Saturday, September 21, 2013

Garden and growth

We planted our garden May 4th and by September 21st it has grown wildly. We even tried an experiment with ground cover plants (plants that grow low to the ground). We planted chicks and hens, pink chintz thyme, old man’s bones, “Heidi” moss, and “ruby stars." Below is a shot of the planting in action. As you can see, the plants were pretty small and compact at the start.


Here’s a shot from above of the same plants several months later. The thyme (bushy plant on the right) has grown to be full and lush with little white flowers (and kind of in the shape of a heart – I hadn’t noticed that previously). The “ruby stars”  (sort of top left) grew quite a bit as well and developed lots of purple flowers. The “heidi” moss really struggled (you can barely see it in the far left of the photo). The chicks and hens didn’t grow a ton but three new chicks appeared from the two we originally planted!

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Then there are the garden boxes. The beginning days were captured in a previous blog. However, I have provided a shot of what we started with back in May:

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By late September the tomatoes have taken over and the serrano plant is producing overtime. Here is a shot of the tomatoes and hot peppers (basically one garden box):

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Here’s a shot of the other garden box with the brussel sprouts and green and red bell peppers (it had snap peas, lettuce, radishes, and carrots, but those have come and gone).

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I wish I could say that I also grew as a person over the summer, but, alas, I don’t think that happened much. I worked and rode my bike and hiked and knitted and visited towns in Colorado and spent a good amount of time in the car, but I can’t say I know myself better now than in May. It was still a good time though and I thoroughly enjoyed the garden and watching it grow and change and produce over the months.

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013 July Outdoors summary

My blogging has taken a back seat to other summer activities – tending the garden, making yummy foods, getting together with friends, and, of course, hiking! I haven’t gotten out quite as much as I had hoped but I’m generally satisfied with what I’ve been able to do – as far as hiking goes. Here are a few photos from some hiking trips.

Mt. Audubon

Jess and I hiked Mt. Audubon (13,223’) mid-July and had perfect weather and a great time. Even though the hike starts from the Brainard Lake recreation area, we were able to get a parking spot near the trailhead. Also, for a 13er, the hike is of reasonable length (about 8 miles) and isn’t super steep.

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The hike up was stunning as the “diamond” on Longs Peak became more and more visible the higher up you got:

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These are some shots from the top:

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It was pretty windy at the top, so we got a few shots and headed back down.

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We spent a 3-day weekend in Telluride, CO and were able to do two hikes!

First was the relatively short (4.5 miles) Eider Creek Trail Loop, which didn’t take us above tree line but did take us through some fairly mature Aspen forests.

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It was nice and short for a late afternoon hiking effort, and it did open up to give views of the surrounding mountains.

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The second hike was to Navajo Lake. This one was a bit longer (about 10 miles) and did take us above tree line for some stunning alpine meadow hiking. It was one of those perfect hikes where you get a good amount of forest hiking as well as wide open sky alpine hiking.

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The destination, Navajo Lake, sits at the foot of three 14ers, Wilson Peak, Mt. Wilson, and El Diente. It was humbling to sit by the lake and take it in. Unfortunately the clouds didn’t lend to great pictures while we were there, but here is one shot from the lake:

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Our post-hike meal was tasty pasta and a bottle of red wine at the Telluride Bistro. Food seems to always taste better after a good outdoor effort and this was no exception. We sat outside and listened to the hummingbirds and watched a dog who peeked out of a window over the restaurant and generally enjoyed ourselves.

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Next up – August hiking – stay tuned!