Archive for the ‘Denver’ Category

Denver 2017 Continued

July 28, 2017

I love the Denver Botanical Gardens.  Last time I was there there was an extensive Dale Chihuly glass exhibit.   (Scroll down to the bottom of this blog: denver-2014.)  This time it was Calder.  Photo of my cousins in front of one.   I liked the water lilies the best.

But I had to take some photos of bugs, as my father was wont to do.  (After he had been gone a few years my mother suggested that we look at some of his slides.  Hoping to actually see people, we chose a set entitled Jane and Hal’s.  It was, of course, bugs in Aunt Jane and Uncle Hal’s garden.)  

That was Tuesday.  In the evening they got a call from M’s nephew who had crashed his bicycle and broken a thumb, and, as neither he nor his girlfriend had a car, could they pick him up after surgery tomorrow?

So on Wednesday morning we walked some of the extensive trails through Lone Tree, from their condo, and in the afternoon went downtown Denver to the hospital.  Had a nice chat with the girlfriend who is getting her PhD in bug-ology (entomology)*.  There’s a lot of traffic in Denver, and google maps (or whatever they were using) would mention that there was a traffic jam ahead, and direct us off the freeway, only to say that there was a traffic jam ahead, and direct us back to the freeway.

Must mention that every morning (lovely, cool mornings) we had breakfast on one of their three decks (the condo is a tri-level), which overlooks the paved trail that winds through their town.  This section has numerous trees, deciduous and pines.  Many people passed, walking with friends, or more often their dogs, and M chatted with all of them.  And we watched the squirrels, rabbits, and birds.  There was a murder of crows (yes, that’s the collective noun for a group of crows) in the pines, and one morning a  Cooper’s hawk – it was the same size as the crows, with a striped tail – had an extended  tête-à-tête with one of those raucous birds.

Thursday we went to the Molly Brown House Museum.  She is known because of the musical film, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, which we were told is quite fictionalized.  From Wikipedia:

Margaret “Maggie” Brown was an American socialite and philanthropist. She is best remembered for exhorting the crew in Lifeboat No. 6 to return to the debris field of the 1912 sinking of RMS Titanic to look for survivors.

The house was very dark, to save the furnishings from the Denver sun.  The volunteer who gave the hour-long tour was great.  (She said that Margaret Brown was never called Maggie.) The house was presumably upper-middle class at the turn of the  last century.  Quite large, but it accommodated the couple, their two children, and her parents.

 

 

 

Margaret was a pretty liberated woman, going to Japan, Egypt, and Europe with her maid.  On the trip back from France she took the Titanic, which, as you possibly know, went down.  Being one of the well-to-do passengers, she got into one of the lifeboats and went on to raise money from the more wealthy to help the poor who had survived.  (She posted two lists, one of the rich survivors who donated, and how much they gave, and another of those who did not give.  That helped.)

In her early years, after her husband had discovered gold and became a partner in the mining company, she helped miners and their families and worked to improve the town’s schools.  Later on she worked with women’s suffrage and workers’ rights, and also ran for a Colorado state senate seat three times.  (She did not win.)

 

Friday we went to the Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve and checked out the Boettcher Mansion, which was celebrating its 100th year, and which stays open by hosting weddings – the other couple touring the house were scheduling their nuptials.  I enjoyed the Craftsman architecture and furnishings (from the Arts and Crafts movement), including the wallpaper in the William Morris style.

And the Nature Center (which only had a large diorama, but the taxidermy was done well).  We exited as it started raining.

 

Then left at dawn Saturday morning to return to Tucson.  (Didn’t have a lot of choice with tickets using my frequent flyer miles.)

*Sorry – I have to tell a Tucson insect story.  Yesterday I sat for my grandkids.  The middle one is in the Phoenix area with paternal grandparents (clever enough to take one at a time), the youngest had his tonsils out three days ago and is spending his time eating ice cream and watching movies, and the oldest was to go to a friend’s house for a swim.  On the way over she mentioned that they have a collection of scorpions, knowing that her brother has an interest in scorpions ever since, at age one in Chandler, he poked at one on the staircase and got stung.  (It’s family legend.)

