Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bear Gulch - A Dragon's Den

Bear Gulch

Bear Gulch is a steep ravine knifing through the forested foothills of Genesee Park, Colorado. Once you enter into the forbidding chasm, a rocky trail goes downhill all the way.

Upon leaving the land of brilliant light, this seedy underworld is thick with thorny brush and tangled trees. A murky creek cascades quietly through the secluded gorge.

Further in, the trek heads down a slippery slope where every step must be taken with extreme caution. A misstep at this position could result in a fall filled with painful repercussions.

At the soggy bottom, water falls over black boulders and broken logs. The sun’s rays barely make it to the base of the canyon but where they do, autumn bushes glow with yellow when set against the somber shadows.

Closed in by rock and mud, the narrow crevasse is cold and damp. You’re separated from the sky and sunny topland but there’s still a bright side to being stuck inside this complicated scenery.

The consolation garnered from descending so far into the dark depths of this smoldering dragon’s den - there’s nowhere else to go but up.

Forested foothills

A seedy underworld

A murky creek

A slippery slope

Water falls over black boulders

A narrow crevasse

The sunny topland

Complicated scenery

A smoldering dragon's den

Nowhere else to go but up

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Butterflies and Bison - Beauty and the Beast

Painted Lady Butterflies

During a sunny Saturday while searching for the elusive Genesee bison, a seemingly insignificant insect stole the show. In one day, we must have seen a thousand painted lady butterflies perched on purple thistle and yellow rabbitbrush.

The painted lady prefers the warmer climate associated with the desert southwest and Mexico but after an especially wet winter, they have migrated north en masse. During the hurried return south this fall, their population has exploded.

Fueled by favorable weather conditions and abundant food, they are churning across the American landscape like a cloud of orange smoke. This rare phenomenon is one of nature’s great spectacles, containing an air of mystery and unparalleled beauty.

As for the beasts, we found the buffalo grazing peacefully on a steep hillside near the forest’s edge. At one time, more than a million of these impressive animals roamed without hinderance across the vast Great Plains.

With their numbers greatly reduced, the bison are now confined to public preserves or private ranches. On the other hand, the painted ladies are currently prospering as they can cover 100 miles per day while traveling freely across the entire continent.

These small creatures look fragile but they’re actually quite resilient as the race across our rugged foothills at nearly 30 miles per hour. They don’t have much time to waste because their brief lifespan only lasts for about fourteen days.

During their short existence on this earth, the painted lady butterflies flutter about with a joyful enthusiasm. When contemplating the impending future, take your cue from these fun-loving insects and always try to live your life to the fullest.

The Genesee Bison

Perched on a purple thistle

They've migrated en masse

The population has exploded

Unparalleled beauty

Grazing peacefully

An impressive animal

Painted ladies are prospering

They travel freely

They look fragile

They're quite resilient

They don't have time to waste

A joyful enthusiasm

Live life to the fullest