Summer of Hikes- Pawnee Buttes 5/18/2014

I’ve made it my goal to go hiking every weekend this summer. I’ll post photos from my hikes on here so you can enjoy them!

On the 18th, I geared up in my beat up old hiking boots and drove an hour-ish northeast of Greeley to hike around the Pawnee Buttes. Last time I was up in the Pawnee Grasslands was with my Brothers for our Spring Retreat, and it SNOWED on us. SNOWED in APRIL. Our sponsor came with us, and kept making fun of my pup tent, saying it would fall over. What up, it did not.

Anyway, that’s a completely different story. Luckily it did not snow on me the second time I went out there. When I finally reached the trailhead, there were no other cars there (around 9 am). The first thing I saw, though, were the cows.

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Once they saw me, they moved quickly away, and I continued on with my life. That’s when I came up the small hill and looked out into the distance.

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Talk about BEAUTIFUL. It took my breath away. I admired the view for a few minutes, then began my way down the hill.

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After I got down the initial hill, I was in what looked like a dry riverbed, twisting and turning around and around.

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172 rdhI did enjoy turning around a lot to look at Lips Bluff.

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Oh no- the way is blocked! I figured that rain had washed all of the tumbleweed into a corner. I carefully picked my way around them, and was a little nervous that I might run across a rattle snake. Luckily, I did not.

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Some flowers around the trail.

 

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The only “animals” I saw on the trail itself was this moth and some animal bones.

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While my goal had been to make it to the West Butte, I realized that I was getting tired and should turn back (darn it for being out of shape). I made it back to the trailhead, and after studying the map, realized I was actually relatively close to my goal. Double darn it!

After studying the map, I figured that I made it as far as the second “t” in the Buttes, where it’s labelled on the map. Oh well. I guess that means I have to come back, right?

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On my way out I stopped for a view of the prairie. Those Western Skies, man.

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Also, I ran into these guys! My first real animals of the day!

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Summer of Hikes- Glenmere Park 5/11/2014

I’ve made it my goal to go hiking every weekend this summer. I’ll post photos from my hikes on here so you can enjoy them!

I was supposed to go hiking with my dad on this particular Sunday, since his birthday was coming up that week. However, Northern Colorado was hit my a random snow storm, so my dad decided it would be dangerous to go up to the mountains to hike. I agree, but I was not going to be deterred from my hiking goal- especially not on the first weekend of summer break. So I googled “hiking in Greeley” and the first thing that popped up was Glenmere Park, a .2 mile “hike.” Sure, why not. I love Glenmere.

I went to my favorite coffee shop, “The Blue Mug at Margie’s,” and get a drink, then went over to Glenmere and walked around, snapping photos and drinking coffee. There was no one else there, and I really enjoyed the silence of the intermittent snow and rain falling.

The first thing I noticed was how high the water was.

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Then I noticed the locals coming to see this strange visitor.

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I took photos of the plants….

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Looks like someone got to the bridge before me!

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Overall, the amount of water travelling through was the most surprising part of the walk.

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Month of Nature #5- “Dead Man Lake Panorama”

nature5This is a nice little lake near Fort Collins, called Dead Man Lake, or Deadman’s Lake, depending on who you ask. And yes, people have died there, due to the sharp, almost ninety degree turns that the road takes around the lake. It’s really insane.

Either way, that aside, this a panorama I took of the lake. I stitched three separate photos together using “Microsoft Image Composite Editor.” It’s a very handy program!

 

Month of Nature #4- “Lightning”

nature4You know my last post? The one I made about 30 seconds ago, about the cotton candy clouds? Yeah. This lightning bolt was a result of that. There was so much lightning, heavy rain, and hail that didn’t dent my car, but actually chipped paint because it fell so hard. But! I was so excited about the lightning. It’s pretty, and one of nature’s beautiful phenomenons.

 

Month of Memories #10- “Rays of Sun”

5-7Oh, the return of the sun rays. You’ve probably noticed that they are my background for my blog, and have been featured before in Day 281- “Radiance.” As I said then, I felt like sun rays were God bringing people up to Heaven. I still think that. About an hour before I took this photo, we had to call the vet to come euthanize my beloved goat Jadeite. She had cancer, and it took a sudden turn for the worse. So…. There’s that. Sun rays.

I also find it funny, that on picmonkey.com, they now have a feature called “Radiance” which simulates sun rays.

Month of Memories #5- “Horizon”

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When I was a senior in high school, my second semester Tuesdays and Thursdays gave me a wide window of breaks. I had English, Music Composition, an off period, lunch, and then Geospace. The way Music Comp was set up gave us essentially a study hall…. So, my days were essentially four hour breaks. One day, for a change of scenery I drove up to the foothills and climbed on of the short mountains, and later wrote a music composition about it called “Horizon.” I re-climbed up there recently for this photo. It’s still just as pretty!

Day 353- “Remembrance”

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This photo, Day 353, should be for November 27th. November 27th is an extremely important day for me, for many reasons. It’s my brother-in-law’s birthday, it’s my goat Stoney’s birthday, and it’s Founder’s Day, the day that my fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi was founded at Oklahoma A&M College in 1919.

It is also the day, a year ago, that I came to terms with why I chose to major in photography. It’s a long, difficult story, involving guilt, depression, death, and acceptance.

I… I can’t really explain it again. It’s really a pretty tough story for me to even think about, but if you’re curious, check out my post from September 14th.

Sometimes, I wish things were how they used to be. The cemetery where I took this photo was a place that I used to go to as a kid. I used to take my dog Jenny there- since she was the only one of our three Corgis that I could trust off of the leash. She would run around happily, sniffing out rabbit holes while I gently placed flowers on all of the graves. This is an old cemetery; I think the most recent burial was before 1920. It’s a friendly cemetery.

But now, my Baby Girl is gone, after being hit by a car this summer. (You can read that post here.) I wandered around the cemetery alone, looking out at the sunset and down at the old, faded out flowers I placed on the graves back in March, when Jenny was still with me.

Jenny is gone, Alicia is gone, and sadly, there is nothing I can do about it, except keep moving forward.

And I do. November 27th was the first time I’ve ever played in the saxophone studio class. All of the saxophone majors get together every Tuesday and play for each other, then receive critiques from the saxophone professor. To me, it’s a bit awkward as a non-music major, a junior making a third attempt at the sax studio, to stand up in front of everyone and play. Nervously, I played my Telemann Fantasy, ¬†and when I was done, I looked up at everyone and saw smiles and nods of approval. I don’t know why I was so worried. They’re are all my friends and they all want me to succeed, and they were all happy for me and all encourage me in my musical pursuits.

I would have continued pursuing art, had it not been that fateful moment on November 27th, 2011, when I realized that music is what I need to do. Jut keep pushing forward, and I will reach my dream.