Anniversary Journey to the Big Empty

Six years ago today I saw the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge for the first time.

Strangely, it wasn’t until this year that it became “my” place. That probably wouldn’t even have happened if it hadn’t been for two things. 1) Off leash dogs at the spots where I usually took my dogs, 2) the virus and the need to walk freely without worrying about human contact.

Once I started taking Bear and then Teddy to the Refuge, no other place had any appeal. The big spaces, the changing mountain views, the weather, the birds, the whole THING. Yeah, it’s just a couple miles on a dirt road but WHAT a couple of miles!!!

This afternoon it suddenly clouded up, the wind started blowing, and I thought, “A-HA no mosquitoes!” I saddled up Teddy and we took off.

“Yay! Martha!”

Dark dark sky over the San Juans as you can see in the featured photo. Big peals of rolling thunder. Amazing changing light over Mt. Blanca. Holy fucking shit. And then, to put the final wonder on this wonder I saw dozens of…

Sandhill Cranes!!!!!

As it happens, Facebook told me yesterday and today that in past years I have seen cranes the first time in “fall” around the first of August.

You can see how dark it was where Teddy and I were walking! The sun shone on Mt. Blanca

The thunder and lightning got a little close and I swear I actually ran.

I’m happy the cranes are back. I’m happy we got to go out in a storm. Walking Teddy is so much easier out there than in town, so that was also great. When I got home, this song came on Mohammed’s Radio. Seriously.





21 thoughts on “Anniversary Journey to the Big Empty

  1. Yay, Martha! Teddy’s eyes reflect his excitement! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Big Empty so much — and the dogs, too! Those are remarkable weather shots — the dark clouds, the light on Mt. Bianca with the darkness in front of it! And I’m glad you had a nice rain storm! I didn’t realize that the cranes came back quite so early — how nice that they’re also showing up now!

  2. I suspect that your spirit has always been connected to this place and it is only an anniversary for your physical presence in the Big Empty!! Teddy has that “spark” of intelligence in his eyes – giving him a “look of eagles” Happy Anniversary!

  3. Sounds like a meant-to-be kind of day. Such beauty without the bugs plus the energy of the storm. The cranes! And then…the song! Happy Refuge Anniversary πŸ™‚

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