Tuesday, May 31, 2005

CANNON RANGE, Memorial Day 2005

My boys spent the weekend on the cannon range, thanks to our friend and cannon-master Singe (gentleman with beard) who allowed the boys to shoot his cannons and mortars.  Art (with pony-tail) was the only experienced shooter in his young team so they didn't compete but I doubt anyone on the range had more fun than they did.

My husband invested in this beauty and is part owner although he rarely gets to fire it because its hard to pry the boys away from it when we go to cannon shoots.

Zachary did not compete this year either but fired just as many balls as any other team.  This cannon, owned by Singe, is affectionately called 'Little Rusty' for obvious reasons. 

Its apprearance is deceptive and it has brought home many medals in the past for Gabe and Zack.  Despite access to bigger and fancier cannons, this one is the boys' favorite.

These cannons belong to another team.  Cannon teams are encouraged to dress in pre-1900 attire.  The plaque is from a motar that was built by Singe in honor of his son and our friend Nolan who died tragically in 2000.  Nolan loved to shoot the cannons and mortars, so every time this one is fired, it is fired for him and we feel that he is with us.

Monday, May 30, 2005


While attending the Colorado Springs Muzzleloaders Assoc. Annual Memorial Day Shoot I camped out in a friend's tipi.  There is something magical about sleeping in a tipi that is almost mystical and I couldn't help but daydream about the way it might have been long ago on the plains then the tipi was the family home, not just a nostalgic tent.


These are all pictures of the same tipi taken at different times of the day.  The first is at sunrise.  The top flap remained open overnight to provide ventilation for the campfire that warmed the tipi through the cold hours of the night.  The second pictures was taken just after sundown.  The sky eventually cleared to reveal thousands of stars sparkling like diamonds which were viewable through the open flap.


A campfire not only provided warmth and light, it added entertainment when the children discovered their shadows.  Looking up from the inside of the tipi one is amazed by the simplicity of the structure.


Rain took over towards the end of the weekend but it didn't dampen any spirits.  The tipi became a gathering place for everyone to warm up and socialize.  After a couple of days the smoke from the campfire had seasoned the flaps of the tipi an earthy color.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


I didn't get many pictures of animals during my last visit to the zoo because I was too entranced by all the flowers that decorated the landscape.  While I love flowers, my gardening skills leave a lot to be desired so I must resort to other means to fulfill my appreciation for the colorful blossoms.  With spring in full bloom I was like a kid in a candy shop!


These are just two of the very distinctive birds that can be seen at the zoo.  The peacocks run loose while the crowned crane has the entire African Rift giraffe enclosure to play around in.  

Sometimes we get so caught up in our excitement at seeing new and exotic creatures that we forget that we are not the only observers at the zoo.  The crowned crane watched me with a very intense gaze the whole time I was there.  It moved only to make room for this curious antelope who came to investigate the source of the flashing light.

This mountain goat kid is only 5 days old and it is already climbing around on the rocks.  It was born right there at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the zoo staff is just as proud of the little one as its parents are.

Some things are the same, no matter what the species!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Today was rainy but the sun broke through and the dark heavy clouds were replaced by billows of white fluff so the kids and I took a chance and drove out to the Garden of the Gods.

The neatest thing next to the actual rock formations themselves is the fact that this park is in the middle of Colorado Springs, practically within the city!

We were there for just under 2 hours, which was about as long as the sunshine lasted.  We made it back to the parking lot just as the rain drops were starting to increase in size and frequency.  Thats how it is in Colorado, rain one minute, sunny the next, and then rain again... and sometimes even a little snow or hail!   I love it though.

Just more pine trees. I have hundreds of shots of trees and plants, they all pretty much look the same but I can't help myself.  They're all just sooooo beautiful!

Sunday, May 22, 2005


I took a little drive down to where the Arkansas River runs through Pueblo.  This footbridge was erected to give the residents better access to the fishing along the river banks.

The water level is way down in the river, but I'm willing to bet its higher than it was in recent years.  The drought hit Colorado hard.  We had a decent winter and a damp spring, but we still need a lot of rain this summer to keep from drying out again.

A railway bridge spans the river nearby.  I wanted a picture of a train crossing but to be honest I don't even know if this track is still in use because not a single train passed through during the hour we were there.

There was a drastic difference in the temperature from out in the open to the shade on the trail beneath the tracks. I could happily have stayed there all day but the girls had places to go and things to see.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


The flock of pelicans has thinned out considerably in the past few days.  The most I've seen at any one time lately is maybe 7.  Yesterday there was just this lone male who paddled idly around the Pelican Pond in search of fish.

The beaver I have trying to photograph at the lodge finally gave me a wonderful photo opportunity, only to discover that the elusive creature I have been following has been a muskrat!  But a cute muskrat.  It has an entrance to its own den next to the beaver lodge as well as several others along the banks of the pond and the muskrat couple swam back and forth between the 4 different locations, often times with their mouths full of grass.

As a child I was always facinated by the moon.  As an adult I still am.  I guess its just the dreamer in me.  Many times I have wondered what it must be like to lay on the moon and look up at the earth.


May 9:  I decide to start documenting the nesting geese on the first island at the end of the pond.  A family with 2 surviving goslings nest in this area as well as a few pairs of ducks.

May 17:  the female covers the eggs with down before leaving the nest to forage for food.  Oddly, after covering the eggs, she walked away, then ran back and pulled the down off with almost aggressive motions, exposing the eggs.  Then she entered the water and remained off the nest for the next half hour.

May 17:  the gander watches protectively as the female forages.  He always placed himself between me and the little female and did not begin to forage for himself until she slipped back into the water to return to the nest.

May 17:  I would love to know what was going through his mind at this time.  I don't think he felt threatened though.  It was hard to resist the urge to touch him, I probably would have lost his trust immediately.

May 18:  This was my second visit to the pond today and the nest has been abandoned all day.  A lone goose stood on the far side of the pond just standing on the edge of the water as if watching and waiting for something.  The goose family with the two older goslings paddled past but the goose remained motionless.  When I left the pond in the late afternoon it was still standing there, in the same spot.  I fear there will be no goslings hatching from the nest this year.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

PEACOCK (edited with haiku)

        Many eyes looking out
        Blue center, feather lashes
        Peacock smiles for you

          (haiku by a very talented gotomaria)




The peacocks at the zoo have free range of the grounds.  For something as beautiful as the peacock, they sure have an annoying cry.



Thursday, May 12, 2005



After months of failed attempts I was finally able to sneak up on a great blue heron.  Unfortunately it had nothing to do with my tracking abilities.  I had scared the bird off twice, and when I had all but given up and was walking back to the truck, it landed about 10 yards from where I had parked.  I sneaked around the side of Big Red and was able to hide behind a tree for this shot.

My cover didn't last long.  Can you say 'busted!'  As soon as our eyes met I knew my cover was blown and he took off across the pond.

I was getting ready to pack it all up and jump in the truck when the heron pounced on something in the middle of the pond and flew to the opposite bank.  He appeared to be stabbing the fish, then he rinsed it off and swallowed it whole.

Not only did he wash his food before he ate, he bathed after his meal.  Hows that for hygiene?  I do believe he has better table manners than my kids do.