Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Walk Along Piney Creek


Before I retired I tried to imagine what it would be like not to have to work.
It was inconceivable, because I had to work,
often sixty plus hours a week at school,
and then there was the second (third?) shift at home.

I don't know how I did it,
I don't know how people do it.

All I know is that I am grateful to be retired,
and I'm thankful for every sacrifice Terry and I made to fund our retirement.
We lived below our means, and we saved throughout our lives.
It was worth it.

On a snowy day, I can burrow under the covers and not come out;

The Canadians are hunkered down in Sunday's snowstorm.
Yes, I know they are Canada geese, 
but my family has always called them the Canadians.
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



and on a gorgeous winter day like today,
I can walk out the door, worry free, and enjoy the wonder of it all.

Old Lady Cottonwood,
down, but not out.
Aurora, Colorado, USA
January 23, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




No sooner was I down in the Aurora City Park that winds along Piney Creek,
then four F-16C+ fighters screamed overhead.
How I would love to fly in one of these!
I live a few miles south of the runway for Buckley Air Force Base.


So Hard to Catch!
An F-16 out of Buckley Air Force Base
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


I have walked in this park and observed nature for twelve years.
Each time is unique and has its own beauty.

Winter Pond
Along Piney Creek, Aurora City Park 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Who Walked Here?
Along Piney Creek, Aurora City Park 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Winter Bullrushes
Along Piney Creek, Aurora City Park 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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On a winter day, the park is silent,
until you come upon a thicket alive with birdsong.
A flock of sparrows hides among the branches,
and their vibrant voices make your heart sing!

One of Many
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Piney Creek
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Well, hello there!
I came across a herd of deer ~
I counted fifteen ~
and I was so excited.
I've watched these deer for over a decade,
but with all the construction in the area lately,
I've rarely see them.

Muley Buck
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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Ice and Reflections
Lower Pond along Piney Creek
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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Peek-a-Boo!  I See You!
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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On warm winter days, the mule deer like to linger in the sunshine
and browse on dry grasses and the leaves or twigs of shrubs, woody vines, or trees.

Muleys and Cottonwoods
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




A Doe
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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A Buck and Two Does
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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Keeping an Eye on Me
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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A Favorite Cottonwood Grove for the Deer
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




The Muley Herd
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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A Timeless Winter Scene
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



The park along Piney Creek is filled with many fascinating things.
I loved this cottonwood, and I cried the day I saw the wind had felled it.
Now I watch its slow death throes, and the life it harbors as it dies.

Old Lady Cottonwood Transforming
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




The park is quiet now, waiting for spring,
but on a sunny winter day it fills your heart with promise.

Waiting for New Tenants Come Spring
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Winter Cottonwood Leaves
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




The Park Entrance 
from Heritage Eagle Bend, Aurora
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
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I can't wait to come back and spend time in this special place!
I'm so grateful to be retired!


Yours Truly
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




29 comments:

  1. We all deserve to enjoy the change from working so hard to enjoying each day, quietly, with peace and joy every minute. The scenes along Piney Creek are so lovely, and no matter the season, our hearts can sing in harmony, from North to South, as we share the beauty in our parts of the world. I loved your story today. Will this go into your book too? Fond greetings from another very hot day down here.

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    1. Hi, Jean!
      I'm so glad that you enjoyed my post today; and, hopefully, the glimpse of cold sunshine and snow will remind you that winter is coming! I have a "Piney Creek" nature book in my mind, behind my memoir and my Newfie novel. I've been watching and photographing the park for over a decade. We'll see, as my husband likes to say!

      You are so right. We all deserve to enjoy a period of retirement. I see it as a fundamental right, but the powers that be in many places don't. I think that the study of economics and personal finances should be required throughout the school years ~ along with home economics and shop for all students, male and female. Unfortunately that's not a popular stance right now; but if students learned important life skills, they might make wiser choices during their lives and be better able to provide for the necessities of life including retirement.

      One thing I've learned by traveling throughout my life is that our planet is beautiful everywhere. I don't know, but I suspect there is other life in our universe. Such life would be so far away that, for all intents and purposes, our planet is alone, an oasis of life in a harsh and indifferent universe. When you look at our lovely blue and white jewel of a planet in the black of space, how can you not know that it is precious and rare, that we're all in it together and rely on it to survive, and that we must care for it? We must preserve wilderness and create corridors of habitat for the other living things we share our planet with. Even a narrow strip of parkland along a small creek can provide a home for many living things. I am encouraged that more and more people are concerned and working to make changes to mitigate humanity's impact on our home world.

      I hope that you are improving and feeling better day by day. Sending you and Hugh hugs and love!

