Feeling Squirrely as Dark Clouds Moved In

 The day started sunny and sort of warm.

The squirrels were feeling playful in the trees outside my house.

Feeling Squirrely on Ruxton Avenue

And I felt a bit squirrely myself.

Having to deal with my health challenge making appointments made it hard to feel excited about the day.

I wanted to head outside, but couldn’t leave the phone until everyone called me back that I had calls to, including one for the Commonwheel Art Festival.

My neighbor came to ask me about if I would approve of the way she needed to run some drain pipe that would be on my property. Walked over to see the full project. It is huge changes to the buildings next door. And some of the changes will protect the outside wall of my home better. This was the only walking I did today other than in a grocery store. Not very uplifting. But interesting.

The temperature dropped swiftly as the day wore on.

And then clouds moved in and the day turned grey and cold.Weather moving into Manitou Springs

I will be so glad when my taxes are finished and I feel more able to take off whenever I see the sun shining and at least walk to the Post Office.

 And the wind picked up. Not really enticing for going for a walk.

So it was a computer day.

Hiked Tonight to a Board Meeting at the MAC

It is a half mile to the Manitou Art Center from my house.

Not really a hike, but a good distance to travel that allowed me some time to think about what my day had revealed to me.

A new health challenge was discovered during my appointment this afternoon at the Women’s Health Clinic. Probably been in my body for awhile, but then I haven’t had a check up in quite some time.

Walking always calms me. And gives me time to reflect on my emotions and what I need to do next. It is also helpful for taking deep breaths and appreciating the beauty in the world that surrounds me.

Passing by the Episcopal Church with the Greek Goddess Hygia atop the Town Clock and a Solar Sculpture all within sight of each other makes for an interesting picture of the mix of people in our town. The Manitou Springs Art Council, which I am on the Board of, is the catalyst to getting sculptures on Manitou Avenue. At night light travels around it lower coil and is just one of the more fun sculptures on the Aveneu that I walked past on my way to the MAC.

Determination Columbine Style in Manitou SpringsHygia is Health, the divinity whose force fosters agreement among contrary qualities inside the body where it ought to flourish, and removes it from where it should not be. She is currently known, not as a deity or intelligent force, but as a passive bodily condition (to be acted upon or be left alone) opposite to that caused by disease; this condition, though regarded as a purely physical phenomenon, is nevertheless revered as a deity: “A people gets the gods which it deserves.” (Cecil M. Bowra).

I could use a bit of help from Hygia right now. Or maybe should be looking towards Apollo. Though I am going to do a MAP coning tonight that was planned before my visit the the Women’s Clinic revealed a new health challenge.

Hygia is the daughter of Asclepius, the god that attends the ailments of each man or woman. Both are very important regarding health, yet the god of healing remains Apollo, who is Asclepius’ father and represents purity itself. For sickness (it has been conjectured) is a form of pollution, whose secret paths must first be discovered through the obscure words of the god of oracles, son of Zeus: “Loxias (Apollo, the Oblique) is the spokesman of Zeus, his father.” (The Pythian priestess. Aeschylus. Eumenides 19).

I carry with me very positive energy and cannot understand why I am being challenged again. But I am . . .

Walking to and from my meeting tonight gave me time to reflect on what I need to do, and get back my positive outlook on life. Plus, remember that I just need to go forward, doing what I can by taking the next step suggested to learn the path I will be traveling in regards to my health.

I am determined to keep my positive outlook on life and enjoy the beauty around me always.

But it does bring up some thoughts about what do I really want to be doing with my life right now? Is there something I need to change to be more attuned to what I want to share with others. How can I use my passion for hiking and sharing photos in a way that is most beneficial for myself and others. It is really time to get more focused on finishing a couple of my books that I have started before the flooding last year. Just need to clear the time by finishing up some projects that I am immersed in now, so I can focus back on writing.

This yellow Columbine exhibits the type of determination it sometimes takes to handle life’s challenges.

Solar Sculpture & Episcopal Church in Manitou Springs

 I am plan on to blooming and thriving as long as I can walk this Earth.

Orchids are the Butterflies of the Flower World

The rare beauty of an orchid reflects the patterns found in butterfly wings.

Both look very fragile, yet thrive in exotic habitats where temperatures can be extreme.

The graciously share their beauty in secret places.

These delicate orchids seem to want to take flight, but are grounded by their roots.

I could here these orchid choirs singing to me.

Tall Jungle Orchids at Denver Botanical Gardens

Joyfully singing a tune they thought only the other orchids could hear.

But I heard them singing of and to the fairies and garden spirits dancing among them.

Orchids Bursting out in SongReaching up to the heavens with high notes and down to the earth with low notes.

All came together to create a charming chorus to keep us dancing in the Orchid Hall.

Orchids  along the waterfall.Orchids thrive on the walls of a waterfall in the atrium next to the Orchid Hall.

Their artful splendor gracefully contrasts against the stony wall and greenery that surrounds them.

Others hang Playfully over the waterfall descending from the upper floor.

Orchids gracing a waterfall at the Denver Botanical Gardens

All these different landscapes in the Denver Botanical Gardens create an escape from the Colorado scenery into an exotic place I would love to go visit again.

