January 12 — Wolf Creek; Quail Crossing

The Salt of the Earth

The Salt of the Earth

Today’s walk — North of 9th Avenue (St. Vrain Road), west of County Line Road, south of Mountain View, east of Pace

Jennifer and I went to a funeral in Goodland, Kansas on Friday for Les Frazier.  He was a B-24 pilot in WWII, three-time mayor of Goodland, and was as nice of a man as you would want to meet, truly the salt of the earth.  He was Jennifer’s grandma Isabelle’s younger brother.

I covered a pretty large area today, since it’s my only walk  of the week.  One mile by one-half mile… although the eastern fourth was almost empty, and the area also included a large apartment complex, farmland, and a fire station, so there was a lot of area I didn’t need to walk.  It was 11 degrees when I started out, and warmed up a little as the morning went on, but it started getting colder again for the last hour or so.  I wanted to get back in time for the Bronco game at 2:30.  I’m sure I’m not spoiling it for anyone when I say that did not turn out the way I hoped.

A bunch of robins... but no Spring
A bunch of robins… but no Spring

My first picture is of a bunch of robins I saw in a tree, which sort of surprised me. But here’s a quote from Birds and Blooms web site:

“You may not be seeing them in your garden, so you think they’ve gone away, but Robins are year-round residents of the lower 48 states. During the winter months Robins gather together into huge flocks, sometimes numbering hundreds or even thousands of birds.”

So I guess maybe spring ISN’T right around the corner.

Literature

I re-read several books from my youth this last week.  I enjoyed ‘The Enormous Egg’, about a triceratops hatched out of a chicken’s egg, and “Ramona the Brave”, which I read to my girls as a bedtime store.  I also read, for the first time, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”, which I was not as impressed with.  It was recently made into a movie with Jim Carrey.  I found I cared about the characters in the first two books… not so much for Mr. Popper.  Although the Mr.  Popper book won awards, it didn’t do much for me.  It had too many unrealistic reactions.  (but then I’m not complaining about the dinosaur hatching out of a chicken egg, so who am I to speak??!?).

I was surprised to find that “The Enormous Egg’ was set in a real town, Freedom, New Hampshire.  It also mentioned Franconia Notch, near the Great Stone Face, a landmark inspiring a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  It was on the NH state quarter issued in 2000, but, just a few years later, fell down, as Wikipedia notes:
“The notch was home to the Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation whose profile is a symbol of the state of New Hampshire, until 2003, when the formation collapsed.”

The other book I read was not exactly a children’s book… “Slaughterhouse Five”, by Kurt Vonnegut.  I had a higher opinion of it now than the first time I read it.  In general, I think Vonnegut is a very enjoyable read.  This book was one of the options in my high school English class, which had ‘mini-courses’.  I didn’t choose this book, but rather went with T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Wasteland” and the rock opera “Jesus Christ, Superstar”, both of which I enjoy to this day.  I’d like to make a shout-out to Linda Clabaugh, who was my English teacher for these classes, who was very good.  Another very good Minden High School  English teacher was Marian Dennis.  I am a little surprised that “Slaughterhouse Five” wasn’t a little controversial at the time, at a conservative south-central Nebraska high school, because of it’s language.

Another quick ‘literary’ aside.  You might notice on the signpost photo below that ‘Green Gables’ is one of the destinations.  A few years ago I saw a list of the 20 top-selling books of all time, and “Anne of Green Gables” was on it.  I had heard of it, but never read it, so I went to the library and checked it out.  Even though it is a ‘girl’s book’, I found it to be very good, and can see why it was so popular.  And I’ve heard you can still visit Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Walking the Suburbs

Back to my walking of the day.  There were several open areas which were like craters.  They’re like parks, covered with grass, but I think they’re maintained by the sub-division, rather than the city.  It’s actually a pretty good idea.  They’re great  places for kids to  play football or soccer, and are nice back-yard vistas for many homes… but in times of heavy rainfall (a rarity, I know), they serve as a drainage area.

Other distinctive parts of these sub-divisions were the walking trail sidewalks which wind through it.  I think I should go back and walk them, even though they don’t technically fall under my ‘Longmont Streetwalker’ area.  I went up a few of them, and they curve around a lot,  so you can’t always see what’s up ahead, which is very nice.   Another  distinction is some of the cul-de-sacs here, which are landscaped in the middle of the cul-de-sac, as opposed to being completely paved.  I think this is probably an improvement.

Street Names

The eastern portion of my walk had a lot of avian street names.  My favorite was what appears to be a deliberate misspelling — “Morning  Dove”.   Other nice names were Chukar (a type of partridge), Lark Bunting (the Colorado state bird), Grouse, Goshawk, Prairie Hawk, and Sparrow Hawk.  I thought perhaps Harlequin was also a type of bird, but it turns out it’s not… just the checkerboard pattern “joker” found on some decks of cards.

Total for today:  26,030 steps, 4:20 time

 

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

 

A nicely decorated mail-box... and a secret path

A nicely decorated mail-box… and a secret path

a knee-high Christmas tree

a knee-high Christmas tree

 

Overllooking one of the low-lying park-like areas

Overlooking one of the low-lying park-like areas

 

True love

True love

Go Big Red!

Go Big Red!

On the other side... directions to  District 12 and to Hogwarts!!

On the other side… directions to District 12 and to Hogwarts!!

Vegetation of the Day
Vegetation of the Day

... there is no joy in Mudville....
… there is no joy in Mudville….

I'd like to know where this trail name came from

I’d like to know where this trail name came from

 

An old farm house, still holding on

An old farm house, still holding on

Bumper sticker(s) of the day
Bumper sticker(s) of the day

A very agile elephant!!

A very agile elephant!!

 

Proof that it was cold outside!!

Proof that it was cold outside!!

one of the well-groomed cul-de-sacs
one of the well-groomed cul-de-sacs

I guess this is not technically a street, but I walked it anyway

I guess this is not technically a street, but I walked it anyway

 

What's going on a Trail Ridge

What’s going on at Trail Ridge

 

3 thoughts on “January 12 — Wolf Creek; Quail Crossing

  1. I loved Anne of Green Gables, too. Mom and Dad visited Prince Edward Island and Green Gables, and they said it was one of their favorite trips. I just finished “Unbroken” by Laure Hillenbrand. It is about a b-24 WWII pilot. One of the most gripping biographies I’ve ever read. A “can’t put down” book. I hope you can read it some time!

    • That’s quite a coincidence… I too just read “Unbroken” between Thanksgiving and New Year, and found it hard to put down. My dad and sister had recommended it and lent me their copy. I had not really heard of Zamperini before, but it does sound like if the war hadn’t come along, he very well may have run the first 4 minute mile instead of Roger Bannister.

      If Jennifer and I ever get up to the Prince Edward Island area, I definitely would like to visit there. One of these days I want to watch one of the movie versions of ‘Anne of Green Gables’, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. An interesting bit of trivia is that the girl that played Anne Shirley in the 1934 version actually changed her stage name to be Anne Shirley for her subsequent career! The 1985 TV movie version also looks like it might be good.

  2. Wow Mark. Not only are you a street walker but also a writer and a photographer. I am impressed. I have enjoyed reading your writings and loved the unique pictures. I too loved the Anne of Green Gables along with my girls. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


+ six = 13

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>