Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Glorious Day for a Hike - Upper White Ranch Park, Jeffco Open Space

After so much snow of late, we finally have some sunshine. Yesterday we cleaned house and took care of Ellie who was caught fast in the tight grip of a nasty, pukey flu. Today she feels better. The sun was shining and we were treated with more of that famous blue skies, so we thought a nice hike was in order.

We love the plentiful Ponderosa pines. I love the way the branches have a nice curve to them. And look at that bark - such nice texture and in the heat of the summer it smells like vanilla. (Today it did not have that magical smell, yet. It must be too early in the season for that.) The Ponderosa is self pruning, leaving a nice open space under the canopy of branches.

On the forest flower we were already able to find delicate flowers that must have been brave in face of the recent snowfall. They make me think of summer.

There are sunny parts of the trail, too. Here we found great rocks. Looking closer, we were rewarded with more flowers and foliage.

I also absolutely love the lichen and moss we find along the way. I am amazed at the variety of specimens. Most of these were found on the walls of the trail where it is heavily shaded, damp and muddy.

Larr has lead many, many youth crews through the park as they worked to maintain the hiking and biking trails. He has memories of crew leaders and the kids as we walked along.

Even the plants that are dormant offer beauty.

Here's a funny meme that has been floating around Facebook of late.

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