Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sculpted Botanicals

{I encourage everyone to go to the link and read about this amazing artist!}

Friday, September 28, 2012

Peak to Peak Highway

A favorite Leaf Peeping spot is the Peak to Peak Highway. We drove up Boulder Canyon to catch the highway in the town of Nederland (where the Frozen Dead Guy Festival is held Click Here to read about it!). But we made a brief stop in the canyon for a short hike up to Boulder Falls.

From Nederland we followed the highway to Estes Park. A ride full of gorgeous views, despite the haze from forest fires burning in other Western states.

And an unexpected surprise. This incredible stone church. Fondly called Chapel on the Rock, its formal name is Saint Catherine's of Siena's Chapel.

During a quest to find the location of a meteor he saw streaking across the night sky, a Catholic priest came across a large rock formation. The beauty of the area inspired the priest and remembering words from the Bible, "Upon this rock, I will build my Church", the priest vowed to build a church on the site. For 20 years the priest prayed for funding to achieve his dream.

Finally in 1936 the chapel was dedicated. In 1993 Pope John Paul II visited the chapel and bestowed his blessing on it.

The Chapel is built from native stone that was hauled in by mule carts. The sculptures on either side of the altar were carved in Italy. The stained glass windows were created by world renowned German artisans. The sanctuary lamp has been is use in the chapel since the first mass in 1935. This antique lamp once hung in a small chapel in a palace in Rome which Mussollini ordered torn down.

A trip to Estes Park wouldn't be complete without a photo or two of the Stanley Hotel! 

And a stop to view the elk lounging on the golf course.

And we were gifted with a gorgeous sunset on the drive home.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Leaf Peepers

Here in Colorado, people who make the journey through the mountains to view the Autumn color are called Leaf Peepers.
Hubby and I are Leaf Peepers. Here's what we saw.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anatomy of an Aspen Tree

Here in Colorado, the Aspen trees are showing off their Autumn colors.

Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is this wonderful tree's actual name. The Aspen is one of the few trees that can photosynthesize through its bark. It has diamond shaped marks that contain tiny breathing holes.

Aspen are tough and resilient trees. They are the first trees to come back in areas which have seen forest fires or other types of disturbances. Their fallen leaves provide nutrients and mulch for the soil. Forest fires actually aid in Aspen growth. While the actual tree may be burned in the fire, the roots will survive. And from these roots, new sprouts form and grow. These sprouts will be clones of the original Tree. There may be as many as 70,000 sprouts in a 2  1/2 acre area.

In Utah's Fish Lake National Forest, one male Tree covers 107 acres, has 47,000 trunks, weighs over 13 million pounds and is believed to be more than 80,000 years old. This tree even has a name - it is known as Pando and is believed to be the world's most massive organism. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Day at the Farm

With the onset of Autumn comes Harvest Time. And my daughter and I have been making the most of the produce that can be bought at the local Farmer's Markets. 

Every Sunday morning for the last couple weeks, we have loaded up the kids and headed out to see what wonderful delights could be had - corn, green beans, peppers, and even freshly made breads.
One of our favorite vendors, Miller Farms, has a large farm not far from the city that is open to the public in the Autumn for a u-pick-em affair. Actually it is called Fall Harvest Festival. 

There is a playground, various aircraft (including two flying saucers!) for the kids to climb on and in, and a large bounce bubble for the kids to play on. 

A ginormous mountain of dirt to slide down.

And a tractor ride into the field to pick your own produce. Every person is allowed to come home with 5 sacks of whatever produce they want. 

The kids had a blast and were super excited to be able to gather the veggies (even if they don't normally eat what they were picking). And my daughter and I were thrilled to be able to put a lot of fresh vegetables into the freezer for later use.

We came home with corn, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, pie pumpkins, onions, and squash. 

And I got a bushel and a half of roasted green chili from a street vendor near my son's house. Mmm-mmm good! Nothing like the aroma of freshly roasted green chili!

Hope to share some recipes with everyone as Autumn progresses.......

Monday, September 24, 2012

Etsy Shoppe Grand Re-opening!

I am glad to announce the Grand Re-Opening of my Etsy Shoppe. I have some old favorites, some new items and I have added a "supplies" section (soon to be added to, just need to download some pics & take some measurements)! So if you're looking for one-of-a-kind Fairy-licious gifts, be sure to check it out! Click Here!

And I have some new items at auction on eBay! 
Including a pair of Witch Shoes and a Trio of Vintage Gnomes! Click Here!

AND I have added many, many more books to my Amazon store! Click Here!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Art of Kush

The Art of Vladimir Kush

Walnut of Eden
Arrival of the Flower Ship
Fauna in La Mancha
Music of the Woods

Saturday, September 22, 2012

and the Winners are.....

First, I would like to say THANK YOU to Everyone who stopped by my blog during this Autumn Giveaway! Y'all are WONDERFUL!!!!

I wrote the names on bits of paper, threw them into the cauldron, stirred and stirred and Hubby stuck his arm into the frothy mix to draw forth the names of the winners ~

Book #1  Creepy Susie - mrsduncanmahogany

Book #2  Pure Dead Magic - Debra She Who Seeks

Book #3  The Enchanted Garden - Justine's Halloween

Book #4  The Fairy Ring - Annette L

If you wonderful Ladies will please send me an email ( with your snail mail addys, I will get your books packaged up and shipped off. 

Autumn Blessings to each and everyone!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mining's Lingering Legacy

Colorado's mining legacy consists of more than mounds of gravel, old Victorian houses and deep holes in the hillsides. There is a lingering, deadly after effect of the mining done in the last century. 

image source
Miners, searching for gold and silver, left other concentrated, toxic minerals exposed to the elements. Over the years, wind and rain have dissolved these minerals which then enter the local water supplies. Many of these water sources, local streams and rivers, have become so acidic that not even bugs can survive. And these water sources empty into Lake Dillon which is a water source for Denver and its suburbs.

image source
There is an estimated 450 abandoned mines in the state of Colorado that are leaking "toxic ooze" into local watersheds. And that number is a staggering 500,000 abandoned mines across the entire Western U.S. Unfortunately, Federal regulations state that any entity who tries to reduce the contamination can be held liable for a full-scale cleanup. So nothing has been done. But many County governments have begun to lobby to change Federal laws. I can only hope that something is done before it is too late.
To read more, Click Here!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Colorado's Mining History

 Colorado's history is rich with gold and silver. Many of the towns, and even cities, in Colorado today once started out as mining camps. Men got rich and towns flourished during the boom days of gold and silver.
Precious ores were first found on or near the ground's surface. Most notably in the streams and creeks. When this ran out, large dredges were brought in (by railroad) to process the streambeds - leaving behind mounds of gravel alongside the water.

Gravel mounds left from dredge mining operaitons
Hardrock mining - underground mining method used to extract ore - was used in areas where water wasn't present. This form of mining was dangerous, hard work.

Old Mill and abandoned mine on right
But all good things must come to an end. And evidence of these mines, and what's left of some towns, can still be seen in many locations.

The telltale evidence of an old mine is the brightly colored dirt and rocks seen on hillsides.

***Don't forget to enter my give-away! Click here to enter! Winners names will be announced on September 22.***