The Daily MuseSeptember 12 – evening

Oxblood lilies.
I have had a realtively quiet weekend – the heat
has returned and the air is thick with elm pollen, so I decided to give myself a
bit of a respite from all of the hectic activity of the past couple of weeks. I
spent a good part of the day working on an entirely new page for the website,
one devoted to the Agave clan, my favorite plant family. It is a work in
progress, but here is a sneak peek .
A close-up shot of our Agave Bovicornuta showing the
fearsome teeth and ghostly leaf imprints.
A close-up of Agave lophantha. What a beautiful range of
colors!
Early in the morning, I brought my camera along
for my walk, hoping for a visit with a Zebra
Heliconian Butterfly that I saw yesterday evening, a small boldly striped
creature that I had never seen before.
Instead, I was treated to a visit with one of our resident Hummingbirds. Here
are a few pics…
Checking out our Hamelia flowers.
Breakfast.
A little blurry, but check out those feathers!
September 19 – evening
It has been a very hot weekend – a real blast of
summer just a few days before the official beginning of fall. I didn’t get much
done in the garden, but I did stalk the elusive Zebra Heliconian butterflies
that have been visiting. I saw many, but was unable to get a decent photograph
because they never seem to settle down for more than a second. The Gulf
Fritillaries were much more numerous and obliging, here are a few new shots…
Here is a Gulf Fritillary laying an egg on one of our
Passionvines, a favorite host plant of the caterpillar of this species.
Here is another Fritillary resting on a Possumhaw leaf.
A Passionvine in flower.
September 28 – afternoon
We just returned from a long weekend at Rocky
Mountain National Park in Colorado – it was an amazing few days… lots of
dramatic views with equally dramatic weather. It was Victor’s first great
National Park “experience” and I was very happy to share it with him. 
Having my parents join us made it all the more special. I have been to Rocky
Mountain many times over the years but this was my favorite trip. The shot above
was taken from Moraine Park just west of the town of Estes Park.
This is my favorite picture from the trip (one of several
versions of my favorite anyway.) This was taken from Trail Ridge Road just a few
hours after it opened following a snow storm earlier in the week. It was snowing
just a bit when I took this shot. You are looking north towards the Mummy Range.
The elk were in full rut and you could see hundreds of
animals gathered in the lower meadows. This bull was all by himself- perhaps he
had lost a challenge for his harem. You could hear the males bugling in the
mornings and evenings- their strange plaintive calls echoed down the valley
towards our lodge.
The view from our living room at The McGregor Mountain Lodge a  very comfortable and well run place that actually borders the park. In the
mornings a silver fox wandered the lodge grounds searching for chipmunks and
handouts. This is Deer Mountain which lies inside the National Park.
An evening view of Deer Mountain from the west.
A trailside beggar.
Victor, Mom, and Dad in Moraine Park.
Victor enjoying the snow along the Fall River Road.
Hallet’s Peak from Bear Lake.
Alberta Falls. A popular hiking destination for families on
the east side of the park.
This is Adams Falls on the west side of the Park. We had a
nice picnic here.
The view from our improvised picnic grounds. The waterfall
is just around the bend.
Several  Gray Jays crashed our picnic. This one is
helping himself to a cracker I was holding.
Aspens in the evening light, Endovalley.
An Aspen grove on the west side of the Park. We spotted a
lone female Moose not far from here.
More Aspens, we were lucky to choose the prime Aspen color 
weekend for our trip.
Aspens above Endovalley.
A very orange Aspen on the west side.
Along the trail to Alberta Falls.
Trailside Aspen near Bierstadt Lake.
Granite spires seen from Fall River Road. Fall River Road
is a one-way dirt and gravel road that follows a canyon up into the high
country. It was closed for the first three days of our visit due to snow. A
snowstorm  predicted  for this week will probably close it until next
spring.
A wide view of the spires.
My favorite scene, again.
A panoramic version.
Long’s Peak, the great summit of the Park (14,255 feet /
4,345 meters) as seen from Trail Ridge Road.
Another view of Long’s Peak, from the Tundra Walk on Trail
Ridge.
Long’s Peak from Moraine Park.
Lichens growing on granite along the Tundra Walk.
Victor enjoying the view from the Tundra Walk.
A view along Trail Ridge Road. The poles help guide snow
plows.
One of my favorite views of Trail Ridge Road as it meanders
across the tundra at over 12,400 feet (3,779 meters.)
A very wide view of Trail Ridge.
Looking south from Trail Ridge.
I love the simple geometry of the tundra landscape.
A rainbow, from Rainbow Curve. Timing is everything!
My Mom and Dad enjoying the civility of Boulder’s Pearl
Street pedestrian mall.
September 29 – evening
I just cant’t help myself, here are a few more
pictures…
One of the meadows of West Horseshoe Park.
Yet another Aspen shot.
On the westside, the headwaters of the Colorado River.
Another view from the Fall River Road.
The weather closing in on us on Trail Ridge Road, you may
not be able to tell from the picture, but it was beginning to snow.
One final view of Long’s Peak.