A Slow Hike

We drove to a trailhead and hiked a while with Emily and her girls. It was slow going as it is hard for people with compromised lungs to hike at 8,000 Feet.

Some of the aspens were just beginning to turn their bright yellow. “Quaking Aspens” fascinate me. They remind me of the Bible verse Isaiah 55:12

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

So here are the old folks hiking with the young’uns, who were actually far ahead of us. Our daughter though did decide to stay at our side at all times.

The trail is basically between our shoulders!

Since the trail did not go where the girls wanted, we went separate ways back at the parking lot. As Bob drove the other side he pulled over for these photos of the canyon the stream had carved.

We could never see where the trail we had been hiking went! Oh well. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed the walk.

Bob Liked Stars, too!

See this lovely cabin?

This is the “Dot” where we moved after the Cookseys went home. See the lovely landscaping? the reflection on the storm door? the huge poles around the porch with one right at the stairs?

Bob was also getting excited about the stars. One night I was already in bed reading. He went outside to look at the stars and decided there were too many lights on in the cabin. So he went in and turned them off. He thought he knew just where the pole and the stairs were. I had left a flashlight right at the door, but he never noticed it. He never even thought to grab one.

He fell off the porch and thanks be to God he did NOT crack his head on those large stones!! I thought I heard him cry out. I called to him. No answer. I called louder; no answer. So I went running to the front door just in time to see him coming through the door dripping blood from his leg and arms.

I am so thankful my sister keeps a first aid kit in each cabin! I cleaned him up, got him bandaged and put to bed with some Tylenol. His right knee was already bruising. And sadly, that is the same knee upon which he has had meniscus repair – TWICE!

Next day he was stiff and sporting many bruises. We were so thankful he had NOT hit his head. We were too far away from civilization for emergency medical care. I decided I should increase my prayers for safety for the family for the remainder of this trip! Yikes. “Here I am at, Camp Grenada!”

Now his gashes and bruises have healed up. He has a new scar on his leg to remember Colorado! Those stars were lovely, though.

 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.  Our Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite.

Psalm 147:4-5 HCSB

 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all.

Psalm 34:19 NRSV

Oh the Stars!

 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19:1-4a (NIV2011)

One thing I dearly wanted to see in Colorado was the night sky without all the light pollution of Greater Cincinnati area. Being older, and full of excitement, we went to bed at our usual early hour. The first night when I awoke, I glanced out the window from the Honeymoon cabin. Even without my glasses I could see stars. With my glasses, I was absolutely amazed.

The next evening we went outside before bed, but it was not quite as dark as after midnight and not as impressive. At 1 AM I tried a different window, but it was not as startling as the first one. Still too cold to go traipsing about in my nightie. And, alas, too tired to try a camera. Bob had assured me that I would need a good camera with a long (or was it slow?) exposure. My iPhone 8+ just would not get it.

Our friend, Dan Cooksey, captured it for me! Click on the link below to open his blog. He wrote about it On September 9th at https://danandbettysplace.blog/2020/09/20/stars-in-the-heavens/

And he has a gorgeous portrait of Jessie the traveling dog as his blog banner. Hope you enjoy the words and photo from one of our “besties.”

Autumn Unfolding

Thought you’d like to see some garden and tree shots before all the leaves fall. Below is a annual decorative plant called Persian Shield. I have had it in a planter in years past. The last couple years I went ahead and put it right in the garden. This one looks a little tired from the summer sun, but still flashes of purple! And the sweet volunteer sunflower next to it!

As I have chosen to garden less and less this is the only chrysanthemum that remains. My neighbor offered me some recently, but I just did not have it in me to be out there digging right now.

Our maples are blazing bright yellow! The morning light at my chair for prayer and meditation has changed dramatically. It will only last a couple weeks this way!

One of our favorite shrubs, discovered on a drive down the Natchez Trace, then seen again at our favorite doughnut shop, is “American Beauty Berry.”

I think next year I will feed it and see if we get more berries!

Home with Lucky

She had such luxury accommodations while we traveled that I was uncertain she would want to live with us again! Lucky has the red collar.

She has settled in again and still loves Bob the best. She has gotten ornery about being in her kennel. Learned how to open it with just the slide latch on it. Bob put a carabiner clip on it. One day she got aggravated and broke that off before we got home. Stronger one on there now. We want her to continue to use it when we need her confined, like when the satellite TV guy comes.

My friend Betty introduced me to this dogie treat.

Doggie “Ice Cream” Cups

1 ripe banana
2 tsp creamy peanut butter
2 tsp honey
Large (32 oz) container of plain yogurt (Greek or reg.)

Mash banana; add honey & peanut butter; mix well then add yogurt.  I put into small plastic cups – usually 6 or 7 cups.  Freeze. 

I finally found some plastic cups like Betty uses. I got about 10 portions out of the recipe today. If you really love your pup like a kid, well, of course, you have to let her lick the beaters!

“This is What It’s All About”

Please listen while you look at the photos! Psalm 136:1-6 (NIV2011)  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.

