Sunday dawned with clear blue skies. While enjoying my morning cup of tea, I realized how restless I was, how I wanted to be out of the house and away from the ever-growing list of chores and things to be done. A day away from the routine. A day just for me. Why not? Most days, I talk myself out if it and end up staying home working on things that need done. Instead, this time, taking a day off from the usual won out.
I packed up my watercolor sketchbook, camera and binoculars, packed a wee bit of lunch and headed for one of my favorite spots: Rocky Mountain National Park. Though the air and wind had a chill in it, what a gorgeous day it was! The sky intensely blue, the ponds reflected the sky and the snow capped peaks shone like beacons.
I made my first stop of the day at Sheep Lakes on the western end of Horseshoe Park. It was a great spot to stop and sketch.
While sketching, this magpie kept me company, often begging for handouts with a chirring call, then sitting on the bench preening his feathers. Though most of the time they appear black and white, when the sun hits them just so, they gleam with the most beautiful blue and green iridescence!
After finishing my watercolor sketch, I made my way over to Moraine Park where the big elk herd was resting in the meadow.
Further up the road, the mountain peaks were gleaming against the blue sky and the willows coming to life glowed yellow, orange and red.
Along the streams, the snow forms shelves that reach out across the water where it melts from below.
Around Sprague Lake, someone built this friendly snowman and a snow fort! The snow here was level with the tops of the picnic tables still!
I love the contrasts of the blue and white remnants of winter against the spring growth willows.
Moraine Park again. The elk herd was up and grazing their way slowly across the meadow.
Longs Peak, looking majestic as ever. My Dad made it to the top of this 14, 259 foot mountain on a few occasions, one of the with my sister! Should my hip and sacra-illiac joints ever get better, it's a hike I'd love to accomplish myself one day.
Trail Ridge Road is still closed for the season. The peaks are still getting a fair amount of snow every week. The road traditionally opens Memorial Day weekend every year.
That glow along the left edge of this peak is blowing snow, glowing in the sun! Still frosty and wintry up high!
Most of the elk were in the large herd in the meadow, but this small group was grazing in synchrony as they worked their way across the hillside!
Beautiful and yet somewhat ungainly critters!
I spent the evening hours in Moraine Park, watching the elk and watching the sunlight play across the meadow.
The golden hour. Such a gift to be able to simply sit and enjoy this beautiful place.
Watching the setting sun kiss the clouds with light.
And at the end of the day, a quieted heart and soul.
The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised!