Welcome! Grab a cup of tea, and enjoy browsing some of the photos and stories. As the 'teawife,' it is my duty to watch and listen and be a supportive friend, and a loving mum and wife. I should post more often, but sticking my nose into everyone's business keeps me busy! Kathy the teawife

Friday, September 26, 2014

Trek to Bierstadt Lake

Last week, the McAllister trio went up to Estes Park for a couple of days. We decided to have a saunter in Rocky Mountain National Park, and we picked a walk to Bierstadt Lake.
While it had been my policy that hubby tested every walk for ease and accessibility ahead of time, that hasn't been possible since he's been spending so much time working overseas. Therefore, dear son and I have been the family pioneers, pushing our way around lakes and trails in the RMNP.
Unfortunately, we should have had Niall test the Bierstadt Lake walk first . . .
The elevation at the trailhead/parking lot, where we left our vehicle, was 8840 feet. Okay, so I assumed the trail would be fairly level and gently lead out to the lake, the way that Lily and Sprague Lakes are situated. Oh no . . . it turned out that we had to climb more than 600 steep feet over nearly 1 1/2 miles to get to the lake at the top of the cliff!
Fortunately, I had brought my bottle of water, even if dear son left his water in the car, and hubby only drinks beer!! He was hoping that "Bier" stadt lake would mean that some hoppy brew would be waiting for him on top of the mountain.

Once we finally made it to the top, I was already spent out. There had been some amazing views all the way up, and I won't soon forget the beauty or the aerobic climb!!
We had to decide whether it would be easier to descend the same steep trail or continue to head up a gentler slope to Bear Lake. We opted for the Bear Lake route, which would mean another 400 feet of elevation and additional 2 miles. Yes, we actually hiked up 1000 feet that day. I've never done that before; not sure I'd do it again.
The scenery along the way continued to impress us, and we were rewarded with some gorgeous golden aspens as the trail to began to descend as we neared Bear Lake. We were able to hop on a shuttle bus from Bear Lake back to the trailhead of Bierstadt to collect our vehicle. Three very hungry climbing hikers immediately headed to the local barbecue joint for refueling. What a memorable day!!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Humming and Buzzing

 Summer in the Estes Park, Colorado, can be marked by the arrival and departure of the exquisite hummingbird.  
In the height of the summer, hummingbirds can be heard trilling and whistling on the drive up Hwy. 34 from the lowlands of Loveland to the mountains of Estes Park. 
As the temperature drops 10 to 12 degrees on the trip up the mountain, it's enjoyable to roll down the car windows in order to hear the buzzing of these bright and wondrous creatures.
At our condo in Estes Park, we keep fresh feeders going for these always-hungry visitors. They are rarely shy, and they are happy to pose for photos, with sweet nectar their only pay.
These photos were taken from our balcony, near Marys Lake in Estes Park. Enjoy! 
Hummingbirds fly to the cool mountains to mate and nest. The acrobatics of male hummingbirds is amazing to watch, especially when they perform vertical dives from dizzying heights as a way to impress the females. 
These little birds' summer time in the mountains is fleeting. Many have already left the mountains for the lowlands of Loveland and Fort Collins. And soon, their long flight southwards will begin, and summer will sweep away as the leaves color and fall from the trees. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Weather contrasts


Yesterday, July 15th, saw a cold front blow through the middle of the country, including pushing down from Wyoming to Colorado.

We had gone to the mall around noon and decided to watch a movie, knowing that afternoon storms were predicted. When we got out of the MetroLux, the threatening black skies were rolling in from the north, and we got in the Pathfinder and high-tailed it home, watching the black clouds chase us the whole way. Once the vehicle was tucked away in the garage, the winds picked up to at least 60 mph, and the old hundred-year-old cottonwood in our back yard was bending like a young sapling. Scary. Ten minutes later, the skies opened up and torrential rain and pebble-sized hail came down for about 20 minutes. Crazy!

New day, and it was cloudy and stormy-looking during the afternoon. Before sunset, the rain and winds whipped up again, but so far, no hail. However, we did get this magnificent large rainbow emanating from Lake Buckingham and arcing into the skies. Gorgeous.

The cooler weather from this system that blew in will last a few days. Then we have the joy of shooting up to 100 early next week. Boo.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Pineapple Express




Today's snow in Loveland was of the more unfriendly variety. Usually, we have powdery stuff that's easy to plow and move. This time, we had chinook winds blow through a couple of days ago and the warm winds melted the previous snow, causing the ground to warm and water to be left on the pavements and roads.

As we went back down into the 20s and teens last night, all that moisture froze, and then wet snow layered on top of it. Not great for drivers heading to work or school. This Pineapple Express came from the Pacific and was laden with moisture. As it crosses over the Rockies, it's expected to drop 2 to 4 feet of snow in the mountains (great for skiers; and also 'good' for avalanche potential! Yikes). We won't be getting that much -- 5 to 6 inches this morning and maybe a bit more this evening.



I usually head out to shovel first thing in the morning, but after I saw the ice at the bottom of the snow and felt the heaviness of the snow, I came back inside, brewed a cup of tea, put my feet up, and sent a text to my trusty landscaper to come with his snow plow!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lovely Loveland in the snow


This morning, I awoke to lots of chirping birds and a white hazy sky, which meant the snow had arrived. The birds were sheltering and nibbling on food from the hanging feeders on our balcony. 

We are expecting snow all day. The house finches, juncos, flickers and chickadees were making themselves right at home under our covered balcony. 

This is my first time to be in our Loveland home through January, so I've been interested in what the weather would bring. I think the snow totals vary quite a bit from year to year. 

Today, it's been lovely to watch the snow as it comes down throughout the day. So many of the snow events seem to happen overnight, and I miss all the action! More photos are located on my Teawife Facebook site.