visiting an old friend

July 19, 2020  •  6 Comments

So many of us are trying to do our best to wear masks and social distance, that friends of the human type are clear in our minds and in photographs, but perhaps not in person.  It is part of, in my mind, what we should be doing as good citizens of the world.   When we drove up the Santa Fe Ski Basin road this week and found the parking lot for the Aspen Vista Trail system packed, we wondered how crowded it would be.  With masks, water, and camera in hand we headed up the trail.  For the three hours we were walking, we saw perhaps a total of ten people, all wearing masks (or putting them on when they approached), and several thanking us for wearing them.  

Hiking that wide (the former road used to build the ski area) and pretty tame "trail" for the first time in over twenty years, was like visiting an old friend and giving and receiving a huge hug.  It was overcast for the first two hours, and the smell.  Oh, that Rocky Mountain smell!  If someone could bottle it, they would be incredibly wealthy.  And every single New Mexican knows how precious water is.  When you see a waterfall - even a diminutive one like this - it is very exciting.



The fireweed was in its amazing fuchsia-colored glory.


A close second was the paintbrush.  I am not certain whether it is foothills paintbrush or Wyoming narrow leaf, but it was also particularly showy.

A new spruce tree is growing up in the middle of the bouquet below.  You might have to squint to see it.


The white in the midst of everything else was either yarrow or a Richardson's geranium, shown here.


And another water shot near the end of the trail as we returned.

Thanks to Sara, Wayne, Carol and Larry, Barbara, Pauli, Christina, Catherine, Debra, and Steve for your comments on last week's blog.  I hope this finds you and everyone well and happy, and able to express yourselves through art - photography and otherwise.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


Sara Woodburn(non-registered)
Thank you so much for this! We missed our summer visit but you have brought the trail to us!
Lawrence Jones(non-registered)
Oh Daryl, how Donna and I wish we could have been hiking right behind you!
Steve Immel(non-registered)
There's nothing like a summer hike in the pine scented forest. It must have been a special treat to visit an old haunt after 20 years. Waterfalls, even small ones, speak of freshness and replenishment in this very dry year. I like the paintbrush juxtaposed with the fallen aspen and especially the angles of the downed trees and the pool of water in the last image.
Catherine Sobredo(non-registered)
Beautiful images Daryl! Wish I could be there!
Love best the one of the baby Spruce in its cradle of flowers. What a nice hike.
I know what you mean about the Rocky Mountain smell. My mother always used to say she loved the smell of Mountain Misery here in the Sierras. She wished she could bottle that, too. Fresh and stringent in the clean air. Glad you have your own memorable mountain scents there, too.

"It creeps up and down the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, grabbing hold of whole hillsides, oozing a pungent sap that sticks to your clothes and skin. (Chamaebatia foliolosa)."
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