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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Day Four ~ Redux

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 11:04 pm on Thursday, February 4, 2010

I was still looking for a way back to the sea.

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I snapped this cause before I had the camera in my hand there were three cats on the car and two next to the yellow wall behind the car.  I was going to say, just me a the cats are out. Ahh but they bailed on me.  By the by ~ I have seen perhaps fifteen cats to every one dog, all of the dogs I have seen look to be strays as do the cats.

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Presto, if ya keep moving forward, you find the sea, there is a road (main sorta road) and look by golly a guy walking on a pedestrian path…how did I miss this, I thought I was on the closest road to the sea.  Now, how to I get down this hill, bit of a cliff really.

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One should appreciate the view even if one is concerned about returning to one’s original spot.  The mosque with the six pointy things is the Blue Mosque. I understand the sultan who wanted it built said “gold” and the builder heard “six”. The words in the sultans language are similar.

Sophia is to the right and…the palace with the wall you are hearing so much about is… to the right again.  Or below.

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I have not been inside the palace growns, I understand you can though.

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Low and behold stairs down…woohooo.

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From Wikipedia: There are many legends about the construction of the tower and its location. According to the most popular Turkish legend, a sultan had a much beloved daughter. One day, an oracle prophesied that she would be stung to death by a venomous snake’s bite on her 18th birthday. The sultan, in an effort to thwart his daughter’s early demise by placing her away from land so as to keep her away from any snakes, had the tower built in the middle of the Bosphorus to protect his daughter until her 18th birthday. The princess was placed in the tower, where she was frequently visited only by her father.

On the 18th birthday of the princess, the sultan brought her a basket of exotic sumptuous fruits as a birthday gift, delighted that he was able to prevent the prophecy. Upon reaching into the basket, however, an asp that had been hiding amongst the fruits bites the young princess and she dies in her father’s arms, just as the oracle had predicted. Hence the name Maiden’s Tower.

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Many a container ship coming and going. I snapped this shot cause I had never seen one empty, once full it sinks up the line between reds.

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Little mosque, big arse building. Odd!

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It would seem where there is sea there are older men fishing, the world over.

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I was diggin the trees, ya gotta imagine this place in the summer with all the foliage in its glory,  when you do paint the pic, do not forget to add the zillions of tourists who come in the high season.

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The birds pace the ferry in hopes of being fed, and they score,  often  I would think.

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The bit with  the yellow strips is the tram track.

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This pic may not do this building justice, it is very cool though.

Alrighty, I must decide what to do today… it is just now becoming daylight, still seems a bit cloudy out. Perhaps the sun will make an appearance later today.

Day One ~ Feb 1st

Filed under: Photos — she_travels at 11:28 pm on Monday, February 1, 2010

Purchasing a visa is the 1st thing on the agenda once one is off the plane. The guy was a bit grumpy with other people, noticing this I had my $20us in my passport next to my photo.  He was all kinds of fast, I don’t think he even looked at me.

Passport control was far more time consuming, the place was chock a block full of people from all over the world. The Turks were in a different section, I was in the “all other nationalities” line. It was a dozy, with people cutting in line, pushing, not at all civilized.

Once one is through passport control, they retrieve their checked  bags and head for customs. Strange that, I saw one official looking guy who didn’t so much as glance at me, much less ask any questions or look through my bags , so I headed for the exit sign.

Next up…local currency. I had copied directions from the web and had the bit of paper with me. It told me where the ATM’s were and how to get to the Metro (train) then how to switch from the Metro to the Tram (lightrail). I also had walking directions from the tram stop to the hostel I had booked.

The first boggle came when the ATM machine said, “Your card is expired” Can you believe that? Hell, I had come half way around the world with an expired ATM card. I thought about using my credit card to get cash but when the machine asked for a “pin number” I could not produce…. I took a few deep breaths and realized I had US money I could change into local notes. A very helpful gentlemen pointed me in the right direction, then was kind enough to show me the stairs down to the Metro.

