Sunday, October 9, 2011

rocky mountain high

This, dear readers, is the paw print of a bear near my driveway. As a person who has only encountered bears in zoos, this is rather startling. Apparently a young bear has moved into our neighborhood. The prevailing theory is that its mother may have been killed (an adult bear hanging around a condo in town was recently shot) and this one is displaced. It's been living in a nearby fir tree, coming down in the night to maraud trash barrels. The summer was dry and available food in the mountains is sparse as winter begins up there. Hence, bears who are canny survivors, are marching down to pillage fruit trees and trash cans. They do, after all, have to eat. This is where nature and humans run into trouble. With that in mind, we're keeping Spike behind our adobe wall. So far the bear hasn't figured out how to open the latch on the gate but I hear bears are pretty smart. Oh my.

and now the weather...
Yesterday morning greeted us with two inches of snow! Making the folks in the Ski Valley cheerful and the rest of us despairing. It's early October! My dear departed Aunt Jenny used to say, on bad hair days, "I feel like the last rose of summer." I thought about that when I noticed the roses outside the door.
And glanced toward the east.
Our next door neighbor was having an outdoor birthday party shindig and an army of guests were due to show up around 1pm. Tent and chairs had been set up the day before and a lovely warm early October day with blue skies and views of the yellowing aspens on the peaks was expected.
The party went on as scheduled, the sun didn't come out at all, the snow began to melt and turn grassy areas muddy. By cold late afternoon no one was sitting under the tent, the modest-sized house overflowed with guests, Ron had already gone home to our warm house (he hates the cold) and a hardy group huddled around a blazing fire pit. I alternated between the house and fire and today my clothes are perfumed with the autumn-y scent of cedar smoke.
The gathering was for professional musician John Archuleta. He jammed all day and into the night with other musician friends and talented family (music genes abound). Drums, voices, guitar, violin. Wine, beer, coffee, food and desserts were abundant, as well as laughter and congeniality. A welcome change from the tragedies that this extended family has endured in recent months. Happy Birthday John. You bring a lot of pleasure to a lot of people with your music and cheerful demeanor.

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