Saturday, November 27, 2010

For the Record

There are many strange and terrible things going on the world but, for the record, I wish to acknowledge a truly marvelous day.

My son is visiting from Chicago. Yesterday was bright and sunny. We decided not to drive directly north from Denver to Loveland. Instead, we headed northwest through Boulder into Lyons where we browsed a wonder-filled (if chilly) antique shop, finding amazing treasures at amazing prices. Continuing northeast, we arrived at the magnificent Stanley Hotel in time to get a great table for a late-ish, and quite delicious, lunch. We then drove into Rocky Mountain National Park absorbing mountain and meadow beauty.

If you ever drive in Colorado and see cars pulled over to the side of the road, pull over. Inevitably, there will be wildlife to view. We passed the first clutch of parked cars and found a stopping place in time to see two female elk dance/prance across the snow among a small group of more sedate fellows. Driving slowly on, we realized that there were great clusters of elk, on both sides of the road -- perhaps 75 or even 100. Many were sitting, apparently absorbing sunshine; others strolling majestically; and every once in a while, one or two dance/prancing grace notes.

Further on-- into the meadow where I usually view elk-- we saw a coyote! The first I’d ever seen in the park. We parked within a few yards of the creature – close enough to see how magnificently his multi-colored coat blended into his botanical surroundings. We watched him trot across a road then field then under a fence.

On the way out of the park, we saw a herd of white tail deer peering back at us with their consummate grace.

Are you counting --elk, coyote, deer? That’s three major mammals. Then as we drove down the mountains toward Loveland, we saw more cars pulled to the side. We stopped and peered at the cliffs across the road. Finally, we saw it: a splendid big horn sheep, climbing perpendicular rocks to pose briefly on a succession of precipices.

If I had planned for months to arrange a perfect day for a visitor from major metropolis, I could not have topped the day I had. I needed to go on record; to thank every single major mammal and the occasional flutter of magpies. You were wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful! Keep writing....I love reading!