The machine ya have to get your train tokens from, is all in Turkish, being I had just landed I didn’t understand the money yet…so I put a 5tl coin in the machine,  I understood they are 2tl, and one needs two cause of the transfer. When the machine didn’t do what I thought it should I attempted to get my 5tl back… I could not locate the correct button. A group of two men and a lady came up behind me…. I backed off the machine, pointed at it and motioned with a swiping movement from the machine to me…the lady caught on, all three were laughing, she hit a green button and poof, my 5tl coin. By this time an official looking guy had showed up. I said while holding up 2 fingers, “ I need two tokens” The new guy looked at my hand holding the 5 coin and shook his head. This I took to mean, *more money lady*. I took out two small paper notes, he took the 5tl, hit a green button twice stepped back and pointed at the bottom of the machine. Sure enough my change and two red tokens. By this time we had drawn a crowd of 5 or so people all laughing at and with the silly gal who knows nothing. Fun was had by all.

Ok tokens in hand, I watched someone go through the turnstile making sure when I got there I put my newly won red token in the correct slot. Around the corner I found two signs for the place I wanted to go, I hesitated at the top of the stairs when one of the guys with the lady from before passed me giggling waving at me to follow him.

Thank goodness the airport was at the end of the Metro line,  I could not mess up and go the wrong direction.  Once in the train it occurred to me
I had two different sets of directions (one from the hostel and one from a very helpful site called Turkey Travel Planner) on where to transfer to the light rail, while looking at the map on the Metro wall I decide to go to the end of the line past the bus station so in the future I would have an idea of what the buses were about.

When we got to the end of the line, the guy sitting next me said “This is the last stop, you must get off here.” I said “Thank you so much” He was cute!

Alright, so my directions said “As you leave the Metro Station, go through the underground passage and straight onto the pedestrian walkway then walk over the bridge to the tram stop”

Yeah, on paper it looks good but when your standing there looking at a set of stairs going up…ahh what the hell, I don’t see any underground tunnel, I will go up with all the other people who know where they are going. At the top of the stairs I looked about and sure enough another set of stairs down not far off to my left, could this be the mentioned tunnel?  There were all manner of merchants with their wares, I was surprised no one said anything to me.

Up another flight of stairs all I saw was buses and people. I took a few steps closer to the buses looking for a bridge….by jove, people going up another set of stairs, when I looked a bit harder it was over the street, this was making sense. On  the other side I was attempting to locate the “Pedestrian walk” ….thank goodness I sign in English “Tram” with a arrow. Pay Dirt!

More buildings. More shops and more of me wondering if I was going the right direction or was I going to have to flag a cop, wait what do the cops look like here, to get me where I am going.

It was not nearly as far as all that when I saw the tram line, another set of stairs up….I got to the top of the bridge over the tram line and realize I have no idea what direction to take the tram. Deep breath….look at the street signs, your looking for Sultanahmet…indeed I did find a sign so I skipped down the steps to the tram landing but one had to use their last hard won red token so before I did that I flagged a guy in a orange vest.
“This way to Sultanahmet? “ He didn’t understand. “This way to the Blue Mosque”  Mind you everyone around was looking at me like I was American. He nodded his head, “Yes, Blue Mosque this way.” I knew from research the Tram says “Blue Mosque” at the correct stop, so I figured everyone has heard it.

The tram stopped, the people on the platform crushed in. I saw a bitty space just inside the door which could handle me and my bags,  just. The next stop three people got off and many go on, at one point my back was against a wall and I swear that old guy’s elbow was in my breast. Ahh, well what are ya gonna do… oh yeah and there was a screaming kid…whew! Three more stops, I can do this…just three more stops.

The gods were listening cause at the next stop most of the people got off, oh but not  the screaming kid.

Most of the Metro ride from the airport was offering me views of construction, apt buildings or more road. Several of the tram line stops were in a shopping area with very nice shops, the kind of shops you would not catch me in, but pretty to look at. When the tram landed at Sultanahmet I was floored. The first thing you see is a park area offering free wifi. Three Mosques and a bit of shop behind you. When the tram noise died there was a peaceful, calming feeling to the air. Nice place!

