Sunday, May 31, 2020

Western Native

We have just bought a house in Colorado and, after spending two months in virtual quarantine in Virginia, I have been able to travel to this new house and begin to settle in. Part of my settling in process has involved exploring my new neighborhood, and one of my new-favorite places is nearby Sand Creek.

This neighborhood used to be Stapleton Airport and you can still see evidence of it. Blocks of broken concrete and asphalt, strange pieces of metal, even the old control tower, which is still here. Sand Creek ran along the edge of the airport and it is one of those things that remains relatively unchanged. And along its banks, the native plant and animal life is thriving.

I've taken my camera along on my morning walks and challenged myself to name what I see. It's a personal test to see how much I remember of a childhood in a place very much like this--a semi-arid region of the mountain west. Here are some of my photos...

First up: prickly pear cactus and sagebrush!


Next: Foxtail grass and Cottonwood Tree


Lupine and blooming Milkweed


Morning Glories and Poppy


Thistle bloom and Sunflower

And, finally, some critters...who don't really require any captions!

I have lots more photos, but no matter how many I take, they don't totally capture the place--the sharp scent of the willows near the water, the rustle of the wind in the tree branches, a constant gurgle from the creek as the water tumbles over stones, and the bird song. So many birds: redwing blackbirds, meadowlark, and killdeer in the long grass and, on the water, ducks and a pair of egrets.

And, finally, a parting shot...will post more later!