Colorado – especially  in the Spring and Summer calls me sometimes. Softly, but clearly. I attended high school in Denver, then College in Boulder. I experienced all of those special years under the protection of a beautiful time and place. I saw John Denver perform under the stars at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on four consecutive summers. My folks always made time to take the family skiing most wintery weekends, and I have many fond memories of summer backpacking and fishing adventures high in the Rockies. Although my Dad ‘retired’ from his 20-year Army career as a Urologist about the time I finished high school, he and Mum left their much loved Colorado so that Dad could take up a civilian appointment at the at the University of Kansas, where he combined a continuing brilliant surgical career with a much-lauded teaching professorship that would last forty additional years. Dad touched countless lives as teacher and life-saver, and although his time in Colorado was relatively brief, he continues to a harbour a great love for the music and teachings of John Denver (and the Eagles).


Didn’t make it to the John Denver memorial in Aspen, but carried the music in my head throughout my time in the Rockies while searching for target birds.


Murray enjoying a big Colorado welcome. What with the influx of international undesirables, we can’t just let ANYONE visit the Rocky Mountain State these days.


Bear Lake, where Murray and I enjoyed an ultimately fruitless search for the elusive Dusky Grouse.


A not so healthy Norther Saw-whet Owl on trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. I moved it off the trail, marked the spot, and informed a ranger.


Perfect habitat for MacGillivray’s Warbler.


MacGillivray’s Warbler. Nice!


Red-naped Sapsucker taking a break from sapsucking.


Whew! Much sought for American Three-toed Woodpecker.


Up close and personal with a House Wren.



Pawnee Grasslands – accessible as always by standard rentals.


Western Meadowlark – undisputed rock star of the prairies.


Colorado State Bird: Lark Bunting – king of the Pawnee Grasslands.


Unexpected delight – Mountain Plovers – apparently on breeding grounds.


Target bird: McCown’s Longspur


Umm, no thanks, I’ve already eaten.