Yet my Manitou Springs home nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is where my heart is.

I have traveled to exotic beaches and walked in a real jungle with orchids growing there. It was lovely, and I enjoyed every moment there.

But returning home, I had no regrets of leaving the steamy jungle behind and walk along paths among the majestic mountains of Colorado.


How Orchids Speak to All People

Flowers have always held a special place in my Heart.

They have always had the ability to lift my Spirits and bring Joy into my World.

A garden filled with vegetables is very practical, but whenever I planted a vegetable garden, there also had to be flowers. And yes, I enjoy the blossoms of squash, beans, peas or other vegetable plants, knowing they would bear edible items after the flowers faded away. Still, a blooming Iris or Peony makes my heart sing even louder than those blossoms.

When I travel to visit my family in Oregon, I would always walk my parent’s neighborhood seeking out the flowers that were blooming in Albany, that were not found in Colorado. I loved my spring time visits the best, but even in Fall, there were more flowers blooming in Oregon than in Colorado.

And in my hikes around Colorado, when we go to the different altitudes, flowers can be found blooming early in the Spring and later in the Summer. Sometimes the same type of flower would be blooming weeks later at a higher altitude that have finished blooming on other lower trails. Always a treasure hunt for flowering beauty on my hikes.

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character, though few decipher even fragments of their meaning.”Lydia M. Child

So walking into the Orchid room at the Denver Botanical Gardens I got lost in their beauty and the wonder of their diversity.

Yellow Orchids at Denver Botanical Gardens

Walking in the Orchid hall, nothing else seemed more important than just taking in their innocent beauty.

And the white ones all had just a touch of color, and some different faces, but were so pure in color, their beauty was breathtaking.

Innocent White Orchids at Denver Botanical Gardens

Life’s challenges melted away from my mind, as they often do when I hike or find myself surrounded by flowers on a hike. The orchid hallway was filled with glorious blooms, each one a bit different from the other. It was very easy to get lost in this exotic world so different from my arid Colorado landscape. Transported to a faraway place where time didn’t matter.

“Even though the world is filled with confusion
when I gaze at one orchid
I can forget all my problems.”
– Song Sunam

Greenish Orchids at Denver Botanical Gardens

Though I did find myself experimenting with the Macro setting on my camera to capture their beauty in close ups. At times when zeroing in on a blossom, I got lost in the intricacy of the plant itself. The different colors contrasting within on bloom was fascinating.

Time seemed to stand still as I contemplated these magical flowers.

And Then There were the Orchids in Full Bloom

There was an orchid show at the Denver Botanical Gardens.

The last time I was there the orchids were also in full bloom. Had a hard time leaving their presence both visits.

Such beauty. Hard to capture the feelings they bring about when one steps into the room.

Joyful feeling infused by their laughing faces.

Laughing Orchids at Denver Botanical Gardens

“Earth laughs in flowers.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

Solutions for Lifes Challenges Often Appear on Hikes

Taking Quotes to Heart.

A webinar today about “Your Genius Factor” hosted by Tony Laidig has me thinking hard about where I am not focused on the right things to create abundance in my life.

“The problem is that we always look for the missing piece of the puzzle instead of finding a place for the one in our hand…”Alina Radoi

Perhaps a class on finding my true purpose will help me get on track to creating abundance.

I am hesitating signing up for one more class, but this may be the missing piece. Maybe guide me in a way that can help me look at what I am doing correctly, and what I need to let go.

I get very scattered and work in many areas that I add value to the groups and projects I work on, just not getting paid for my efforts.

Feather Leaf Puzzle Inspiration at Denver Botanical Gardens

I understand that we are all on this planet with a specific purpose.

I have achieved many successes and have helped create success for others and our community on many levels.

Yet I am still looking to discover what my real purpose is.

“The human race is like a puzzle: Everyone fits in somewhere, it just takes a while to figure it out” ― Jen Leaman

On my hikes I take time out to just reflect on my place here. Standing in the natural Beauty and walking gives me a perspective I can’t get at home working on the computer or even in quiet contemplation.

Maybe I need to take a few more hikes alone so I have more time to meditate on what I can do to share knowledge I have to help others.

“We are all time travelers, we just don’t know it yet. The only problem is that we only have a one way ticket, destination: FUTURE.”Alina Radoi

Each day I awake with the attitude that I will break through what ever has been holding me back from creating abundance on more levels for myself and not just helping others reach a place of abundance.

So I am still looking for my place and purpose in this puzzling world.

Puzzling Sites in the Botanical Gardens Reflect on Life’s Puzzles

“The world’s a puzzle; no need to make sense out of it.” – Socrates”

 At the very beginning of our hike in Denver Botanical Gardens I saw this tree that had bark reminding me of a jigsaw puzzle.

Tree Trunk Puzzle Inspiration at Denver Botanical Gardens

After that, I kept seeing ideas for puzzles in leaves and other plants.

“The real question one should ask when presented with a puzzle is, ‘Should I solve it? Do I really need to know the answer?”Tony DiTerlizzi, The Search for WondLand

Seed Pod as Puzzle Inspiration at Denver Botanical Gardens

And thoughts of how puzzling life can be came to mind.

