I received the cover art for book two in my Rock Shop Mystery series, Stone Cold Case. My novels will be quite eye-catching sitting side-by-side!
In Stone Cold Case, Morgan Iverson’s discovery of human remains guarded by a Sasquatch look-alike reopens a cold case, while her find of a rare gemstone sparks a dangerous treasure hunt.
As I write this blog, it is snowing. Looks like 4 to 6 inches deep, and still falling. I can't complain. The past two Saturdays have been like summer - temperatures in the 60s, with plenty of sun. Recently I took the grandkids to a local park and nature center.
The trail was muddy in places, and a sheet of ice anywhere shaded by the pine trees and bare scrub oak. Tricky hiking, but nobody fell.
I love witnessing the observations of the natural world made by children. The youngest just turned five. She was excited to show me the eyelash grass. The photo shows blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis).
According to Johnston Seed Company, "Blue Grama reproduces only by seed, and as the seed heads mature, they usually bend into a curve that resembles a human eyelash."
As we hiked along the creek, I showed the five-year-old how tossing in a pebble made interesting rippling circles that radiated out from where the pebble hit the water. Then I could not get her to stop. Her sisters joined in. What is it about throwing rocks in water that so fascinates kids? I had to drag them away before they threw every pebble in the Rocky Mountains into Bear Creek.
I snapped photos, but I also tried to capture a memory. As I get older, I am studiously attempting to live more in the moment. Winter takes up quite a bit of the year in Colorado. I want to appreciate the season. Yet I did catch myself pining for spring, when the oaks would leaf out, and the landscape would contain more splashes of green than just pine trees and cedars.
The older two grandchildren love the nature center. They went methodically to every station, assembling educational puzzles and playing games. The five-year-old disappeared, scaring us for a moment. We quickly found her behind the bee display, watching bees fly through a clear plastic tube to their indoor hive.
I realized the best thing about the nature center in winter was that we did not have to share it with many people. Developing a love for the cold, barren season has the benefit of a selfish solitude.
If you have a hiking trail, walking path, nature center, or botanical garden in your area, have you made a winter visit lately?
I walk on my lunch break, when my schedule and the weather permit. On a recent walk, I encountered dozens of Canada Geese. I had watched Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie The Birds the previous night. I was concerned about walking past the rather surly flock. Happily, I survived. I had seen the V-formations of geese flying south for several weeks. Curiosity about the large birds led to a little research.
1) Canada Geese live year-round in Colorado, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife. While many geese migrate, such as the flock I encountered, quite a few Canada Geese reside permanently in our state.
2) The correct name is Canada Geese, not Canadian, according to National Geographic.
3) The next time I walked, the geese were gone. They left behind large piles of droppings. According to the aforementioned National Geographic article, "Just 50 geese can produce two and a half tons of excrement in a year."
4) Both sources stated that the geese had been endangered at one point in history, but that the Canada Goose was a wildlife protection program success story. So much so that they can present a nuisance in urban areas and airports, and can damage crops.
5) On an excursion with the grandkids to a local nature center this weekend, I learned that my teenage granddaughter's arms from fingertip to fingertip are the same breadth as that of the wing span of the Canada Goose.
I overheard my husband mention to a friend on the phone that nothing much was new with us. "We've just got our noses to the grindstone."
We all understand the meaning of this idiom, but I decided to look it up. What I found was a controversy over whether the stone in question was used by millers or knife grinders. Here's the link, which includes a photo of a grindstone:
In hopes of breaking up the monotony of winter weather, here are bird photos from a trip back in September. I didn't get to spend much time with my husband on his business trip to Florida, but I did work on my fiction, and go for walks. This post shows Florida birds I encountered on the well-groomed walking paths.
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