Rime in Spring

Black Cattle in Snow Icy fog at base of Colorado National Monument

Rime on leaves after a freezing fog

Hoarfrost

Today at lunch, Alden and I took a drive across the base of the Colorado National Monument on the old highway (340). We are between late winter storms and some of the snow that has been hanging around since before Christmas is starting to melt. Freezing fog clung to the banks of the Colorado River, creating a magical scene that transformed itself into a more ordinary one with the first rays of the sun.

Rime in Early Spring

Fog hovers,
silent as a veil
over the coy face
of a virgin,
skimming bare limbs
tenderly,
Glittering them
with fragile
diamonds of ice.
Then, all at once,
the sun.
Everywhere
the rice-like grains
shower down!

Copyright, Linda J.Armstrong
January 30, 2010

Marble

Last week, we left the steaming Grand Valley and drove over McClure Pass to Marble. We visited the massive ruins of the famous old marble mill, now protected in the town park.

Small Adventures

Before our daughter was born, my husband and I spent long, happy summers in our little ex-miner's house in Ouray, Colorado. We stripped wallpaper off the walls and hung fresh, painted the worn pine floors, and attended to the details of everyday life. In the afternoons, we sat on the porch and watched the thunderstorms roll in. The thunder echoed off the steep cliffs around the little town, and then the rain came town in sheets. The whole show lasted only a few minutes, leaving everything fresh, damp, and more vivid.

Sometimes, we took our Jeep up into the mountains. There are many great roads in that area. One of the scariest is the Engineer Pass road. Taking off from the Million Dollar Highway a few miles above Ouray, this 4-wheel- drive-only route is little more than a rocky stream course in places.

One day, my husband decided that we should see the dawn from the top of Engineer Mountain. We rose about 3 AM and climbed into the Jeep. It was dark. It was very dark. We headed up the empty switchbacks above the sleeping town. My husband is a very good driver. He maneuvered the rough, winding Jeep road with perfect skill. Light was just beginning to tinge the cloudless sky when we reached the top of the pass.

Sunlight hit the peaks first, and then the still waters of Ptarmigan Lake. It slid down toward the valleys as we watched. The most amazing thing about it was that it happened every single day whether we were there or not.

How many wonders are happening at this moment, somewhere? Maybe even right where you are.