Living – Places: 9

2012 (continued) - 2013

The reservoir was down this summer more than I've ever seen it, so it's great to see that our recent rains and snows have already restored it to full capacity, as evidenced by this double waterfall below the spillway.

Water from the spillway tumbling down the steep hillside

Our favorite lunch spot was occupied by someone fishing, so we went on a bit further and then spied this unique rock outcropping.

View of the reservoir and a rock outcropping

It was a wonderful little spot to enjoy lunch, look out at the water, and soak up some sun.

Garima enjoying the rock outcropping with north-facing, snow-covered hill on the other side of the lake

The view along the shoreline from our lunch spot.

Rocky shoreline with ponderosa forest on the hills beyond

I love the way the pale green lichen opens to reveal the softest peach insides.

Pale green lichen with peach insides on salmon-colored rock

Beautiful reflections at a bend in the river where a large pool is formed.

Still pool reflecting the hills and trees above

Two weeks ago we visited a quiet little cove on the south side of the reservoir.

Trees and deep blue sky reflected in a cove of the reservoir

A week ago, we hiked up a new trail that Garima had found, and this was where we stopped for lunch.

Garima standing amongst a jumble of huge, rounded, salmon-colored boulders

Today, we decided to revisit a rock outcropping view point we last hiked up to perhaps 10 years ago. You can see it up the hill here from where we began our hike, but to get to it, we had to hike upriver to a crossing, then uphill to the outcropping.

Glimpse of large rock outcropping at the top a hill bordering the river

Up on the outcropping, looking east along the North St. Vrain river and out towards Lyons and Longmont. The little reservoir is where I took the first photo in this series from.

Looking down at the the same spot from the top of the rock outcropping

Looking south from our perch. We often hike in the area where those open fields are (from when it used to be a ranch), and in the hills beyond.

The hills of the preserve with a hand-shaped rock in front of us

Love this rock formation.

Close up of the hand and fingers

Looking west, with the Continental Divide off in the distance.

Garima enjoying the sun and views

Looking northwest, with Mount Meeker and Longs Peak in the distance. The source of the North St. Vrain river is in Wild Basin, which is on the south (left in this photo) side of Mount Meeker, a place we often go hiking.

The sweeping vista up towards the mountains

Looking down on another beautiful rock outcropping.

We scrambled up the slope on the back side of this

Getting ready to head back down.

Tosh standing next to some dwarf ponderosas on top of the rock outcropping

The now-frozen Mills Lake from the north end, looking south toward the head of the gorge. This is where we sat for lunch.

It's amazing what a difference a few weeks can make

After lunch, we hiked around Mills Lake and on to Jewel Lake. This was the view when we returned to Mills Lake, looking north.

Looking down the length of the frozen lake from its inlet

Ah, our beautiful world!

Flying over a cloud-covered Colorado on my way to California

Motion in stillness.

The hills of Buttonrock Preserve reflected in the reservoir

Traces of a gentle dance.

Ripples left in the silt along the shoreline by the movement of the water

Degrees of reflection.

Rock hillside reflected in a small pool of melt water surrounded by ice

It was about 10 F (-12 C) when I arrived home this evening, yet I couldn't stop just standing there in awe as the bright and very large moon rose slowly over the ridge top. "In reality, from the top of the ladder, standing erect on the last rung, you could just touch the Moon if you held your arms up." The Distance of the Moon by Italo Calvino.

Big end-of-year moon

Fresh air, silent forest.

Garima snowshoeing at Copeland Lake

Yeah, I was happy.

Tosh snowshoeing at Copeland Lake


It looks like ice shelves formed around the rocks when the water was running a bit higher.

North St. Vrain River in Buttonrock Preserve

No argument with this.

No Swimming sign in front of frozen reservoir

A stroll on the ice flow.

Animal tracks meandering across a large piece of snow-covered ice in the reservoir

Arrested motion.

Large chunks of ice frozen in mid-motion

The patterns in the ice were fascinating.

Looks like the ice cracked, and then water seeped out and froze, leaving what looks like a two-lane roadway with a painted stripe down the center

A long ice tunnel snaked along the shoreline.

The ice heaved leaving a long, snaking tented tunnel

The next three photos are a series of delicately beautiful ice formations over a little tributary of the St. Vrain river.

Delicate fingers of ice reach across the water and comingle

The ice looks a bit like feathers on a snowy white bird

In places, the patterns the ice made were like giant snowflakes

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