Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Crystal Blue Persuasion!

Some days it's hard to ignore the prairie gobblers!

I live in an area of rapid development,
and it hurts to see every new house go up.

Often I keenly feel the NIMBY Blues!

Neighboring Development

Not in My Back Yard!!!!!

But I moved to this area more than seven years ago.
So I'm part of the problem.

Yup!  Things like this can put me in a funk!

So I turn in the opposite direction
and fill my heart with a prairie pocket of high plains.

And I lose myself in the crystal blue sky of Colorado:
Crystal Blue Persuasion!

This is my answer to the NIMBY Blues.

Just a tiny pocket, but it fills my soul!

Seeing wild blue asters brazenly thriving 
in the middle of a gravel road gives me hope.

I can even forgive the common mullein
for moving into the disturbed ground
when it opens its yellow blossoms. 

I'm not the only one who walks this prairie pocket.
I sometimes share this precious place with other nature lovers.

A patch of yellow rubber rabbitbrush
points to the Front Range just visible 
above the high plains horizon!

That gorgeous Colorado blue sky
is my crystal blue persuasion!

I just have to have selective vision,
kind of like the E-P with his selective hearing!
(That's one of my Ever-Patient Terry's survival techniques for living with "The ADHD One!")

With my carefully averted eyes,
I can avoid this view of
the Boulder Flat Irons,
Downtown Denver,
and My Development That Gobbled the Prairie.

Nope ~ Not Gonna See It!
Gonna look at this instead!

I'm gonna look up and then down ~
These prickly pear cacti pop up in the most unexpected places.

And you don't want to step on one ~
It's worse than a dog running into a porcupine!
(Sorry, Sophie Doodle!)

That's my development bordering one side of my prairie pocket.
Somebody said "NIMBY" forcefully 
when HEB showed up, I'm sure!

I love to watch the fair-weather cumulus clouds 
building above the Front Range!

These wildflowers simply won't give up!

Yucca Plant Seed Pods

Hawks Circling in My Crystal Blue Persuasion

I couldn't find this flower in my wildflower guide,
but the pollinators can sure find the real ones.

There used to be herds of pronghorn antelope in this area.
One of the streets just over the horizon is called Antelope Trail.

Technically a pronghorn is not an antelope,
but in North America 
it is known colloquially 
as a pronghorn antelope or an antelope.

After not seeing a pronghorn for a couple of years,
I stumbled onto this one by a stock pond in my prairie pocket
in the spring of 2012.

I don't know which of us was more shocked!
I called it The Last Antelope.

Then a couple of months ago,
I spotted an actual herd!
Talk about my soaring spirit!

So I'm spending lots of time scanning the hills
trying to spot antelope.
And one of these days I'm going to catch them close up!

Colorado's Awesome Blue Sky!

This is the original Crystal Blue Persuasion
by Tommy James and the Shondells.

From the moment I first heard it 
in the summer of 1969
on a crystal blue sky day in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia,
it has never failed to make my spirits
soar like a hawk.

It gives me hope for a better future.

Source:  You Tube:  jmms429


  1. I always get sad when I see beautiful areas becoming developed. I love untouched areas of nature :)

    1. Hey Keith! I hear you! One of the reasons that I love Newfoundland and Labrador so much is that there is wilderness. You can breathe that clean fresh air sweeping across the Atlantic Ocean from Greenland (or other spots depending on where you are). And the Canadian North! So wild and free! I hope you are having a great day!

  2. Yes, that lone pronghorn has a total "WTF?" look on its face!

    1. Hi Debra! "WTF" for sure! I barely got this one shot in before that pronghorn fled ~ and they can move! I do love them ~ They have such beautiful colors. Now that I've learned to recognize them in the distance, I'm seeing them more. Now if they would just come a little bit closer! I hope that your day is going well!

  3. OHMYGOD...you have prickly pear cacti nearby? Can you eat the fruit? My absolute FAVOURITE fruit in the world. It costs an arm and a leg here for most of the year. Occasionally it'll be on sale, but not often enough for me.

    What gorgeous photos! There is nothing quite like hanging out with Mother Nature. It saddens me, too, that so many beautiful and mature areas are being torn apart to put up homes and businesses.

    1. Hi Martha! Yes there is prickly pear cactus around here ~ especially with the pre-flashflooding drought. I've never eaten the fruit, but I've eaten the actual green cactus pad. I was out in the desert once with a guide, and he showed me how you can harvest a pad and use it as a source of moisture to suck. You have to be careful, because the wild prickly pears have small prickles as well as the large sharp spines. Those little prickles can drive you nuts if you get them in your hands. My Great Aunt Nan used to make rose hip jelly. Now I'm thinking maybe I should look into prickly pear jelly! You've gotten me curious since you say that is your absolute favorite fruit in the world. I haven't seen it in the stores here, but I may have overlooked it!

