Friday, April 16, 2010

Nature in Colorado

Ever since moving to Colorado from Michigan, over 7 years ago now, I have marveled at the different plant life that grows here.  I really love cactus roses that bloom in a multitude of colors in the spring and summertime; they are so beautiful and painful at the same time.  I see them while I am hiking quite often and snap photos each time!  Many of the flowers here have some sort of defense mechanism that allows them to survive in the desert climate.  The cactus just lays dormant all winter, and in the spring plumps up and starts growing again.   

My garden here is very different too; I can plant as early as February here and I can almost grow all winter!  The sun is intense and really gets the little seedlings to grow and grow!  But the soil is not as rich and dark; and fertilizing is a necessity.  This year we planted our cold weather veggies a little late in March; I am hoping to harvest them in early summer and then re-plant in August for a second harvest in late 2010. 

One of my favorite flowers that thrive in Colorado are roses.  The house we bought had three rose bushes planted and they bloom each year several times with little work (besides trimming them, which can be painful).  There are lots of flowers that grow here, that also grow in the Midwest like tulips and daisies; but they don't look the same!  The flowers are not as tall here, but they are very tolerant of cold weather and snow.  I love to see them peek out of the grass to reach for the sun. 
June is the best time to head west into the Rockies to check out the wildflowers in full bloom.  Some of the valleys are covered in brightly colored flowers alongside rushing waterfalls and below huge peaks.  It's some of the best scenery in the world.  At very high altitudes above 10,000 feet, the flowers bloom even later, making the high altitude hikes even more desirable.   
This summer, more than any other, I have been excited to get out into the big mountains and hike in the valleys full of flowers and trickling waterfalls.   Mostly my excitement comes from quitting my day job to do only freelance work which allows me to hike on a whim at any time.  Josh has a new schedule at work too, which requires him to go into work at 6am, but he gets to leave at 2:30pm.  This means we will have time in the evening to do some hikes before the sun sets over the mountains.   Colorado living has not bored me yet, this is truly a great state to live in. 

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