Turns out the mother has a few scorpions in terrariums, and a collection of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, but has at least a dozen cages and terrariums with tarantulas from all over the world.  Had to show us all of them, one of her favorites being the one which has pink toes.  Avicularia avicularia… are arboreal tarantulas and are found in South America.1

1http://awesomearachnids.tumblr.com/post/109170783825/pink-toe-tarantula

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Denver 2017

July 26, 2017

Yes, I will get back to my Berlin blogs, but first check out this commercial: herding-cats.

First half of last week

Last week I visited cousins in Lone Tree, Colorado.  It was my cousin’s birthday, but he doesn’t like to say which one.  (A few more than mine.)  Photo of him, me, his equestrian daughter, and son-in-law, at the birthday picnic.  (His wife took all of the family photos, so she’s not in any.)

Meant to get away from Tucson heat, but the monsoons had taken over back home, and it was 10° cooler in Tucson than in Denver!  So we spent our days in the mountains. Sunday Mount Evans (14,300 feet high1 – first of my fourteeners2 – but it was raining at the top, so we luckily didn’t have to walk the few steps to the top, as breathing was difficult).

The road was the scariest I’ve ever been on – two narrow lanes, no guard rail, and a precipitous drop.  Photo on the way down of Echo Lake, a tarn (a lake that develops in the basin of a cirque, generally after the melting of the glacier).  There were a few mountain goats molting – they looked dreadful!  When we stopped, one came to the car to beg.  Didn’t embarrass them with a photo, but there are many copyrighted ones online.

Monday the Rocky Mountain National Park along Trail Ridge Road3. The mountains are gorgeous, although there is not much left of the glaciers but patches of snow, rock slides with talus, a pile of rocks, at the bottom, the cirques, and other terminology that I can’t remember because I wrote nothing down. Think this photo was taken at the Gore Range Overlook4.  At the Forest Canyon Overlook I took this photo of a cirque, a bowl-shaped, amphitheater-like depression eroded into the head or the side of a glacier valley. Typically, a cirque has a lip at its lower end. The term is French and is derived from the Latin word circus.)

We did the stairway at the Alpine Visitor Center.  (This photo one of my cousin’s from earlier in the year – there were lots of wildflowers when we were there.  I overexposed my set of photos – darn!)  Top of stairs at 12,003 feet above sea level.  Cousin H bounded up, but his wife had had knee surgery a few weeks before, so was going slowly (or was just being nice to me, as I was having a hard time breathing.  Twenty-five years ago I had no problem hiking near Cuzco, Peru, with elevation 11,152′, but I had spent eight years trekking on Mt. Lemmon when I had a cabin in Summerhaven, elevation 7,700′.)

Don’t remember what stop this was.  Photos of me, a ground squirrel  posing with wildflowers, and a moving chipmunk, which has more stripes on its back than the ground squirrel, the only critters that we saw other than the sheep and some birds.  I know I took a photo of the Continental Divide, but have no idea which one it is.

Tuesday morning M and I still had sore calves, but my cousin did his daily run!  Running in the mile-high city has acclimated him.

1Atop 14,259-foot Longs Peak, the highest mountain in the park, oxygen levels are 50% less [than at sea level] so I guess that’s the same on Evans.  altitude-sickness
2Colorado_fourteeners
3Elevations on park roads range between 7,800 feet and 12,183 feet – the highest point on Trail Ridge Road.   Trail Ridge Road provides spectacular view of the majestic scenery of Rocky Mountain National Park. It is the highest continuous motorway in the United States, with more than eight miles lying above 11,000′ and a maximum elevation of 12,183‘.  At this lofty spot there’s 35% less oxygen in the air than at sea level.
4http://www.rmnp.com/RMNP-Areas-TrailRidge.HTML