I collected my thoughts, sorted my bags and found the walking directions.  I was doing pretty well til the directions said “beyond the traffic light…” I did not see a traffic light, anywhere. While I was trying to decide to go farther down the road or to turn here I was approached by a man who said “You look lost, where do you want to go.”  I said “I am looking for the traffic light but do not see one.” He repeated, “Where do you want to go?”  I handed him the directions and went looking for my conformation paper. Long story short, he knew of the place, asked me if I wanted tea (this culture is all about the tea and conversation, one does not turn people down, and what else did I have to do.)  We had tea, apple tea, yummy, on the balcony of his uncle’s shop with a truly beautiful view of the Blue Mosque and the sea in the distance.  Sadly, I have forgotten his name but he divides his time between here and New Jersey and decided to take it upon himself to solve my bank card problem.

After tea and abit of conversation, he took me to the hostel, waited and then went to the park to call my bank. I will not get into all those headaches but 4 calls, one of which cost me 7 bucks, later I understand Visa 911 is sending me a new temp card, should be here tomorrow and the hostel is going to sign for it.

The three hours we had to wait between phone call one and phone call two, my new friend managed to play local tour guide. Nothing fancy but it was a delightful bit if strolling after being cooped up in plane and airports for 24 hours.

The second phone call led to the third but I had to be in the hostel for the third one, so I thanked my new friend and was off.

Once the third phone call with the Vias 911 people was handled and during which I found out I have to call the bank back about the PIN number, I was given 2 toll free numbers, none worked and the hostel manager guy said “How about if you go to _____ , buy an international phone card and use a public phone.” He pointed me in the direction of the phones and cards.

Did I mention is was a beautiful day, t-shirt weather…when I went out to use the phone is was dark, wet and blowing…YUK. The good news, my brand spankin new REI coat does as advertised, water proof! and I have a 7$ fleece under if from the second hand.

Last call to the bank, nice walk in the dark and rain… shezz what a day I have had. My brain was not working well enough to get my universal plug to function, I was so afraid I was going to have to pack around another useless computer. Whew, a three hour nap and a shower…my neurons are firing again, got the plug to work.

I managed to get two pics today, I know not many but I didn’t want to act a complete tourist when out strolling with my local friend. More pics tomorrow, I promise.

Tram landing going to Sultanahmet.

Blue Mosque, last night in the wet and blowing. I thought they called it the Blue Mosque cause the roof is blue but maybe its not cause my new friend says it is blue inside.

I wanted to get some sunrise pics this morning but it is GRAY, gray out there. We will see if  the sun shows later.

By  the by ~ my roommate and I spend most of the night listening to cats fight, they were throwing each other against the window off and on all night. Man! fighting cats can be loud!

Snow you say?

Filed under: Colorado — she_travels at 3:11 pm on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ya know I think I picked up my mother in Grand Junction on the way back from Cali. I had a client with a sick dog who needed 6 injections an hour apart and there was no way I could do that and Elvis and Mack, so mom got the job. I was still doing the horses but mom was handling the 3 dogs and 4 cats.  She had to bail out of town before the big snow hit, whew end of Oct and we got 26 inches of snow. No pics, what happened there? I was so busy digging out I forgot to take any.

November I was back in Evergreen for just over a week, then I had a client near Boulder go to New Zealand for a month.

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I found this…

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and this in her back yard during that time.

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I lived with this kitty and…

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This adorable puppy dog for several days over Christmas. Mom came back to help out with pretty much anything I needed. It was a odd sorta busy Holiday but the weather was good and it all went swimmingly.

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How cute is he? Dude’s ears are longer than his face. We went out for daily walks on open space, what fun we had meeting other dogs and playing in the snow.

Aspen abound

Filed under: Colorado — she_travels at 11:55 am on Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whew, the sun finally came back..we were starting to worry.  I think it’s been close to a week of fog, dark clouds, big arse thunder boomers and rain, lots and lots  of rain. The temps have been in the 50’s, fleece weather for sure.

