Down to the Pub

Well I had an errand that took me across town, so I thought “why not pop ’round the pub.” I hadn’t been there since Christmastime, I think. And there was a space in the tiny parking lot, surely this was a sign it was meant to be on this day.

If nothing else, the flowers are much better than the ones they have at Christmas. (Although they do spend weeks putting up a bazillion lights).

This place is a genuine pub, imported from the destruction of some neighborhood London pub. Although, in all fairness, it has been in this spot for over 50 years and it has been preserved so far from its origin.

Decorations about the place include this ancient political cartoon. My favorite of the dancing slogans is “Peace and Mealy Potatoes” which is a suitable sentiment for almost any occasion (even today).

Of course the main reason that I stop in at this place is to add to my massive collection of embroidered bees that the pub employees fling at their customers. If one is a local, one can get the special bees that they have made up for various holidays. The pub had to close on St. Patrick’s Day, so there were lots of these bees left over. There was no Space Symposium or Independence Day bees this year, but hopefully (fingers crossed) I shall be able to collect still more special bees later this year. And enjoy a pint while I’m at it.

What’s New

One tends to think of one’s own neighborhood as unchanging, as change is usually bad. But unless one owns the property in question, change is almost inevitable. So here is what’s happening nearby.

Here is the just opened gas station on the corner. Besides gasoline they also sell a wide variety of snacks, some of these snacks are even healthy for one, (but not too many).

This rather fuzzy picture is from Google maps, as I never thought to document this place. It had a hot tub store on the corner, a neighborhood bar, and a tax preparation place that was only open during tax season. I don’t know if hot tubs are still popular, bars are all currently closed, and tax season is over, so I guess it had to go.

This nearby thing is going to be a giant car wash, which I suppose will be handy for keeping one’s car tidy. (Often a hopeless cause).

Also from Google maps, is this fuzzy photo of a restaurant that stood empty on this site for many years. It was originally a restaurant that sold pies, then it was an Asian buffet, then it was nothing. Someone was going to open another Asian buffet on the site, but never got around to finishing it. So this beautiful empty space was razed. Such is the path of creative destruction, as the familiar is replaced with the next new thing.

Town

I was out and about, driving around town, when I noticed how splendid the clouds were against the blue, blue sky. So as I was somewhat nearby, I decided to drive to the overlook in one of the city parks. This land was useless for any practical purpose, so the town founder (an abolitionist, please leave his statue alone) donated this spot to the city for this park.

I love looking at clouds, but perhaps I should look more at the roads. 😉

To the north, that tiny blue bump on the horizon is Castle Rock, the next major city up the road.

The north of town. The lighter area in the middle of this picture on the mountain is a quarry.

The peak.

The south end of town. This mountain has a secret (well it’s not exactly a secret) military base inside of it, that goes back a mile into the rock. There are lots of television transmitters, etc. on the top. At the foot of the mountain is an army base. The light colored blob on the right hand side of this photo is our beautiful downtown, which is the hip new place to be (depending on who one asks). In between all of these shots are the places that people live and work and go about their business. And it is actually a great place to live.

A late post about a late spring

This year’s weather has been a bit unpredictable, with a major storm in October, none in May, and a bit of snow in June. So the local iris garden (high altitude proving grounds) at the library was off to a slow start with blooming. However, every time I went over there I did add a few more picture of these gorgeous blooms to my collection, and here they are!

So this one is my very favorite. Why is it such a bad picture? Well it was cold that day, with a stiff breeze blowing.

So after proving that these beauties can bloom at high altitude, they will be dug up and sold next month. I’ll have to wait until next year to see what sort of blossoms will appear. ( I am going to try and buy some for my house, but I am an indifferent gardener

Holy Moly

I went downtown to go to the bank and deposit my government check quickly before the government runs out of money. I had forgotten that we can’t go into the bank, so I had to use the drive up. And right there across the street is a building that I have meant to take a picture of, so today was the day.

This looks to be a rather ordinary old building, perhaps it was once a family home?

No, it was actually the first temple in the city. I had noticed this cornerstone when I was out walking with the late Miss Dog. The building was home to some attorney at the time, now it is home to an architect (although this bit here does look like it needs some maintenance).

Since I was already downtown I decided to take a few more pictures of some of the many church buildings (former and current).

This building is newly rehabbed, it used to have a clapboard exterior and was rather seedy looking. And after being used for a variety of things, it is a church of some sort again.

I’m not sure if this one is an active church or not, but it obviously has not been gussied up. (Yet).

I’m also not sure if this one is still a church, or if it has been remodeled into use as a home. It is similar to the temple, perhaps they were built around the same time.

Here was the church cat, on the prowl for church mice. 😉

This is only a small sampling of the numerous church buildings in the tiny downtown area. What does this say about the founders of the city: they were a religious bunch, and they couldn’t get along with their heathen neighbors. I suppose it’s still the same to this very day.

Last week and this week

Last weekend my friends asked if I might like to go for a hike, so I said yes. I couldn’t really think of any place in particular, so they suggested this city park. I thought it would probably be full of people, but I had said yes, so this was where we went. That there was no parking available should have been the tip off that this wasn’t the greatest idea, I dislike crowds.

This is a great shot of “the Gateway” (really, that’s its name). I stepped to one side so that the vast horde that was there was not visible, but trust me there were scads of people milling about.

