Devastation on the River

It is with terrible sadness in my heart that I have to report that our beloved osprey nest in Eleven Mile Canyon was felled by one of last weeks late spring snowstorms, two unhatched eggs were found in the river. They like to build their nests in barren trees and this one along the river just could not withstand the weight of all the wet heavy snow. We had so much fun watching this beautiful pair raise their chicks to flight last summer and were so much looking forward to another family this year.

Osprey Nesting Pair

The pair had returned right on time and had gone right to work on their nest. It wasn’t long before mama osprey was sitting on eggs and the father was busy bringing sticks and fish to his family in wait. We went to the canyon yesterday in hopes of catching some of the action on film but it was not to be. When we arrived we found the tree down, the nest destroyed and the beautiful raptors nowhere in sight.

Now we don’t know what will become of the nesting pair. From what I can read they may hang around the area for the rest of the season until they migrate. It is apparently the nest that holds the pair together so it isn’t guaranteed that they will return and rebuild but it is certainly our hope. I will return from time to time to look for them throughout the summer but I have to say, my heart is broken and I just feel like quitting.

I have created this Youtube video tribute to this pair of amazing raptors, I hope you enjoy it. Vaya con dios my beautiful feathered friends. May God give you the strength to return and rebuild next year.

Osprey Nesting Pair

Turning Point

One of those memories from one year ago popped onto my Facebook today, it was a great memory of a great day, breakfast with my beloved cousin whom I hadn’t seen for too many years to even count. However the good part of that day was overshadowed by the memory of the rest of the day after I received a call from a friend who told me, “Steve, all hell has broken loose here.”, a terrible day in which several lives were irreparably altered, and not for the better. It was also the day that resulted in me having the two dogs that I wasn’t planning on or prepared for by any stretch of the imagination. However as you can imagine, these two beautiful doggies have worked their way into my heart and now they go with me everywhere. One riding shotgun in the passenger seat of my truck and the other standing on the console in the middle making sure there is nothing unusual lodged in my right ear or my mouth and nose 🙂

I had to take a part time job unloading trucks to make ends meet and it is a job that is physically difficult for people 40 years my younger. Unfortunately a few months ago I sustained a serious injury from which I have not been able to recover and is getting worse. Each day at work is a new lesson in pain and fatigue and I am sure I’m not going to be able to endure it much longer. And Son Boy is starting to look so sad when I have to work, like he knows. I hate leaving them behind, hate taking time away from writing and photography. And I have been praying “Please God, don’t make me go back there…”, pleading and begging the Almighty to have mercy on me and my little family of fur babies.

On the upside, the economy must be turning around, my stock photography sales have been picking up substantially. After years of terrible sales I have actually made more selling than I have working in the last few days… and I think that too is a sign that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Also I had a vivid dream the other night of a house in the country… one of those dreams that you just have a feeling is significant, a sign even perhaps. And after a long time of feeling repulsed by writing and out of inspiration for my photography, ideas are starting to come to me and the words are once again flowing onto the page… Every storm has to end and my storm that has washed away a home, a wife to cancer, a family, a career and all my savings and plans for retirement and almost everything but my faith, has lasted a decade.  It is a storm that I am hoping will soon be on the other side of the turning point.

“He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29-30

Summer 2015

Woke up this morning stressed out about all the things I still need to do this summer but couldn’t really remember what it was that I should be doing. So I had my coffee and waffles and by 7:30 I still couldn’t remember what it is that I was stressed out about doing, so I just let the two outdoor kitties out the front door and pulled a chair into the awesome Rocky Mountain morning sunshine to ponder the matter. No sense rushing headlong into something when you don’t even know what it is yet!

So as I sat there sipping my coffee I reviewed all the things I had originally intended to do this summer and as I did so it occurred to me that I had already done all that I wanted to do and more… Including a few things that just six months ago I could not have even imagined would be possible. Of course this sounds good on the surface, but it caused a bit of a panic at first because I suddenly realized I didn’t know what to do next! As I thought about it I realized that through all the doctor appointments and cancer treatments I had forgotten how to live a normal life. I had to think back a long way to remember what a summer Saturday might have been like before all this happened. Flipping burgers on the grill and enjoying a margarita was the memory that fought it’s way through the fog of years of hardship to the forefront of my memories.

Amazingly enough as I fixed my gaze on the yard, that very same propane grill that was in our backyard in Parker has been preserved unscathed through it all, full propane tank still attached. No flame has passed through those burners in at least five years but much to my surprise it only took a couple of punches at the starter button to produce the bright yellow flame that I was hoping for. My afternoon was sealed and an odd feeling of peace that I have not experienced in a long time settled in.

But what of the morning, there were still hours to go before lunch time? I have been thinking a lot of the Thomas Trail in Green Mountain Falls. It was one of the first trails we hiked together when we first moved here. Sweet Pea had learned how to climb in the Miata and curl up on the floor when we drove to work and she quickly learned that she was going to get to have some fun on the way with a climb and a stream crossing on the lush forest trails in GMF. For the three of us our longest hike was the Thomas Trail which goes across the front of the mountainside from the Catamount Falls to Crystal Falls and I have been wanting to go back there to stitch one more good memory from the past across the gaping wound of loss to the present.

Catamount Falls

High water flow this year on South Catamount Falls

So I corralled the cats into the house and loaded up the camera and a bottle of Gatorade and headed for the trail. Unfortunately, the river was running so high this morning from all the rain this year that I didn’t want to cross the stream, but Plan B was still a go with a climb to the Garden of Eden to check on the alleged wildflowers, It was a good climb, but it appears I am too late for the full bloom in that meadow. But I got some exercise, some great shots of Catamount Falls and had a good time whiling away a few hours. As it turns out, I have not lost my grilling skills and had a great afternoon of Grillin’ and Chillin’. And now as I write this evening, the wound of loss now has another stitch towards healing.

This evening an old buddy of mine that I haven’t seen in a long time stopped by with news that he is moving to Cody. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the wildlife in Yellowstone, especially the wolves. He just happened to have an extra travel packet for me. A sign perhaps?