This is my backyard.
Now that we’ve been in Colorado over two months, I’ll testify that this state is one humungous playground. And it’s a good thing- the people here love the outdoors. They thrive on fresh mountain air.
Opportunities to sniff this goodness abound. Even in the middle of the big city of Denver, there’s beautiful park space, and young people can be found taking walks or playing football at lunchtime. In the suburbs, there are huge open spaces planned right in- the one near us is about 40 acres. There you can enjoy the playground, or paddle boats while quacking at the ducks in the lake. You can walk or take a bike path–all the way into Boulder if you’d like! But then there’s the mountains. Nothing like them, and no limit to the activities to be found there. Snowshoeing, skiing/boarding, hiking, and more. Recently I found out that you can even drive a dog sled!
One of the places we like most near home is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal wildlife refuge. (That’s actually what’s shown in the picture above) This wonderful preserve just about 10 miles from us, is home to so many different kinds of animals. The highlight for me are the many eagles that come to spend the winter there. Bald and golden, you can find these majestic birds sitting together on the ice or in the trees.
As you drive through you can watch as the little birds fly from one bison’s lumpy back to the next. You can chatter back to the little prairie dogs who pop out of their homes to scold you. A mule deer might be watching you from behind some brush just a few feet away as he nibbles on his dinner.
There are some areas where you can get out and hike the trails here. One evening as I knelt down in the grass along the road to take a few landscapes, I heard the eerie sound of a coyote calling to his friends…and then their answer.
After a few minutes I hopped back in the car and we drove down the road a bit. Like a flash, a coyote darted across the road in front of us. Looking to our right we could see the herd of deer he had been stalking. The huge buck who had apparently driven him away was watching to make sure he wouldn’t return.
What a wild and awesome state we’ve come to. It’s difficult for me to believe that all of this beauty, all of this wonder is all around us. Hard to believe this is all my big backyard.