Oh the voices of those children! Don’t they bless your heart?

Do you see the Notch? Thus, the name ….
Bob especially liked the heart shape on the hill.

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV2011)  I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Driving To Pagosa Springs

Correction: Pagosa Springs is in Southwest Colorado. It takes about 3-1/2 hours, about 306 miles too travel from Corrales to Pagosa Springs. We planned a stop at Abiquiui Lake at Abiquiui, New Mexico near Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keeffe used to paint.

Dan and Bob walking Jessie the Golden!

We had packed a lunch, but decided to drive on to Pagosa Springs as none of us were very hungry yet. And we were all anxious to arrive at the Notch Ranch.

Yes, that glorious clear blue sky was our companion for a few days before the smoke from the California fires traveled our direction. So sad, that vast destruction that is still going on today.

We are always amazed at the colors revealed when erosion peels back the layers of earth and shows such variety of colors in the Southwest states. Here is part of our drive north on Route 84.

We found the fruit market my sister had told us about. Stocked up on fresh tomatoes, Paradise peaches!! (yum and last of the season), corn on the cob and other goodies. Ate our picnic lunch in the cars in the parking lot as the sun was blazing. Took a tour of town. Found the grocery for a few more items and off to the Ranch!

Why Albuquerque?

When going to southeastern Colorado, Pagosa Springs area, you can fly to Durango, Denver or Albuquerque and rent a car. When your best friends live in Albuquerque and plan to travel to Colorado with you, then ABQ is the obvious choice. The Governor of New Mexico had a rule that if you live in New Mexico and travel outside the state, when you return you must quarantine for 14 days. We were uncertain until the very last minute if the Cookseys would be able to go with us or not. If they had to quarantine that would knock out their volunteer activities for a total of 3 weeks. We prayed the Governor would change her mind and she did!

We had planned to spend a couple days with them to get accustomed to the 5,000 foot elevation, then travel on to the San Juan mountains where we would be at about 8,000 feet. In Ohio we live at about 600 feet of elevation.

From El Dorado Drive looking towards the Sandia Crest

Not only is their terrain radically different than our green lawns and maple trees, but the wild life is too. Walking in the neighborhood I noticed the house below with weird fencing.

The landscaping is called zeroscaping.

When I asked the Cookseys what the deal is with the curved fencing at the top of the extra-tall fence they said it is to deter the coyotes from getting into the yard. We have coyotes in Ohio, but nothing like Corrales or Albuquerque.

Below is sunset on Sandia Crest, also known as Watermelon mountain because of the sunsets!

Autumn is Invading

Not quite caught up from being away, but some things could not wait. Such as putting the sewn together dryer sheets in the space created by the screens. It was finally cool enough to open the windows and YUCK! The stinkbugs are seeking shelter AGAIN! These nasty, ugly creatures try to gain shelter in our house every autumn. They crawl in anyway they can. One person told me to mix Dawn dish detergent with water in a spray bottle. Spray them when they land on your screens. Evidently it eats through their shell? Well, it also leaves sudsy residue on the screens. Then I learned that if you cut in half lengthwise and sew them together you can put them in the space between window frame and screen where they like to enter. Their legs catch on the dryer sheets and they choose to go elsewhere.

UGLY INVADER!!

And if they can get inside, they hide in the house; in folds of curtains, behind photo frames, under bedding. They fly through the house. If you catch them in a paper towel or tissue they put out their stink which you may or may not be able to get off your skin.

I went to grill something and the inside of the grill cover was crawling with stink bugs. So once I got the dryer sheet strips in the window cracks they were literally covering parts of our screens trying to get in. At times, 8-10 gathered at once!

Below is one of the prettiest things I have seen lately! I was on hold on the phone and looked out office window. Hollered for Bob to go get his camera.

Hungry Praying Mantis by r m dutina

Yes! The autumn praying mantis feasting upon a stink bug! Honey, we have a bounty for you to feed upon. This one is likely a female as the wings do not cover her entire abdomen.

Now back to her meal of choice that day. Wikipedia, the source of all truth (LOL) says: “The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is an insect in the family Pentatomidae, native to China, Japan, and other Asian regions. In September 1998 it was collected in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where it is believed to have been accidentally introduced. The nymphs and adults of the brown marmorated stink bug feed on over 100 species of plants, including many agricultural crops, and by 2010–11 had become a season-long pest in orchards in the Eastern United States. In 2010, in the Mid-Atlantic United States, $37 million in apple crops were lost, and some stone fruit growers lost more than 90% of their crops.[6] It is now established in many parts of North America, and has recently become established in Europe and South America.”

Yep, they have spread and we see more here in Ohio every year! And Stingbugsguide.net says: “Another distinct characteristic of the brown bugs is that they go into the state of hibernation in winter seasons and invade homes or structures where temperature does not fall critically. Their hideouts include under siding, windows and door frames. However, in spring they remain active in feeding on plants and vegetables.”

I will not honor the stinkbug beyond the photo on the screen. But that little mantis, when I finally got off the phone she had eaten that thing, shell and all!

Just a few crunchy bits left!