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  2. Geez, rub it in why don't you? lol That one deer sure wants to know what the heck you are looking at. I saw a good 20 while out the other day and a bobcat too. All kinds of crap down back roads, crappy back roads, can I be retired too? Great that you got a wonderful spot to go, even with crummy snow.

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    1. Sorry, Pat! I don't mean to rub it in. Trust me, once you reach retirement, you'll wonder how quickly you arrived at that point in your life. I've never seen a live wildcat, and I'd sure love to. I love snow, but it feels colder every year ~ LOL! Sometimes I get why Terry wants to move to the land of the saguaro. Stay out of ditches and cow pastures ~ Yes, that is rubbing it in! Take care, my friend!

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  3. Beautiful shots! So many mule deer.
    Retirement is less than ten for me. We've not gone overboard, and we've saved and invested wisely, so it will be a good retirement.

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    1. Thanks, Alex! I love to get out and play with my camera, something I haven't been doing enough of. I'm glad that you are anticipating a good retirement. It's important not to go overboard and to invest for the future. I've often thought of Terry's father who died of brain cancer four months after retiring. It's so important to enjoy all the phases in your life while investing in your future. So many of the important things cost little. All the best to you and your wife on this Hump Day!

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  4. I'm in my 4th week of retirement now and LOVING EVERY SECOND OF IT! lol

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    1. You'll still be loving it on your 40th and 400th weeks! LOL!!! You earned it. Enjoy it! Sending you a big hug!

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  5. I enjoyed walking with you along the creek and viewing the deer. Happy retirement! Isn't it the most wonderful thing to have all that time to do "any thing you want, any time you want"? That's a little quote from my sister who just retired after over 35 years in the Department of Defense. I've been retired from teaching for 15 years now and the time has just flown. And there hasn't been a day when I've been bored. That was my biggest worry but I find there are enough interesting things to do that keep me busy all the time. You'll have plenty of time now to write and take photos and I will be there with you. Have fun.

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    1. Hi, Peggy! Newsflash! You will never be bored! You have a questing mind, busy hands, artistic gifts, and a huge heart. Actually I'm five years into retirement, and perhaps my post was a little misleading. I was just reveling in the wonder of this time in my life. I'm glad that your sister has retired and can look forward to a fulfilling and rich period. Sending you and Don love and hugs!

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  6. Oh I love that you brought us on a walk with you!!! :) What lovely photos and such a beautiful herd of deer!! My gosh, it's been a long time since I saw deer, they stick to the woods in this area. Here is something to think about Louise...when a deer makes itself present in your life, it begs the question: Are you being too critical of yourself? Are you treating yourself with grace and gentleness? It's just very interesting that SO MANY of them were there for you to see! Love it! You know me, I'm all about symbolism lol!

    I was forced into retirement at age 33 because of that burnout. I hated it for so long, but I have to say I'm SO GRATEFUL for my disability income. I do not know how I did it either...don't know how I commuted from the Laurentians to Montreal each day to work, sometimes 7 days a week. I am also so grateful to be able to live life gently now. xx

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    1. Thanks, Rain!
      I found your symbolism about the deer fascinating! I am my harshest critic, and I am much harder on myself than anyone else in my life. I'm trying to treat myself with grace and gentleness, but I don't aways succeed. I've told you how I like to smile at people. Well, I flash myself smiles too, and I try to drown out that critical voice.

      I love these deer. I've walked among them a lot over the years, and as long as I walk slowly and turn away periodically to photograph other things, they tolerate me. They are beautiful creatures, and I adore their huge ears. I have big ears too, and the deer remind me that big ears can be a thing of beauty! I used to think Dumbo, but now I think Arwen!

      I'm sorry that you were forced into an early retirement, Rain. It's a difficult situation when you're thrust into it before you are ready. Health issues forced me to retire a few years early. I knew several months before I retired, and I railed against it. I loved teaching, and I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my students, colleagues, and school. I think retiring literally saved my life.

      I'm glad that you have built a retirement life that is grounded and fulfilling, even if it has its challenges. I will only find time to make cheeses in my dreams ~ LOL ~ But there's the possibility of a potted herb or two in my future. My sister Barb retired on Halloween, and she a nester and gardener like you. She, too, is a talented tarot reader. She crafts beautiful hooked rugs and jewelry and is planning her new garden in her Nova Scotian retirement home. That's the beauty of having time to do the things you love. Meanwhile I shall contemplate the meaning of deer! Sending you hugs and love!

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    2. OOOH Your sister's life sounds like the one I'm aiming for...Alex and I plan to relocate to the Maritimes when we buy in 2019/2020! I LOVE that you think of Arwen...but Dumbo is such a sweetie too! :) I'm my worst critic by far...

