoned and will bring the fawn to the police, or wildlife rescue, only to learn this fact.

It was a beautiful experience to see the twins being born and nurtured--a true miracle right outside my window!

I hope all fathers have had a very Happy Father's Day today! 

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Monday, June 13, 2022

The Butterfly Pavilion

One of the special places we like to visit with our grandchildren is the Butterfly Pavilion located at 6252 W. 104th Avenue Westminster,  Colorado.  

Information from their website states: 

"Butterfly Pavilion is the first stand-alone, Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited non-profit invertebrate zoo in the world and a leader in invertebrate knowledge, inspiration, and connection. Whether it is providing unique, hands-on learning experiences in our exhibits and educational programs, conducting new research that sets the standard for zoos across the country, or building innovative solutions for species and habitat conservation in countries around the world, Butterfly Pavilion is leading the way in ensuring invertebrates are protected for the future."

Located in a large greenhouse-type conservatory called the "Wings of the Tropics," visitors are surrounded by over 1,600 butterflies that hail from around the world. They are all flying free within the brightly lit climate-controlled environment which is kept at 80 degrees, making it the ideal climate for butterflies and the over 200 lush tropical plants and flowers that grow inside.

It is a photographer's dream to try to capture the beautiful colorful butterflies as they alight on the leaves and flowers!

My husband was wearing a yellow shirt and we discovered that the butterflies were very attracted to his shirt as they kept landing on him.

We also noticed that the butterflies appeared to enjoy sipping from the water-soaked sponges hanging from the trees. It gave us the idea to try this at our home as moisture can be hard to find for butterflies in our drought conditions.  

The many tropical flowers growing in the pavilion were also wonderful to see!

A fun part of a visit is being able to hold Rosie the Tarantula. As you can see from the collage above three of our grandchildren were brave enough to do so! Would you be as brave as they were?

The Butterfly Pavillion has exhibits about other invertebrates--as it is an invertebrate zoo. About 97 percent of all the animals in the entire world are invertebrates, animals without backbones. Some exciting news we learned is that a new 60,000 sq foot center (5,574 sq meters)which will be called the Butterfly Pavilion at the Center for Invertebrate Research and Conservation (CIRC), is being constructed in Broomfield, Colorado. It will become the Global Hub for Invertebrate Research, Conservation, and Education.  


The video above will explain more about the present Butterfly Pavillion and the future new Center for Invertebrate Research and Conservation.

We all had lots of fun at the Butterfly Pavillion and can't wait to visit again!

Even our ride home was beautiful as we could see some puffy clouds and snow-capped mountains in the distance as we passed by Standley Lake. The weather has turned warm here in Colorado--summer is on its way!

Have a wonderful week! 

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Monday, June 6, 2022

Children's Museum of Denver

The Children's Museum of Denver at Marisco Campus is a whimsical place for children ages 10 and under.  When our oldest granddaughter asked if we would take her for a visit we were just as excited to go as she was! Even more exciting was a special surprise occurrence that happened when we arrived.

The museum is taking reservations for admission to control crowds for safer play and we had a 10:30 AM admission time.  My husband dropped us off at the front and we went inside the lobby to wait for him while he parked our car. While we waited we watched little children enter through the small yellow door in the photo above, while their parents entered at the side automatic doors.  One mother and two sons approached and the older brother did not hold the small door open for his brother.  It closed and the little boy could not open it.  My granddaughter ran over and opened the door from the inside and held it open for him.  The mother was so appreciative of my granddaughter doing that and she said her kindness should be rewarded and told us that we would be her guests on her membership pass!  It was so sweet for her to do that as it was a significant saving for us. She told us that the world definitely needs more kindness these days---so true!

The 46,902 square foot Children's Museum building is located on a 9-acre campus and has 20 exhibits and playscapes and attracts approximately 450,000 visitors annually.

Our granddaughter enjoyed each playscape--the Fire Station No 1 where she slide down the fire pole and operated an actual firetruck.  The Ready Vet Go station where stuffed animal pets can be pretend groomed, x-rayed, and nursed back to health. In the quiet Book Nook, there are comfy chairs and a selection of books for all ages, along with scheduled story times.  Not shown is the My Market which is a pretend grocery store and kitchen area.

The Bubbles room was a big hit!  There is the bubble booth where one pulls a rope and instantly colorful, soapy bubble film is all around you.  You're totally inside a bubble! One can catch giant bubbles, play with bubble foam, and create bubbles of all sizes with an air tube and a large ring. We spent quite a bit of time in this room.

Another favorite room was the Assembly Plant where there are many booths where children can sit at a workbench and hammer nails, saw, and use a vise and screwdrivers to make a creation with pieces of wood.

The Altitude Climber feature is for children over 40 inches tall. It is a pretend mountain to climb and is three and a half stories high inside!  It includes a ski gondola at the top to sit in.

We spent a lot of time in the Art Studio. There was a clay area, easels, lots of paint and paper, a graffiti wall, and windows to paint with chalk paint.  We took home 3 artistic creations!

As you can see from this window view, the Children's Museum outdoor campus is large and full of fun things to do! You can even see the Broncos football team's Empower Field at Mile High in the distance.

The Joy Park has picnic tables, outdoor play material like hula hoops and jump ropes, a slide, and a large sand pit with shovels and dumps trucks.

Our granddaughter really enjoyed riding the zip line, jumping on hay bales, and playing in the "river."

The newest addition is the Adventure Forest! It is a 500-foot (152.4 Meters) long aerial adventure and immersive art exhibit for children 5 years and older or over 44 inches tall (111.7 centimeters), with a height of 90 feet (27.4 Meters) at the highest "lookout point."  To exit one slides down 70 foot (21.3 Meter) chute slides.

Our granddaughter was inside the high lookout point in the bottom left photo.  
She said the view was fantastic up there!

Across from the Children's Museum outdoor campus, we could see some of Denver's Elitch Gardens Amusement and Water Park in the distance. We went once, a few years ago and it may be time for another visit sometime this summer.

There were other areas we explored but I did not take photos such as Water, Kinetics, Energyetc, but you can see them all in the short museum video above (just close off the ad in the beginning)

The Children's Museum is certainly a wonderful place to spend the day or to invest in a membership to go frequently if you live in the area. My husband and I not only enjoyed watching our granddaughter have fun that day but it was also enjoyable to watch the other children learn and play together. 

Have a wonderful week! 

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