The cats decided tag was the best way to burn off steam, right up until Romeo, the doberman, choose to put a stop to that kind of fun. Ya know, dogs don’t chase cats….til the cat runs, then all bets are off.  Romeo would never hurt them, he has funny behavior, when ever is thinks he wants in on cat games he stuffs one of his many toys in is face and whines.  I  s’pose that is far better than barking and cat killing.

I found a few pics of Zoey and Veda as well.


Ya gotta keep them on leashes cause if they see a deer, no amount of calling will bring them back until they are good and ready, that could be days. Loosing client’s dogs is bad for business.





One day I will better understand why cats are so attracted to my computer.


Veda does love a good game of fetch.


Zoey, I thought at first this kitty was afraid of the dogs, then I realized she was playing ” catch me if you can”. Her extended paw here was just shy of nailing Romeo in the behind.  Yesterday Zoey was on the bed and Romeo was under, Zoey was running from one side of the bed to the other trying to tag Romeo who was chasing her from under  the bed. I was laughing pretty hard at the whole thing.

I leave this wonderful place Sat, going back to Boulder County to hang about with a clients’ horses while they are away in Europe.

In the hills n mountains of Colorado

Filed under: Colorado — she_travels at 8:11 am on Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oh yes, I have arrived in the land of elk, deer and fox.  Where one must have all the critters in the house by sundown or my huge fuzzy friend Romeo (the doberman) may well end up being the local mountain lion’s dinner.

Romeo’s is an old friend from the days when I had a house, he has three friends living with him.

Veda a seemingly young Golden.

Neo, a cat I would love to pack up and take with me. She knows how to cuddle and she knows how to be a cat. I am forever teasing her about having the softest coat ever, I think I will use it as a fur.

Zoey lives here too, she spends most of her time in the loft or breakfast nook in squirrel patrol. Ahh but if ya walk in the bath room she appears from nothing, hops in the tub and stretches a paw to the water source. I think she, like many other kitties, loves fresh water. I know cats who sleep in the bathroom sink just waiting for someone to show up so they can have the freshest water possible.

We are 20 minutes from cell phone range of any kind, thank goodness the internet connection works…whew!

I was out walking the dogs my 1st day here in shorts, I woke up the next morning to snow. The day was foggy, cold and wet.

Yesterday I zipped 1.5 hours down the hill to pick up another dog. Miss Ivy, she is a bit of a traveler these days being I am often someplace new, she is such a delightful dog who just loves me to bits, she will go anywhere with me and be just fine.

The two goldens, Veda and Ivy are having a grand time racing up and around trees in the back yard. Well, not so much yard as 2 acres of fenced wooded space, gotta have a fence cause when dogs see deer they can no longer hear, anyone.

The house is an old hunter’s cabin with a huge rock being used as the foundation. Its truly is a unique place.

Alrighty, on to some photos.

Romeo as he sleeps and with several of his stacks and stacks of toys.

Ms. Neo….

The wood burning stove is going full throttle.

Squish Kitty!

My fav, kitty in a tube sleepin in the sun.

Dang, I will have a snap a pic or two of Zoey… seems she was lost in this batch. I have another couple of weeks so all is good.

House built on a rock and Veda, he who spends most of his time either on the deck  spying foxes or around the corner chasing balls I throw down the drive.

Primary source of heat. Wacky ceiling  huh? It’s a very cool, fun, funky place in the hills.

Fog one day….

Clear the next…

Deer and humming birds both from the deck.

Those dudes are FAST!!


Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 7:07 pm on Friday, February 27, 2009

This place, my current most favorite island, has lizards of many kinds. Many shapes and sizes of lizard, some are big, some are small, some fast,   some  slow, though not many. Some scream about on two legs when frightened, some change colors. The critter I wish to tell you about makes a sound like a bark or chirp.

I have heard various voices from the lizards here abouts but for the most part I have a pretty good idea of what I am hearing, often times I get a glimpse of the beastie as well.

