On my birthday in August, I rented a small mountain cabin for several days around 11,000 feet at the top of Grand Mesa, Colorado.
The cabin was cozy and offered everything I needed. Additionally, I brought extra items to make my stay pleasurable. I enjoyed thunderstorms in the late afternoons and day time mild weather. Early morning cool weather was a respite from the heatwave where I live.
The cabin backed up to many acres of the Grand Mesa National Forest. I brought my new laptop with me to edit my soon to be published novels during the evenings. This was a very productive literary time.
During the days, I explored several beautiful lakes within walking distance from my cabin. I drove a short distance to this lake and observed a Bald Eagle chased by a hawk. Perhaps, the COVID 19 resulting in fewer people this year at the lakes.
A family of Mule Deer visited me behind my cabin on my first evening. It was great to connect with each one. I shared a special moment with this curious deer. Where I live, families of Mule Deer visit me and take naps in my backyard.
This was one of the lakes I walked to from my cabin. I hiked partly around it and loved the birds I observed including a Gray Jay that I had never seen before this trip. This was a refreshing experience that I want to have more frequently.
This beautiful Gray Jay frolicked for a long time around me. It would swoop down from a high branch and land in front of my feet. Suddenly, it would then fly to a branch on another tree and repeating this for nearly an hour. The Gray Jay allowed me to take photographs before taking flight. It was great fun and I felt like a child again exploring the forest and its critters.
It was a pleasure to walk in nature again since COVID 19 began and especially connecting with diverse wildlife. This path led around a picturesque lake. The quiet paths offered solitude with just the rhythmic sound of my shoes on the ground.
Last year when I stayed at a different cabin for my birthday, countless mosquitoes took turns biting my arms. Thank goodness I brought Witch hazel that made all the difference. This year, only one gigantic mosquito attempted to take a bite.
The cabin, which is about 20 minutes up the mountain from where I currently live, offers the opportunity to visit the area whenever I can. The owners graciously offered me a voucher for two free days to stay at the cabin, which I hope to do when the first snows arrive or in spring as the snow melts.
I, of course, brought my professional camera with my telephoto lens for wildlife and my smaller wide-angle lens for nature and landscape photographs. I have included in this post some of the pictures.
This adorable Golden-mantled Squirrel munched on the leaf as we connected and I nibbled on a snack I brought. Sharing a meal with a squirrel eye-to-eye is an endearing experience.
Although it was getting dark, I took this photograph of a Mule Deer being the lookout for the other deer family. Shortly after taking this photograph it quickly ran away from whatever it was looking at. The owners told me a Black Bear was behind my cabin before I arrived.
This Colorado Chipmunk was preoccupied eating while standing on a large rock at a nearby lake. I’m not certain what was in its mouth but the way it was enjoying the meal it reminded me of cotton candy.
I am looking to relocate to an affordable area somewhere next year with an even more accessible nature and wildlife that I can enjoy during the day while I continue to write in the evenings.