Magpies at Rocky Mountain National Park

When I entered RMNP on day one the very first area I got to was a large meadow which had a parking area for visitors to view wildlife.  All I saw that morning were birds, but they were magnificent birds.

I took the first few photos myself.  I have seen these birds various places on this trip but these are first pictures I’ve taken of them.




Magpies are mostly black and white, but they also have very nice shades of blue and green on the tops of some of their feathers (these were at a distance so the color is off a bit).

Despite their simple coloration, in flight these are probably the most beautiful birds I have ever seen.  I watched them with binoculars which made the them appear crisp and clear as I watched them fly around the meadow.  I’m not quick enough or talented enough to catch them in flight with my camera so I’ve downloaded some images off the internet:


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If you are ever fortunate enough to see some magpies, take a break and enjoy a few minutes watching them.  You won’t ever forget it.

Century City/Black Hawk, Colorado

I took these photos about a week ago as I traveled from Breckenridge north up a portion of the “Million Dollar Highway” towards Rocky Mountain National Park.

Shortly after getting off Interstate 70 I arrived in Century City (and the little town of Black Hawk, just up the road).  I haven’t researched the history of the towns but I bet (pun intended) it is interesting.  The buildings in the small downtown area are gorgeous.  Some may be in original condition but it looks like most have been restored.  Most of the buildings are now occupied by small, quaint casinos (visited by patrons with Million Dollar dreams).




There seems to be a little settling going on at the Easy Street Casino (note the drooping roofline and tops of the windows):


Other than the Bull Durham casino, which I posted about a week ago, this one was my favorite:


Cheyenne Mountain Complex


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GO AWAY   BlogBoy!!

When I left the house this morning I thought what the heck, I’m only about 4 miles from the entrance to Cheyenne Mountain Complex so why not just drive up there are get a picture of the entrance gate.


There were signs even before I got to the exit off the highway indicating that you’d better be there on Official Business.  Somehow I don’t think my little blog would meet their definition of Official Business.  Like I said, these folks don’t screw around so I thought I’d better not take the chance since I’ve already been reprimanded twice this trip by people carrying guns.

I mentioned this to the guy who gave me the tour of the Peterson Air Force Base museum (see next post) and he said it is good thing I didn’t try.  They do get cranky with silly tourists who can’t seem to understand that no means no.

Peterson Air Force Base


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I spent the first hour or so as I began posting these items tonight in panic mode.  There are lots of photos I took today which I can’t seem to transfer to my computer.  That is always the first thing I do each night, both to save them and to make them easier to review and access.  I can still see them on the phone so I’ll stop by Verizon Wireless today to see if they have any suggestions as to how I can save them.

I can’t access any of the pictures I took this morning.  I spent 2 1/2 hours getting a private tour of the museum at this Air Force Base just east of Colorado Springs.  I’ll save the commentary for when I can actually post the photos.  I’ve already decided that when I extend my trip after September 22, Colorado Springs will be one area I definitely will be coming back to.  I may have to revisit the museum, but it will be worth it.


Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

After I toured the Peterson Air Force Base museum I had planned some other outdoor activities.  The weather looked threatening, however, with rain trying to work it’s way towards town so I decided to do some of the indoor things on my list.

This museum had several different exhibits and I took lots of photos.  I am having a problem getting them offloaded from my phone to my computer but hopefully I can get them recovered.  I can see them on the phone in the Gallery, but they won’t transfer.

Here are two that I can access.  There were many, many etchings by Rembrandt.  Most were quite small (maybe 8 or 10 inches square) but some were larger. ALL of them were incredibly detailed.  And I mean incredibly!

I noticed a guy using a magnifying glass to examine one of the etchings.  I whispered  “That’s a great idea” and he turned around and pointed to a table in the middle of the room.  The museum had lots of magnifying glasses available for people to use.  What a great idea!

It’s no wonder Rembrandt is considered one of the Masters.  I could hardly believe what I was seeing.  The detail simply defies description.  There are so many subtle things, often in the background, which you might miss with the naked eye.  And the etchings are so lifelike.  Facial features, shading, expressions, depth, surroundings.  Just incredible.


This picture is very blurry.  This etching was one of my favorites and I spent quite a bit of time examining it.  I think I am going to buy a book with clearer pictures (or at least borrow one from a library) so I can study them at my leisure.

Here is another, a landscape scene.  A much simpler etching but, again, the details (of both the objects close to the viewer and those in the distance) were amazing.


And keep in mind, Rembrandt made these etchings in the early 1600’s!


American Numismatic Association

Show me the money!

This museum in Colorado Springs is all about money – coins and paper money, foreign and domestic.

Paper money in the United States is quite detailed, in part to prevent counterfeiting, but is basically green.  Paper money in foreign countries remind me of postage stamps.  They are often much more colorful than ours.

The photos you are seeing are all taken through glass cases (they don’t just leave cash lying around…) so they might appear slightly blurred.





What’s wrong with this next picture?  (Hint: there is a mirror behind the bill)



Garden of the Gods

This is a free park on the northwest side of Colorado Springs.  These photos were taken Tuesday evening.  I plan to go back to the park on Wednesday to get more pictures with the sun at a higher angle.

I’ll let these pictures speak for themselves.