Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving Along Piney Creek


If you celebrated American Thanksgiving yesterday,
I hope you had a happy time.

It's one of my favorite holidays,
because it's a time to spend with family and friends,
a time to be grateful for all that is good in life,
and a time to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast.



Mule Deer Buck
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



We've shared many Thanksgivings over the past thirty years
with our close friends Cheri and Gary, their son Jeff, 
and one, two, or three of our nieces and nephews.

The kids have grown and scattered,
so it was just we four celebrating yesterday;
and we went for a family style dinner at Maggianos,
an Italian restaurant that we all enjoy.

So, of course, in addition to turkey and all the trimmings,
Maggianos offered a tempting array of pastas:
a groaning board for sure, and boxes of leftovers to take home.



Hawk High Overhead
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


We each had a strategy to shed some of the calories we consumed at this feast.
Gary and Cheri planned a long walk with their Shih Tzu, Sam.
Terry played a fast round of pickleball with friends in the chilly mid-morning air,
and I meandered with my camera along Piney Creek once we returned from Maggianos.

Our Thanksgiving day was cool and cloudy,
not the best circumstance in which to go hunting with my camera.
A cloudy late November day colors the high prairie spaces 
with dull browns, grays, and faded yellows.


 
Icy Pond and Reflections
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Nevertheless, I layered up with warm clothes and headed down to the creek,
grateful for the gifts of unstructured time and peaceful solitude.

At first the riparian area seemed drab and lifeless
with its sere vegetation, splotchy patches of snow,
stripped stands of cottonwoods, and slow waters.


Dead Cottonwood Leaves, Horsetails, and Grasses
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Gone to Seed
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Remnants of Snow
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Stripped Cottonwoods
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Small Pool Along Piney Creek
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



But as I jumped the creek and wandered from the path,
I heard the soft twitters of birds in the cottonwoods
and spotted big ears in bleached gold thickets.





Birds Among Cottonwood Branches
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Mule Deer Buck and Doe
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



It is a joy to lean against a corrugated cottonwood, close my eyes,
and hear whispered conversations among the birds gathered in its branches;
then to open them and see muleys motionless in the underbrush,
their outsized ears swiveled toward me, their dark eyes fixed on me.

Although the world around me has faded to muted colors,
it is vibrant with rich textures:
sawtoothed leaves, layered or fluffy bullrushes,
billowing rabbitbrush, and pocked skims of ice on smooth water.



Ridged Cottonwood Trunks
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Cottonwoods in a Puddle
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Weathered Bullrushes
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Billowing Rabbitbrush
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Skim of Pocked Ice
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I see more than thick limbs,
withered leaves, slender branches, and winter buds against a steely sky;
I catch a scamper of fur racing along dark, heavy highways:
an energetic squirrel patrolling its territory and adding food to its caches.
 



A Speedy Fox Squirrel
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



As I ramble throughout the long, narrow open space along Piney Creek, 
the sun lowers beneath the cover of cloud,
burnishing small shrubs and washing the landscape with gold and ruddy tones. 



Lowering Sun
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Sun-Silvered Shrubs
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved








Magical Light Brightens the Landscape
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Following a tip from a fellow walker,
I round a corner and find what I have been seeking:
a herd of deer browsing among dry grasses, brushes, and milkweed.



Thanksgiving Feast
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Mule Deer Buck
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Muley Doe Browsing
in a Wild Wetland Meadow
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Milkweed Pod
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



I turn and backtrack for home, refreshed by a quiet walk on the wild side.




We're Watching You!
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Female Red-winged Blackbird
Among the Bullrushes
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Magic Moments for an Amateur Photographer
Aurora Open Space, Colorado
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




For Map Lovers Like Me:

Location of Aurora, Colorado, USA




The Open Space Along Piney Creek
Where I Often Walk
Map Data © 2018 Google United States




Aurora Open Space Along Piney Creek
Map Data © 2018 Google United States







24 comments:

  1. You sure got some great shots, ignoring the snow though lol we got it everywhere here. The deer weren't taking their eyes of you. Except for the one chowing down, guess for was more important than a stalker err umm walker with a camera haha That squirrel was sure on the go. The stripped cottonwoods look like they could work for a horror movie, or world ending one. A fine walk indeed, hopefully you worked off your feast. May not count though if you chowed down on any leftovers you took home later haha

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    Replies
    1. Haha! How did you know? We chowed down on the leftovers for lunch, and then met Cheri and Gary for dinner and drinks at Parkway tonight. We just got home. Groan. My scale was up 2.6 pounds this morning over yesterday morning. I'm making "scientific observations" to see how long it takes to get where I was, Maybe I'll write a horror story featuring cottonwoods! LOL You're the best, Pat! Thank you for always encouraging me!

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  2. Magic Moments, what beautiful colours there.We did not celebrate down here, had lunch with a dear friend, and reflected on good times together.

