A Gift to Hold

2013-05-15 Luna Moth 1These are older photos; goodness they date to 2013. But I wanted to share them because they reminded me a special chance-meeting.

In my prior home in Virginia, I noticed this gorgeous Luna Moth on my back porch covered in dew and unable to fly at sunrise. It was a target. Large, vibrant and green laying out in the open on my deck with no cover to hide it. The back yard met  undeveloped wetlands so other animals flying or crawling about was a constant.

Having a soft spot for all creatures great and small, I stepped outside with the thinnest absorption material I could find: a single ply shred of paper napkin. The moth was obviously struggling (to this day I wasn’t sure if it was dying (as their adult lifespans are 1-2 weeks if I recall) or if it was simply too dew-covered to move). It’s rare to see Luna Moths anymore, and I wanted to offer it care whether it was going or coming.

So I spent a few quiet moments there on my back deck before work, ever-so-softly touching the corner edge of the napkin to each dew drop to absorb the water away from its wings. Once I had most of it, I waited and took the photo above. The poor thing continued to struggle. It began curling it’s legs in and shuddering slightly. So I gently lifted it onto a paper towel to let it rest as it dried, knowing it was only a matter of time until a bird or some other animal found it. I carried it on the paper towel out into the woods and carefully tucked it under a leaf on a branch to either give it a chance to start it’s short life safely or for it to pass away in hiding before being found.

But in this moment, what a fragile, fleeting and ethereal little life to have held in my hand in the morning sun.

2013-05-15 Luna Moth 2

Rocky Mountain Getaway – Day 1

This month included the opportunity to take off a few days of work for a 3 day getaway into the Snowmass/Aspen, Colorado areas. En route there, a hiking trip happened near Glenwood Springs to see Hanging Lake.

2017-06-15 Glenwood Canyon 01The mouth of Glenwood Canyon heading towards Hanging Lake. There’s a well-kept rest area with restrooms there. Word of advice: Bring water.

Surprisingly, vibrant pink rose bushes line the sidewalk towards the hiking trail. Despite the lovely flowers here, the consistent small waterfalls and creeks that spill over rocks the entire way up, you are going to hike hard and sweat a lot. So bring that water. And there were Marmots! I had never seen one before. Like little nerf footballs, with fur…and legs!

2017-06-15 Glenwood Canyon 05Parts of the trail up to and down from Hanging Lake were never flat and sometimes quite rocky.

2017-06-15 Glenwood Canyon 06The views become more canyon-like the higher you climb as you near the top and the lake. Most hikers will encourage you on as they descend, assuring you it’s worth it.

2017-06-15 Hanging Lake 01And then you arrive. After the strenuous hike, you’re not sure if you’ve just been transported to a tropical island somewhere. Truly, how can this be at the top of a mountain in the middle of Colorado?

2017-06-15 Hanging Lake 02Carbonate minerals dissolved in the water give the lake it’s coloration. I had to look that up as I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s the limestone or other factors, but I didn’t know what exactly produced that gorgeous water.

2017-06-15 Hanging Lake 03Small trout swim in the shallows against the current coming from the waterfalls and are hypnotic to watch when you’re catching your breath on one of the many wood benches that line the lakeside.