I’m back! So sorry for the long lapse in posts, but we’ve been busy getting the new house ready to move into in late September, and taking a trip to Colorado–where we are right now.

Last night we were reading in front of a fire, and a large doe and small fox waltzed by the front window as if companions. Other years, we’ve seen bands of coyotes creep down the wooded hill in front of the house at twilight, and on too many occasions, we’ve been visited by bears. It’s always exciting to look out the window and see wildlife 5 feet away. But I’m happy to say this year has brought ample rain so the bears are still up in the mountains where berries are plentiful this year. Last year, there was little rain so the bears came down early for food. At the Saturday Farmer’s Market, a big black bear ran right past us and scooted up a large pine tree. He rocked back and forth on a high branch, very stressed out. They cleared the area but left him up there until 8 hours later when he came down and left town.

An aside: Aspen has a strange attitude toward bears–they’ve aggressively developed this region robbing bears of their habitat and means of survival. Then–out of guilt or sentimentality–they allow hungry bears to roam the streets looking for trash to eat…like they are doing the bears a huge favor because they’re so fond of them. These are not Grizzlies, but they are not Teddy bears either–they’re very large and often have cubs with them that they will do anything to protect. If Aspen really wants to protect bears, stop building.

Of course, that makes me a terrible hypocrite–because we love coming here and we’re very lucky we can. This year, the wildflowers are wonderful because of the rain. I’m including photos of some I clipped on recent hikes (I’m bad, I know) so I could identify some of the ones I don’t know. Most of the time, we come for the last couple of weeks of the music festival to  soak up those wonderful classical concerts. Along with hundreds of other folks, we picnic on the lawn outside the tent under the aspen trees and listen free. It’s a lovely community tradition.

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Besides the fly fishing, hiking, biking, and walks–we also catch up on cooking and reading. Last week, I got a wonderful book (Paris by Edward Rutherfurd) from the library here. It’s long but worth it, and I recommend it to Francophiles like myself. Historical fiction about Paris–from the 14th through the 19th century. Very thoroughly researched, I’m learning so much. I just hope I can remember a fraction of it! Places I’ve wandered through many times and  known only a smattering about the history.

I’m also including a few photos from our hike today at 12,000 ft. to our favorite hanging lake, up Independence Pass. It’s an alpine landscape with blue gentians everywhere–one of the most peaceful beautiful places on earth. (But the hike up is steep and the air is thin! pant pant) We nearly always have it all to ourselves, which makes it even more special.

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I hope after vacation to get back to a more regular posting schedule. I have so many ideas and materials for things to make! So, please be patient and stay tuned.


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