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    1. Hi, Jean! Thank you! You can't beat nature for beautiful colors! Good friends. Good food. Good conversation. It's hard to beat that combination! Sending you a big hug!

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  3. Lovely shots, Louise! No matter the time of year, there is always beauty to be found. This is especially true for people who enjoy photography :) In the late autumn, the colours may fade but that's precisely when we notice the textures and shapes, and everything else hidden by leaves and bushes and vibrant colours. The world is amazing year round. We just need to stop and pay attention!

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    1. Thanks, Martha! "There is always beauty to find." So very, very true! Have a great weekend!

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  4. Our weather tonight had rain that looked like it was trying to be snow but it wasn't cold enough yet. It was rather odd.

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    1. Hi, Adam! We're in the middle of such a transition right now. It was raining about 20 minutes ago, and it's changed into freezing rain, and now we're starting to get wet/icy/flakes. It's a great time to be inside out of the wind and wet with the fire going. Have a good weekend, my friend!!

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  5. Look at all the mule deer! Beautiful shots of them and the area. I love all the texture.

    No snow here. Probably not until January or February.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Diane! There were eleven mule deer in the field, but I couldn't get all of them in one photo. I've been watching this herd for over a decade now. I came from Nova Scotia where they had white-tailed deer, so I'm fascinated with the muleys' big ears. We have snow falling right now, and it was not forecasted for us. I'm glad that I don't have to go anywhere today! Take care!

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  6. Greetings Louise. It looks like you enjoyed the wildlife your walk had to offer. Piney Creek looks like a nice place to enjoy a quiet stroll. My Sadie sadly chases Squirrels, they are always faster than her though! Your shots reminded me of when I used to live Down South, which had deer roaming in the area - a nice place. Glad you enjoyed your walk. We've had frost here but as of yet no snow. Blessings. Love love, Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Andrew! I do love my walks along Piney Creek. I have walked that area hundreds of times over the past thirteen years. It has never been the same twice; it's always different. I can just imagine Sadie chasing squirrels. Squirrels can be such teases! We have snow falling right now, nothing heavy, but big flakes with lots of moisture. Enjoy your weekend, my friend!

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  7. You took some amazing shots there, Louise! An austere colour palette, but a beautiful one.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debra! I definitely had fun taking the photos and working them into a blog post. I believe there are things of beauty all around us, if we take the time to look. Have a great weekend with your Rare One!

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  8. Hi Louise! :) I love those deer photos, and the cottonwoods...oh how I love those craggly looking trees!!! I always love a good traditional Thanksgiving dinner. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Rain! I'm glad that you enjoyed my photos. I had such fun taking them. I'm very fond of cottonwood trees, and I've been watching those along my stretch of Piney Creek for thirteen years. They are really a fascinating species of tree. We had such a good Thanksgiving dinner at Maggianos and then a second with leftovers for lunch yesterday. Today, for the first time, I climbed 100 flights of stairs in our home, hoping to counteract those two traditional dinners. I've been doing 85 flights on Saturday for the past several weeks, followed by 75 on Sundays. But today I made it to 100!!! Not all at once of course! I'll bet that you could cook a fabulous chicken dinner. Have a great weekend!

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    2. Oh 100 flights, congratulations!!! :) When I used to go to the gym, one of my favourite machines was the Stairmaster. Now I can barely walk up to the third floor because of my knees lol...but I get my exercise walking in the woods now. I love the name of your creek. :)

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    3. Hi, Rain! I was pretty excited at hitting 100 flights of stairs. I'm going to do KoKo Head when I go to Hawaii/ It's only 70 of my home's flights of stairs, I live at 6,000 feet, which is well above Koko Head. I figure I can do it!!! Meanwhile we're headed to Arizona shortly, 1000 feet elevation and no stairs. I'm going to try a Stairmaster. We'll see how it goes. When I started, I was huffing and puffing with one flight of stairs. My trainer gave me some exercises to help my knees. One is having someone roll your legs from the knees up with a foam roller or a rolling pin. Front, back, sides, it really helps. Of course, you can roll yourself over the foam, but it's easier to have someone else roll you. Kudos to you for walking in the woods. My motto: Movement is life! Have a great week!

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  9. Check your email, I sent you something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Adam! You have me so figured out! Headed there right now. Sunday is my busiest day!

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  10. Thank you for such a beautiful post Louise! Truly enjoyed it! So happy you had a great Thanksgiving! Big Hugs!

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  11. I am glad that you had peaceful walk in you beautiful serene surroundings with your hubby dear Louise!

    thank you for sharing the glimpse of your wonderful area which seems completely wintered these days !

    either i enjoy listening the birds chatting so much :)

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  12. It looks so chilly and withered... but spring is coming!

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  13. nice blog. thanks for sharing
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    ReplyDelete

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