Many of  the homes on the island are constructed in such a way the lizards come and go as they please. In Bob Marley’s home you can see them zipping up and down the walls, they don’t bother any one so why hassle them.

This home (Miss Gato’s) is not a home a lizard can investigate, never mind they must get past the ever gecko patrolling kitty.

The neighbor told me a story last week of Miss Gato jumping from this deck to his in pursuit if a green arrow of a lizard. From what I understood in some way the lizard found the top of the deck railing.  Kitty jumped,  caught the unfortunate gecko her mouth mid air over the railing and kept going landing on the beach sand a good ten feet below. I told the guy he was nuts but he says it’s truth. Gecko killing cat this is.

I tell you  this cause I was astonished when last week I heard a lizard chirping in the house. I have been living with them off and on for years, they don’t bug me much so I didn’t bother with him. I would hear him off and on,  though out the day from various part of the house, some times louder or with a slightly different voice.

Three days of listening to him, it occurred to me to go looking. I had zero luck finding him though I did narrow down his location to either the lower bath or the laundry room.

Five days of listening to him  I was sure I needed to find him.  I started by looking the the closet next to the bathroom, no lock. While I was looking in the bath I heard him but not in the bathroom. Ok, so I went around the other side if the closet to the laundry room. I heard him again, he was not in the laundry room.

I went back out to the kitchen to listen, that was when I saw the phone the owners had given me. You can bet I was feeling pretty silly when I flipped it open to see several unread text messages.

It took five days and looking for a non exsitant gecko to realize the noise I was hearing was the text message alert for the phone.

By Gosh, By Golly,

Filed under: Interlude — she_travels at 11:04 am on Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We are all caught up…woohoo! Man. I hope I never get that far behind again.

I am back on the island of Roatan. The 1st week I spent with Bob Marley and all their fuzzy friends. I am now living with Miss Gato whose parents went to Colorado to visit family and work in a bit of skiing.

It has been cold and raining/pouring off and on since I arrived. I was only in the pool at Bob Marley’s house once and that was just to see if I could talk myself into it. Rain water and no sunshine make for a very chilly pool.

Kitty and I have been updating both the blog and the web site. I still have several stories to write but at least all the photos I have with me are posted.

I shift to a new place Saturday. It is a new area for me,  should be fun to meet new people and hang out in a new place. The cabin  on a bit of iron shore, a point, with a huge ocean view and plenty of opportunity for sunset photos.

I will be here until March 19th when I go back to Colorado for Spring Break.

Kitty is batting the screen door, her code for “Door person, get up off  your hinnie and let me out.”

Sandy Bay

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 6:47 pm on Friday, March 28, 2008

Before my camera died,  for what I am told is good reason,  I managed to get a few shots of this and that.

Sandy Bay is about 15 minutes by car east of West Bay and about 7 min. east of West End. I was house sitting with a cat by the name of Miss Gato. I tell ya this cat had a routine and was only putting up with me cause I could open doors better than she.

*this was the point where the world saw fit to have the power go out. Six hours later it came back on.

I spent my afternoon in the shade lazing in a hammock not 2 steps from the pool. There are five cats in the house, two were in the hammock with me, one on my chest. One of the cats was on his back with feets straight up rolled against the deck fence. One of the dogs was under the hammock and the other in the shade between me and the house. Did I mention two talking birds peering at me from my end of their cage. Yep, all of us were enjoying the talents of a writer I was recently introduced to,  Georgette Heyer, she is sorta Jane Austin with a wicked dry sense of humor. Great fun! This is my third in two weeks I have cracked. The 1st two I got through in a single day each of Holy Week when the last thing you wanted to do was leave the house cause of  the crowds. People everywhere!

*The power back on and I can continue with the photos.*

So, the system saw fit to allow me access to one of the photos  I loaded before the power crashed.

Miss Gato at sunset.

Power… Where? When?

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 4:24 pm on Monday, February 25, 2008

Dang it! I thought I loaded the pic sizing soft ware I had been working with last year but somewhere along the line I musta forgotten. I will have a bit of a learning curve with the software on the computer.

