Believing The Bird

04-23-2023 Stone Quarry Trail

Out by the Stone Quarry Trail Head this afternoon we park in the little space past the gun club and head off to the dirt road along the power line to the east.

The temps are in the high fifties so our two layers quickly become warm in the sun. We’re glad we brought water.

The ground just off the packed dirt road is very soft. I almost want to get down and play in it. But the views are delightful 360 degrees. We are high enough in elevation on the west side of San Luis Valley to see over to Center’s buildings and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east.

The volcanics of the area make for a variety of land forms including cones, cliffs, mesas, and mountains.

We explore a series of weathered volcanic cliffs with little concave areas, holes of many sizes, and colorful areas of green and rust lichen. It’s great fun to see the dramatic changes in perspective from one side of a feature to another.

At one point we come over the top of a formation and see an old camp fire down below us. Nearby is a full deer skin. We let it be.

A couple of crows play in the thermals above us. We see only one other bird singing for all she’s worth at the top of cliff we’re climbing about. We both try to get close ups of her to recognize her spritely singing and honor her efforts.

I find a deer skeleton, then a coyote skeleton a little farther out. Perhaps a mountain lion claimed them. The bones are bleached white in the desert sun. I think they are beautiful. A third skeleton is scattered, possibly another deer.

Joe gets a phone call from The University of Montana asking him if he’s still working at a place he worked at many years and several jobs ago. He wished they could see what they interrupted.

All the while we hear shots from the gun club. There are about twenty vehicles over there right now at about 2:30pm. Joe says he hasn’t heard such rapid fire since he was in the Air Force.

I tune it out as much as I can. It is kind of easy with so many other things to occupy my attention.

An ATV goes up the dirt road away from us while we are off on the side at a cliff.

I catch a small clump of backlit cactus, a close up of one of the San Juan Mountains, a shot of a large hole near the top of a cliff, a view of the Mount Blanca Complex through a symmetrical rock formation, and more.

Finally the sun has warmed us to the point where we feel a need to get to a cooler place and head back to the car.

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