      I love your smiles, and smiling at ourselves is just as important! Here is a quick 15 second clip of Barbara Streisand in "Funny Girl"...she looks into the mirror and says "Hello Gorgeous"...I do that every morning and giggle! :)

      https://youtu.be/CXU4gYNv2mY

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    3. Thanks, Rain! I enjoyed the clip! I'll be thinking of that when I look in a mirror: Gorgeous!

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  7. Greetings Louise. Glad you are enjoying your retirement, that you prudently provided for. The nature park looks lovely, glad you enjoyed your visit there. Sorry that tree passed! I would love to be out and about experiencing wildlife like you are doing. Enjoy. Blessings to you. I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Hi, Andrew! I consider myself fortunate to live so close to a beautiful park. I have gotten great pleasure over the years from exploring this park. I'm hoping all is well with you! Give Sadie a big pat for me! Sending you a big hug, my friend!

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing the amazing photos. I often see deer in my travels and I am always awestruck by their beauty. Especially when I see one when I am feeling ill. I feel they bring a message of healing.

    Enjoy your retirement! You've worked hard to get to this point in the journey.

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    1. Hi, Truedessa! I'm glad that you have deer in your life too! They are such gentle and beautiful creatures. I'm grateful for every stage in my journey through life ~ What a wonderful privilege! Wishing you a happy weekend!

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  9. Good for you and your hubby! I am so happy for the both of you!! You deserve it!! Thank you for showing the beautiful area around you! Love everything!! Love your smile! Big Hugs!

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    1. Big hugs back at you, Stacy! I'm glad that you enjoyed a glimpse into my area. My deer are not quite your crows, but I love walking among these gentle creatures. You have such a wonderful connection with crows! Keep smiling, my friend!

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    2. I forgot to say, you made me laugh about "The Canadians"! LOL! I love deer too! Big Hugs!

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  10. Such beautiful, tranquil photos from Piney Creek (I love that name!). We need to work hard at being retired, Louise. We've earned it! Keep smiling!

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    1. Yes, we have earned it, Barb! I'm glad that you enjoyed my photos! It's been too long since I've done a post like this. I hope all is well with you in Breckenridge!

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    2. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos of the woods near White Cloud, They are familiar and beloved by me. I'm glad that you have learned and shared the beauties of life. Take care!

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  11. It was fun going on this walk with you, Louise! What a lovely sight the deer are. Such beautiful and gentle souls. I think winter is a very scenic season and can't imagine not living in an area where I don't get to witness it each year. But...I wish it was shorter and not as cold! LOL

    I'm glad you're enjoying your retirement. You've certainly worked hard enough for it!

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    1. Hi, Martha! The deer are beautiful! I went down into the park today, but didn't find any deer, just hundreds of female redwings in a sea of reeds. I look forward to when you are able to get out more and explore your new world. But you certainly have a lovely new home thanks to your sweat equity. All the best to you in the coming week!

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  12. Being house wife i awe what is the retirement time for me and there is no answer though this is really exciting to stay busy with house chores and doing lot and lot for family members to support them but still when my heart sometimes want to take a lazy nap
    to read favorite book without being disturbed by any call or any other hobby i go under spell of sadness which last only for few moments as i feel relived that if i will be free due to be much older and weak i will miss all my activities and i will miss all calls of hubby and kids for me it makes me cheerful and posotive again :)

    I am sooo happy you are enjoying the blessing of being free and using this beautiful time to wander among nature and capture such awesome views for us

    i LOVED these glorious creatures the adorable deers!!!

    old cottonwood lady is making me little sad ,when any branch of my flowering plant breaks down i feel so sad watching the death crawling into her veins slowly and changing it's colour reveals actual aspect of life

    very artistically taken photos dear friend!

    so absorbing and charming
    loved the lovely words too
    yes in such bitter coldness a sunny day promises for pleasant spring ahead!

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  13. and THANK you for sharing your graceful lovely smiling face which always uplift my soul as you have amazing positive spirit within you which shine through your sweet smile!

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    1. Hi, Baili! Thank you for your thoughtful and kind comment. I'm glad that you enjoyed the photos of the deer and nature in the park. Sometimes I grumble too about things I have to do when I'd rather just read or write or do nothing. I try to remind myself to be grateful because I have the ability to wash dishes or do the laundry. Someday I might not be able to and would be wishing that I still could. And when my husband asks me to bring him coffee or make him some food, and it irritates me, I stop and think about how empty my life would feel without him in it. Then, usually, I get on top of those frustrated or angry feeling I have. Sending you love and hugs!

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