Fee Fi Faux

I do love to wander about taking random photos of whatever catches my eye. This area is famous for it’s natural beauty, but there is also the charm of it’s fakeness (not sure if this is a word).

For example, if one gets a permit and has technical rock climbing experience, one may climb the sheer cliff faces at Garden of the Gods. In lieu of that, anyone may try their hand at climbing this artificial rock slab. No permit is needed and there are no warning signs of impending doom. (Plus it’s both easier and quicker than technical climbing).

This could be a tree (after the developers have had at it), or perhaps it is a new way of stacking firewood. But no, it’s neither. This claims to be art, and is part of the arts in the street program (who knew?). And it’s for tourists and locals alike

These faux rock formations are being installed at a new play area. It recreates the feel of rock formations, without the pesky realism and danger of actual rocks. Oh imagine all the fun that children will have playing on these (or not).

It’s not just civic organizations that go for the unnatural look. These homeowners decided against a lawn (really not a terrible idea) and instead populated their yard with these rather attractive plants. It breaks up the monotony of a rock yard, and gives it a bit of style, so this is the only spot of faux nature that does something useful. It’s an improvement, unlike the art on the street tree (try again city).

A walk in the park

I know that I most often take pictures of places in the city. But the city is part of the larger county, and this is not all totally developed (yet). I knew this park existed, my favorite dog friends often go there to run, but I had never taken the time to visit. So today was the day for it.

The area where the town sits was originally a tree-less prairie, but along the ridge in the northern part of the county, there has always been a pine forest. And this bit was designated as a park (which explains why there are still trees and there aren’t fancy houses in view).

The skies had been smoke-filled the day before (with smoke imported from California), but the winds shifted and there were the blue skies and fluffy clouds of summer.

The park features walking trails, a dog park, and a little pond (no fishing allowed, but the fish will break the surface and stare at one). Also present were chipmunks, and they proved to be quite a hit with any of the young persons who were there.

And why was I at this park, on this day, at this place? Why some dear friends were getting married in the gazebo that juts out into the lake (that’s not them in the picture, just some random tourists). It was a beautiful day, in a beautiful place, with a beautiful ceremony to tie the knot. And then it was on to catered food, (one does get hungry strolling in the park), music and wedding cake, a perfect end to a perfect day.

A day in the country

I love a drive in the country, it’s something that we sometimes did when I was a child, just to escape the city. And on this day me and my girlfriends were on a mission, and of course this mission involved shopping.

It’s really not that far to go, just drive south to the next city, then follow the river, and there you are among the fields. This was a giant field of pumpkins, across the road from a popular farm store. It’s not really an old-time farm stand, it’s more of big business, so it’s an interesting place to shop.

They had added quite a bit of stuff, since my last visit, like the imported Italian pasta (there were lots of Italians who came to the area to work in the steel mill, and their descendants are still here). There were plenty of baked goods and even tourist souvenirs to be had. And they were roasting green chile in front, so the place smelled great.

As this antique tractor has steel wheels, it is probably from the mid 1920’s or possibly early 1930’s. I’m leaning towards the earlier date, because it has a starter crank instead of an electric starter, and the overall primitiveness of design. (I know way more about tractors than I should).

Here’s another farm store, this one also had a cafe, which was quite good. (sorry, I don’t take pictures of my food anymore).

Quaint old stuff sets the stage for selling locally made products. It’s a guarantee that we’re out of the city.

And why had we gone south? (aside from the obvious need to shop at the farm stands). Oh yeah, I had won a red ribbon (2nd place) at the state fair, so well done me. After a quick ride on a Ferris Wheel, it was back to town.