And there’s the Peak, with a few visitors that I could not crop out. It was a beautiful sunny weekend and was pretty warm, about 80 degrees F.

As it was about 5 pm when we finished our walk (3 1/2 miles by her Fitbit) and there were lovely shadows on the ridge to the north. We are outside of the park, because that’s where our cars were. But, it was a nice finish to the day (and we had certainly walked further than I had planned on).

This weekend was a completely different story. It was cold (about 50 degrees F) and the day was rainy. It was quite easy to find a place to park, I had my choice of spaces on a close in lot. And I always have an umbrella in the car, so I decided to take a stroll.

Here’s the Gateway again. The rocks look a lot redder when wet.

And the Peak seems to be missing! (Not to worry, it’s back again today, covered in fresh snow).

All and all it was a great day to be strolling about, there were no crowds to contend with, and I got some pictures that are different than the jillions of photos I already have. 😉

10 Views

To the west of my house is a giant (14,115 ft) mountain. And as effects of the light is ever-changing I take rather a lot of pictures of this, although some of the most interesting views are the ones seen through the windshield as I am driving along running errands.

A recent evening view. I also get a snapshot of this every evening as the street light comes on, from my doorbell (Oh thanks).

What makes this picture unique is that it was taken on May 21st, last year!

April of last year.

I generally like mermaids and I generally like octopi. but I somehow don’t really like them when combined in this art. But, I suspect that one could not find another city that has one like this (I hope).

I have heard a rumor that there are also beautiful sunrises on the mountain, but I personally have never seen one (perhaps one day). 😉

Further up the creek

It was finally time to take the snow tires off (fully realizing that we have had major snowstorms in May the past five years). So I went to one of the local tire places (yes, there are three right next to each other) and the one I chose is right next to the creek, just further up the stream. There didn’t used to be a trail until quite recently, but there was apparently lots of extra money in the city budget, so they extended the trail so that one can travel continuously along to downtown (if one wished to do this).

We’re just slightly further along from where we left off, and the creek is shallow and winding.

Looking upstream one can catch a glimpse of the strip mall that backs onto the creek. The shadow is cast by one of the many new bridges that cross the creek.

Here’s the commemorative plaque, which notes that “The land has always been here” until some family donated it to the the city, “for the pleasure and enjoyment of the community”. I’m not sure how the deer, bears and rabbits feels about this donation.

The new bridge goes over a major north-south street in our town (and it only took over a year to complete). It’s certainly an improvement to be able to get to the other side of the trail with impunity.

When I mentioned the creatures affected by the trail I did not include the raccoons. They left their muddy footprints here and are probably happy that the creekbed was cleared of debris so that it is easy for them to get to the water. They’re just another bit of nature carving out a living the the big city.

Up a Creek

As part of my continual exploration of my immediate neighborhood, today I wish to show bits of a nearby creek.

It’s not very impressive, but then again this is a semi-arid place. The larger stream is Monument Creek, and it runs through town from north to south. The puny waterflow is Cottonwood Creek, which ends here as it joins the larger stream.

It runs under the freeway, and on rare occasions it does flood. Once when me and Miss Dog were walking along this particular trail, we discovered wet bear tracks, and yet we kept on walking.

The creek also passes under this rather splendid railroad bridge. Years ago the railroad moved to the other side of Monument creek, but they left this bridge behind. On the upper far right is the new tunnel that allows one to bike along the trail that follows the creek. One can bike all the way to downtown, if one had a need to go downtown on a bicycle.

As the trees have not started to leaf out yet, the nests are on view. I don’t remember if this is a hawk’s nest or just home to those noisy corvid magpies.

This tree was probably modified by Ute indians. It looks like the sort of things that they created, possibly as a trail marker? Although one could just look up at the mountain to see where one is. These sorts of unique trees are found around the area, although the exact purpose remains a mystery.

Looking up along the creek gives the impression of a pastoral scene. At one time this was true, before there were houses, roads and a bike path, there were only cows and deer. But it is still a lovely bit of nature one can stroll along and admire on a pleasant sunny afternoon.

More Landscapes

It was a bit hard to select landscapes, I don’t typically photograph landscapes, although I could easily post 10 pictures of the mountain in all its glory. But, I rooted around in the various photos on my phone and came up with another batch that shows some of the places that I’ve been to, more or less recently.

This spot is along the Savannah River in a city park, I was visiting for a great-niece’s high school graduation. I was drawn to the Spanish moss hanging from the trees. It reminded me of when I lived in the south.

There is a high spot near Dallas, and this is it. (I see why Texans like to come to Colorado and New Mexico to look at mountains, they could really use one here.) Another niece was graduating from college.

I went to college in this town in New Mexico, and this is the oldest church there (started 1706, this building was put up in 1793 after the first one fell down.) It occupies a prime bit of tourist real estate now.

I was at M’s cousin’s house, standing on the front porch when I took this. It looks like it might be Mordor. Is it? Not really, but it is the original village site, they moved over to this side of the road when the railroad came through.

This is my favorite place to visit. That is the dome of St. Paul’s, being gradually hemmed in by all the new construction. 🙁

As a bonus I included this landscape painting (possibly from the Tate) taken because I like both cows and dogs. And it closes out the series with perhaps how a landscape was traditionally viewed (but it still might benefit from a pterodactyl or two). 😉