      The development here has been amazing. I attended a meeting some years where our superintendent was talking about a new development that was platted for 42,000 homes. The financial crisis hit a year or so later, and slowed down the building, but the development is closing in on the 42,000 homes. And that's just one development! The one thing that is preserving open space along the Front Range and other wild areas is the Colorado Lottery. Lotto money built the parks and trails along Piney Creek, and much much more! Of course, groups like the Nature Conservancy are doing some too, but the lotto has been crucial. The politicians keep eying that money and trying to think of how to get it for something else, but so far Coloradans have kept voting to keep it for parks and open space.

      When are a critical mass of people going to realize just how much we need open space and wilderness?
      My nieces and nephews give me hope. Many kids in their generation truly care.

      I hope that you are having a happy day. Hump day again ~ Friday's closer!

  4. Yeah it is kinda stupid too
    Already have tons of houses to view
    That are for sale
    Yet so many more hit the trail
    then they whine when they don't sell
    Idiots where all dwell

    1. Right on, Pat! Over supply! We need more rational, more environmentally friendly development ~ sustainable development ~ for housing. Terry and I chose to live in a duplex to lessen our environmental footprint a little. It's not much, but it's something. People need housing, but so do all the other living beings that share our world.

      Hope you're having a great day at your bay! Take care!

    2. Oh yeah, and Barb! The !@#$%^ bees are back! They arrived en masse two days ago, and are happily honeying their home in the center pillar! Arrggghhhh! I had to be so careful slipping out on the deck to take a photo of a cool cirrocumulus cloud this morning! The E-P is phoning for you know who! :(

  5. Replies
    1. Hey HGW! Sad, but true! My mother-in-law used to say, "It's not there to look at. It's there to make money!" When I'm in a cynical mood, I say that money is the true American god! Fortunately I'm hopeful and optimistic most of the time, and I try to do what I can to support nature and the environment.
      Hope your day is going well!

  6. It's the same around our place, I say they spring up like mushroom.

    1. Hi Jill! Houses do spring up like mushrooms. Sometimes I think of the houses flowing across the open spaces as an evil tide. Thank goodness for Theodore Roosevelt, an American president who did so much a century ago to start preserving wilderness in national parks and to preserve important Native American and scientific sites. Have a great day ~ tomorrow! I think you must be sound asleep now.

  7. Love the pictures. Development always hurts. We need somewhere for our kids to live, but still. It hurts.

  8. Great post Fundy! We will have to go chasing Antelope in November :) Cheers Barb - now don't forget to get back to the Northern stories!!

    1. Hey Barb!
      You and Donnie want the Northern stories!
      Lisa wants the Gingerbread Man story! Bertie wants Oscar the Seagull! She's sending me links and pictures and info ~ so helpful!
      My Scavenger Hunt is due.
      I have to finish my scarf and mail it!
      And, of course, the E-P can't wait for that gourmet dinner to be served when he gets home! I came up at 6:15 p.m. last night and nuked a pizza!
      I just have to laugh!
      And boy, do we have lots to talk about while chasing antelope in November!
      My next post is on "Death of a Salesman!" At least I've seen the play!
      I think I'll walk over to Starbucks or maybe Parkway for something stronger!
      LOL! Cheers!

    2. Oops, Barb! My add-on comment ended up under Pat's comment above! Definitely need to go to Parkway now!

  9. Beautiful. You make me want to get out, run away, and spend a whole week in nature. *sigh* Imagination, you're going to have to suffice.

  10. Thanks for stopping by Crystal, and thanks for your kind words. I go into my imagination a lot ~ I call it survival! Take care!

  11. I absolutely love the beauty that you have found, captured and are sharing here! Your photos are lovely.

  12. I absolutely love the beauty that you have found, captured and are sharing here! Your photos are lovely.

    1. Thank you, Linda! Your kind words brightened my day! Take care!

  13. That blue sky is fabulous and lends itself to hope and dreams. I enjoy the fact that you can turn away from the craziness of development, and tune in to the prairie and wide open vistas. Gorgeous vistas I might add. I would be searching for the antelope as well. They are so majestic. What a lovely post with great photography and honest words.

    1. Thank you, Monica! Your words mean a lot! My area is so different from yours ~ but they are both beautiful! Take care!

  14. What beautiful pictures. They give such a feeling of space and openness.

    1. Thank you, Sandra! My heart needs space and openness! I'm glad that you felt it too! Take care!

  15. You mean I'm not the only one who gets down when I see this rapid, consuming, stupid amount of development? Some days it really depresses me. Nothing seems sacred anymore. I LOVED your post and your photos. Loved that cactus!!!!!

    1. Hi Audrey! I'm glad that you loved the cactus! I almost didn't put those pictures in, but then I really love the prickly pear plant, so in they went ~ even if the post was long! I live in an area that has a number of monster home developments. I just don't get the whole gigantic house thing. I live in a "small" duplex ~ Terry and I and three bathrooms! Our duplex is bigger than all the houses I lived in growing up ~ there were often eight of us and one bathroom! People need natural places ~ They're necessary for our souls! Okay, I'll get off my whining soapbox! Have a lovely day, Audrey!

