Daily Journey Journal #259: beaver

Today was marked by both a beautiful sunrise and a beautiful sunset. The sky was that perfect combination of clouds and blue, the air crisp and the breeze ever blowing. As it was so beautiful after work, A and I decided to go down to the greenbelt to take some pictures and go for a little meander. We felt like the briskness of the air would detract from the enjoyment of a run, but bundled in coats and hats, a nice walk would be lovely.

As we pulled into the parking lot the sun was just starting for the mountains, throwing its rays into the sky to be caught by the clouds. I immediately headed for the river, breathing in the beauty of the sky reflected in the icy water. A, in his ever patient way, stood by, letting me take far more pictures than necessary without complaint. When I’d had my fill of that particular stretch of river, we started down the trail, taking in the colors and intensity of the light.

At the next little outcrop to the river, I left the trail, intent on capturing a log partially submerged in the river. As I neared the river, a loud, sudden smack against the water startled me, sending a shriek into the evening. Something, and something really rather large, had just jumped into the icy water.

A and I stood on the edge of the bank, staring at the moving water and then a little beaver popped up, swimming against the current. I couldn’t believe our luck. The beaver was mere feet from us, and there we were, in the middle of town on a random Tuesday night. Not only have I never seen a beaver so close, I had no idea they lived around the greenbelt. The beaver swam upstream and we crossed paths with it again as we followed the trail further out. Each time it saw us, it smacked the water and disappeared, only to emerge a minute or two later.

I feel like today was just my lucky day. Not only was it beautiful, but I got to see something unexpected and learn something new. I never realized how cute and graceful beavers could be. And, I have to say, that smack they make when they dive underwater is so satisfying. If I were a beaver, I’d dive all day long, just to hear my tail hit the water.

Everyday Trifles: Blair Wallis

Oh dear! Oh me! Oh my!

I almost forgot that today is Thursday, which means it is time for my daily feature! Fortunately, I remembered and it is better a tad bit late than never, right?

This week’s feature is from Blair Wallis, a rock formation/hilly area east of Laramie that happens to be one of my dad’s favorite spots. We had a chilly, windy wander through the snow and trees, which was quite refreshing. More about our outing can be found on the post from last weekend. In the meantime, I give you Blair Wallis.

Daily Journey Journal #237: a grounding feeling

The forest is silent around us. The wind in the trees makes not a sound. Nothing stirs in the brush. Not another soul is in sight, not even the elk whose fresh tracks we keep crossing. Only our feet crunching through the brittle snow break the silence, but even that seems muted somehow.

I pause frequently, crouching to takes pictures of pine needles and dried flowers poking through the snow. The cool air around me is full of earthy smells. I inhale deeply, letting the the freshness of pine, the subtle sharpness of sagebrush clear my head. The internal turmoil from being trapped inside begins to ease.

Overhead the sky is a canvas of shifting clouds, ominously dark yet an empty threat. There will be no snow from them for us. So, we crunch on, the dogs jumping in and out of our steps, happy to be in the woods.

We hardly talk, my dad and I. We just walk, taking in the tranquility of the wild and the awe that comes with being isolated from the rest of humanity. It is a humbling, grounding feeling.

It brings me back to my roots.