eclipse

Beth and I drove out to the Trail of Time, a path with informational sign-posts in a fossil-rich area (part of the Morrison Formation), just inside the Colorado border.

Among the desert scrub and near an ongoing, active escavation, we watched the eclipse.

Out here, the eclipse approached about 87% totality at 11:40 a.m.

Afterward, we had a great lunch in Fruita, and went wading in the Colorado River.

It was a good day!

sunlight

Once a week I drive to Grand Junction, Colorado for errands, appointments, etc.  I love leaving the house before the sun comes up, and watching it rise along the drive.  Between my house and the interstate, I typically do not encounter any other cars (about a 45 min drive)–just me, the rabbits, the crows, the eagles, the deer, and the prairie dogs.

Today there were some really interesting storms at the horizon.  Once the Sun came up, they made the normally very dramatic sunrise especially interesting.

Here’s how it looked:

grand-junction-colorado-sunrise

sunflower-bee

sunflowerbee

When I went for a walk outside this morning, I saw the biggest bumblebee I’d ever seen before. It flew through the patch of sunflowers growing near the house, and dragged down each flower it visited. I didn’t get a pic of that bee (it moved on before I grabbed my camera), but I did stop and take several other pictures.

Here’s a hummingbird visiting the trumpet-like pink flowers of the red yucca (also called hummingbird yucca, fittingly) among the sunflowers:

hummingbird

And a bee on a flower set against the blue sky:

bee and sunflower

Rainbow

**Update–captured a second spectacular rainbow, pics below.  For all pics, click to see the big versions.**

Today started off with fresh home-roasted coffee.  This was a good thing.

Then we went into Moab to run many errands.  It’s strange driving into a city full of enthusiastic tourists, in no hurry to go anywhere.  They are sight-seeing, appreciating the sun and the cool little shops, and the view.

But I just need to buy groceries.

Also, I’m coming into town from a little valley where 300 people live.  Quiet, spacious, and wonderful meets busy, excited and loud.  It’s a bit jarring.

Today we were in Moab so Beth could sign papers and FedEx them to the title company.  We sold our old house in Salt Lake City, and were just wrapping up the final loose ends.  This was a good thing.  🙂

We barely beat the rain storms home.  The temperature dropped from 80 into the 60s, and the rain and wind came.  Up here in the valley, storms can be a bit intense.  All the homes are on five acres, and there are very little trees (this is the High Desert).  When storms come in, they are fierce.

But then the storms leave.  While the air was still saturated from the rain, the Sun came and made the most beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen.  This was amazing.

Of course, pictures will never do justice to the real thing, I took some anyway, so I could share.  It was magical.

I love it out here.

Here are a few more pics from the storm and the rainbow:

sunflowers and the driveway:

Parriot Mesa after the storm:

Update: after I published this blog post, another rainbow popped up at sunset.  It was brighter and bigger, and looked like it went right over our house.  The only way I could get the whole thing in frame was to do a panorama shot.  Here is the panoramas:

And here is my favorite picture, an edit of the panorama:

 

Rainbow over Sunhouse
A Rainbow Over Sunhouse

Autumn at the Edges

Aspen leaves in July

It seems like the heat came early to Salt Lake this year.  On the other hand, a January that never went above freezing makes even moderate heat feel like too much.

Still, we put in our 100+ degree fahrenheit days, as we do every year.  It’s how we earn our Autumn.  It’s called having seasons, and in Florida, we didn’t really have them.  (In Florida, it goes from HOT, to LESS HOT, to I CAN MOSTLY GO OUTSIDE WITHOUT GETTING SUNBURNT, MERRY CHRISTMAS).

At my new job (which I never really wrote about, but probably will someday… maybe for THANKSgiving, because I’m so THANKFUL for it), at my new job, there are a few aspen trees I see as I go for my hourly walk around the building.  As the days became incrementally less hot, I noticed the edges of the leave changing.  In the fall, aspens are one of the bright yellow/oranges trees that decorate the mountains, and make Autumn the best time to go exploring on mountain trails.

Summer = Fires

We didn’t escape the summer without having to endure wildfire season.  Luckily, the valley was spared, but other spots, like Rockport, were not.  Though we didn’t have to deal with the flames, directly, we did end up with a weak of smoke hanging around the valley.

wildfires 2013
Oh, the glamor.

On a few consecutive mornings, when I went to the car to leave for work, there was a build up of ash on the windshield, and more ash coated the car and stood out very clearly against the black paint.  On one particular morning, it very softly rained ash, like a timid, toxic snow storm.  It didn’t last long.

I’m looking forward to September and October.  Last year we hiked Timpanogos in mid October, and it was so beautiful.  I’m hoping to do something similarly adventurous for our wedding anniversary this year.  Surely there will be pictures.

But the smoke has finally cleared, or is almost clear, and the temperatures continue drop.  Autumn marches closer!