  16. How very beautiful. Gosh, you call that a tiny pocket; you'd go quite crazy here I think lol. There is no unobstructed expanse like that here; one of the last pockets of forest we had has been decimated for some idiot condos (http://bikbikroro.blogspot.sg/2012/10/i-was-greatly-saddened-this-morning-to.html) -- yes, what Audrey calls "rapid, consuming, stupid amount of development". So pictures like yours are such lovely windows for us.

  17. Hi Jan! I had never thought of my pictures as "lovely windows." That makes my heart sing! I've been to Singapore a number of times, and it's my favorite city in Asia. But I would definitely have to go to the southernmost tip and spend time looking out to sea. So far I haven't been able to stand on that point! I was several hundred yards away (say 275 meters) and wanted to go there, but the rain was pounding down. Terry balked and dragged a very wet me back to the hotel! He promised, "Next time!" So sad about your forest pocket ~ It's very sad! Take care!

  18. Do you suppose Tommy and the Shondels were using the blue meth cooked up in the series "Breaking Bad?" I was always perplexed about the crystal blue bit???? What do you think? As for the antelope.... sure wish I was there to chase down a few to close range with you! Alas, humans are pushing wild species into tiny vestiges of the vast areas they once called home.

    1. They may have been, Mark! I first heard the song when I was outdoors on a beautiful blue sky day, so that's what I always associated the words with. But it is perplexing! The antelope are wonderful and it would be fun to chase them down! I often wonder what will be left of the wild world in 50 or 100 years. I'm glad that I won't be here to see it! Have a great weekend!

  19. It's so difficult for us to see the impending growth in our little neck of the plains-meets-foothills, too, so we try to focus on the benefits... perhaps better internet and cell signal one day, better bike paths (that one's promised), better traffic control. We moved out of the city to escape the density and absense of nature, just as you've shared here, and now the city is coming to us. But we still love where we live and hope the development isn't as fast as it could be. We've been surviving five years now with limited internet access; we can survive five more!!!

    You really made me drool with those antelope shots!

    1. Hey SC! Here's hoping you get another five years! The transition zone is special, and I hope that the Front Range doesn't turn into a Southern California mega sprawl. Time will tell I guess! I am determined to get more antelope! I may have to go with the Plains Conservation Center our to its E? W? Bijou property where it has a large tract of prairie preserved ~ also buffalo and the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary with the iridium clay that marks an event that probably contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs. One way or another I'm going to get some good photos! Have a great weekend!

  20. Great photos of your open space. I'm in Denver today - cool and rainy. I like both the city and the mountains - they each have something to offer. But, my heart is in the mountains.

    1. Hey Barb! Thanks for the nice comment! Out in southeast Aurora where I live it was like Newfoundland yesterday ~ the heaviest and longest lasting fog that I have seen in the 31 years that I have lived in Colorado! We got a little rain late in the afternoon, but we really hit it driving to Black Hawk! I love the mountains too, but my heart is on the ocean! Actually, I pretty much enjoy everywhere I go. There is so much that is wonderful in our world! Have a happy weekend!

  21. Colorado is beautiful but like you, I hope it does not get TOO developed.
    Love the wildflowers and the antelope.
    My Richard also loves the common mullein...it comes up on our property and he lets it grow. On my header photo just now, in the middle of the photo, you can see how it looks when it has gone all brown and gone to seed. He said it reminds him of a saguaro cactus. Have a great weekend! xx

    1. Hi Kay! I'm heading over to check out the common mullein on your header! It always grows here where the native soil has been torn up. Have you ever been to Arizona to see saguaro cacti? They are magnificent, and the Sonoran desert is lush and fascinating! My geology book on the Colorado Plateau arrived ~ thank you for that giveaway win! Have a great weekend! xx

  22. Imagine living in a place where the cacti actually grow in the ground and not on a grocery shelf in the plant section! Lucky girl1! One other thing - I actually thought that Americans didn't use the word prairie. I thought that was a Canadian word. I thought they called the land 'the plains' or the great plains. Live & learn, Eh?

  23. Hey Francie!
    Yeah, we have cacti ~ and more so after years and years of drought. You have to watch where you step if you're off a road or trail!
    Often you will hear Americans refer to the plains, but they also use prairie. We actually live on the shortgrass prairie where the grasses are usually only inches tall. In Kansas you get into the tallgrass prairie where the grass can be taller than a person. Our grasses are short because there is so little rain and the soil is poorer. In fact, in the 19th century our area was called "The Great American Desert." I nearly always took my kiddos on a field trip to the Plains Conservation Center. They always loved the native blue gamma grasses because the flowers looked like eyelashes.
    I hope that you are enjoying a happy weekend! Take care!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.