That and the power is out again.. I think all told since I arrived in Palmatto Bay 23 hours ago the power has been on for four. Makes cooking and eating tough. I bought some grouper yesterday I thought I would bake a bit with lemon..see what happens.

Yesterday was my last day at with Miss Gato and her home. She is a cool little kitty who knows how her day should go and expects the people person in her house to help her with the the getting fed and opening the door part..

While I was waiting at the airport for Miss Gato’s parents (I was picking  them up) I noticed a lady with five cats in carriers. I watched her pass when it occurred to me she may be in need of someone such as myself one day. While attempting to think of some thing clever I walked around the corner, reaching in my pack for a card.

Deciding the direct approach is best I walked up to her, caught her eye and said. “This may seem silly…I am an international house sitter and sooner or later you are going to want off this island.”

She giggled and smiled a bit then started to tell me just how tough it was to get five cats and a husband to the third world country island. Upon hearing about ice storms and a car service that was not willing to go down her lane at 3am because of the ice, I agreed with her, travel is tough enough without five cats and a husband. She told me they were moving down and going to start building a house soon. At this point I think she noticed her husband cause she was off. I went back to my post waiting for Miss Gato’s parents.

I got to Palmatto Bay Saturday at about 5 after finding Miss Gato’s parents at the airport. I wanted to get the dogs (Bob and Marley) out for a walk along the beach before dark. We had a grand ole time getting back just before sun down. Ya know I think I missed those dogs. They sure are a ton of fun.

The dog’s parents were s’pose to be at some shin-dig at 6 so I popped over to the house I was staying in with a couple of English teachers from French Harbor. They come up some weeks end to hang about at the beach. Yes, its an island and there is beach all over the place but think of this as a week end holiday for them.

Nice gals..I remember one of them saying she was from Texas but she sure didn’t sound the part. I don’t remember the other one saying one way or the other.

When they decided to go down to the restaurant I got up to make a blueberry pie I promised Bob Marley’s parents for their social gathering the following day. I kid you not,  the very moment I had my ingredients sorted out the power went off. Shezz!

I gotta tell ya…they don’t make dark where I come from like they do here.  It is pitch black so ya rummage about trying to find the flash light ya saw when ya walked in or ya go looking for one of the two you have learned to travel with. Either way you are wandering about a house you don’t know in the black of night. Once ya have the flash light found,  you go looking for the matches and candles you KNOW are here ya just gotta look in the right spot. Dang, by the time I was sorted out with illumination I was sweating,  cause after all the fans are no longer spinning.

I decide at this point,  having the candles aflame and the flash light off,  I will take a shower to get the sand, bug spray and sweat off my person but when I get to the bathroom there is a scorpion on the shower curtain… it looked a bit different than the last one I had seen but I just figured it was a different variety.

Alrighty, no power NO shower….never mind I will take a dip in the pool. Not exactly clean but at least I am less sweaty than I was. By now it was 8pm… I had not slept well the two nights before so I figure why not crawl into bed instead of fighting the power situation.

I didn’t sleep but I also was not tossing and turning so I guess that’s good. I thought about making the pie I promised Bob Marley’s parents when the power came back on at 11pm but I didn’t. I also didn’t sleep all that well. I finally got out of bed at 630 just in time to see the power go off… again.

More about scorpion wrangling next time…I have been asked to play taxi driver today.

Fall in Colorado

Filed under: Colorado,Photos — she_travels at 10:27 pm on Thursday, November 1, 2007

Its tough to beat the weather in Colorado, Sept, Oct and if we are lucky Nov. It has been mostly sunny and 70 for days. There have been a few chilly mornings, a bit of frost and it had attempted to snow but for the most part…BEAUTIFUL!


Sunrise..woohoo!! pink baby!

Mr. Hawk scoping for breakfast me thinks.

Sunrise and frost only just this morning..

Twlight and Party Girl.

I love this cat! Biskit, watching the sunrise.

and let us not forget the moon one morning at sunrise.

The Blog, The blog is up to date!! just in time for Thanksgiving.

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