“Life is puzzle unsolved.”Santosh Kalwar

Stony Puzzle Inspiration at Denver Botanical Gardens

“Don’t lie. Life is a puzzle and we are all unique pieces. When you lie, you make it impossible to find your true place in the grand design.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Orchid Puzzle Inspiration at Denver Botanical Gardens

“I was smiling yesterday, I am smiling today and I will smile tomorrow. Simply because life is too short to cry for anything.”Santosh Kalwar

“In every problem, there’s a concealed solution…locking itself underneath…unlock, peruse, find and solve.”Michael Bassey Johnson

Red Puzzle Inspiration at Denver Botanical Gardens


Cactus Contrast Winter at Denver Botanical Gardens

There are many different types of gardens growing in this urban setting.

At the far end of the Denver Botanical Gardens where one can view Cheeseman Park, sits a simple adobe building.

02-17-14-Cactus Adobe_1086

Looking at the exterior of this building one wouldn’t know they were about to enter a different type of desert.

Though adobe buildings are more often found in the southwest than in Colorado.

This building has a cactus garden on one side and is filled with many varieties of cactus.

When you enter through the double doorway entrance, you find yourself transported into a desert landscape in miniature.Cactus Thriving at Denver Botanical Gardens

I have visited Arizona Deserts on visits to family living there.

This little cactus garden condenses many different types of landscapes into one room.

On a cold winter day it would truly warm a person’s spirit.

We enjoyed the different viewpoint of seeing the brown and grey Colorado winter landscape contrasted with the green and growing cactus inside this adobe building.

And some of the tiniest ones delighted us the most.

Cactus Blooming at Denver Botanical Gardens

One looked like a pin cushion. We knew that if someone touched it, they would most likely find the wrong end of the pin sticking their finger.

Another had a cheerful white flower that was almost as big as the cactus that it was blooming from.

Just a delightful place to spend time as we hiked around the garden area.

And a lovely break from winter dreariness.

Winter Hike in the Denver Botanical Gardens

Such a different look the Denver Botanical Gardens has in Winter.

The only other time I have been to Denver’s Botanical Gardens was when Henry Moore sculptures were placed around the Gardens. And it was a bit more green.

But really enjoyed walking around seeing how the plants were wintering. Some of the paths were a bit muddy, but not too bad.

Then there is this incredible artistic path in the Japanese Garden area.

Japanese stone path at Denver Botanical Gardens

Some of the water areas were totally drained, others were totally or partially frozen.

Only a few geese were seen in the park, but we saw many fly over head as we drove to the park.

Goose on Icy Pond at Denver Botanical Gardens

Then there was this sweet little creek with running water rippling under the bridge on it way to a pond.

Winter Creek at Denver Botanical Gardens

There are many different environments to be experienced and that we got to walk through today.

We started outside as it was a beautiful sunny day. We had only light jackets on to start and on this part of the hike. After we came out of the interior exhibits where we had removed removed them because it was very warm inside, we didn’t need to put them back on to finish another bit of hiking around the central gardens.

This was a “free admission day” and many families took advantage of the warm weather, the orchid exhibit and the President’s Day holiday to bring their families to this lovely winter garden experience.

Families on the hills at Denver Botanical Gardens

What a contrast to winter in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

Just one of the reasons I love Colorado.

Blue Sky, Birds and Clouds Helped Get My Spirits Soaring

Birds and Clouds Floating Across a Blue, Blue Sky Chase the Blues Away.

This hike started with a bird cooperating with me for a photograph. Posed in a tree, then flew towards me on my next click of the camera.

Bird at Crystal Valley Cemetery in Manitou Springs

All day long other birds were seen, but I just couldn’t capture them. Still a challenge when the sun is shining brightly to see where I am aiming the camera. Plus, hard to take a photo of birds in flight no matter how well you can see them not looking through a camera’s eye. I’ll get better at predicting where and when to shoot them as time goes on.

Some of the clouds that floated playfully in the blue sky looked similar to the ones I had seen on a Red Rocks Canyon Trail a few years ago.

But none formed as dramatic or had quite that unusual look that those had.

Airy Fairy Clouds on Intermann Trail

Still, fun to see and have the memory of those other fantastic clouds brought back to mind.

And with Pikes Peak rising above the hills with snow on its Peak, what a perfect sight to behold on this trail.02-13-14_Clouds Similar_0956As I watched these clouds float by, I could see fairies and other whimsical creatures conversing and playing in the air above me.

What a joyful time they seemed to be having.

How could one not feel uplifted and want to join in the fun?

Clouds Crawling across the sky on Intermann Trail

And then there was the family of wormy clouds that gleefully raced in front of us when the winds picked up and blew them quickly past us at the beginning of the trail.

Made us wonder how windy this hike would be. As quickly as it began to blow hard, the wind calmed down.

And a couple of times, as we would round a bend and get to a high point, we would almost be knocked backwards, but just for a moment. Then it calmed and there was barely a breeze at all.

Mother Nature was having fun with us and the clouds in the air above this section of the Paul Intermann Trail that winter day.