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getting out

July 30, 2012

It’s getting harder to leave the house these days, what with all the drying apricots to shuffle into the shifting sun every few hours; the tarp management to protect the the drying concrete in the root cellar from rain {rain!}; the passel of cucumbers I bought at the farmers market wanting to become pickles; the three unfinished stories all due Wednesday (egads!).

But it’s also hard to stay home when up in the mountains the switch has been flipped to late summer. It grounds me in the season, somehow, to spend a day in the mountains, just noting the current state of things.

This is what we call “the family spring”

Filling the 5-gallon container with wild water. We dropped off the final remains of Sunflower the Chicken down the hill opposite family spring.

Aspen bolete.

Do you see the 2 baby grouse under the thimbleberry?

Rose went from “ho hum mountains schmountains” to literally shrieking with happiness over wild raspberries.

Police car moth on orange sneezeweed.


Twisted stalk berries – edible and so sweet

Naturally, there was a little bow shooting.

The kids found the fort they built last fall, still in tact!

The kids were not originally enthusiastic about taking a trip to the mountains. They wanted a friend to come along, they complained about sitting in the car, about having nothing to do. We talked about the compromise of families, about having a positive attitude, and trusting in the mysteries of nature. Then we turned them loose to find their own way: to spot grouse and bear tracks; to pick raspberries, thimbleberries and our first bolete mushroom of the season; to catch moths and study fireweed flowers; to shoot bows and find beautiful rocks and breathe in the quiet magic of the mountains.

Do you ever tote your kids somewhere they think they aren’t going to enjoy, and they end up having a great time?

Happy Monday!

*Also, things you may want to know:

1) The Jewish word for chicken fat is called schmaltz (yellow chicken fat!). Man, that makes me happy. Dan keeps telling any whining kid, “put some schmaltz on it.”

2) Broccoli leaves are fabulous sauteed.

3) I got a new camera!

4) Col now has a pet roly poly and a pet moth living in his room. Last night he asked to sleep on the couch so he wouldn’t disturb the moth, being nocturnal and all.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathy permalink
    July 30, 2012 10:17 am

    Breathe in the quiet of the mountains…I so need that! it’s like not being able to breathe, being just on the other side of the window, that place so lovely, yet only in the memory… at the top of the cliff-sided mountain, looking down on the valley, scattered wild rose bushes, ponderosas looking down at US from their heights, meadows of green so vivid it hurts the eyes, the sweet tang of the junipers in the breeze, skitterings of small things and the trill from the passing hummingbird… I wish I was there… brings tears to my eyes.

  2. ike permalink
    July 30, 2012 10:31 am

    Wow, wonderful capturing of the mountains in summer through visuals and words.
    A few weeks ago we left NYC after spending the morning in Brooklyn, flew to Denver, drove to Fairplay, CO all in same day. As we drove away from Denver we took in the beauty of the mountains and felt we could breath again and our bodies could relax.

  3. Naima permalink
    July 30, 2012 11:57 am

    Rachel, thanks to you and your family for being in my life. Your words and the example that is your life inspire and move me always.

  4. July 30, 2012 6:59 pm

    I frequently drag my child against her will to places all the time. And yes, she does quite enjoy herself and hates to admit it.

    Happy new camera.

  5. July 31, 2012 12:19 am

    I feel like I drag my kids every where these days. They always hate to leave, so they must be enjoying themselves somewhere along the way.

    Congratulations on the new camera…what kind did you invest in?

  6. Melissa permalink
    August 1, 2012 7:09 am

    No matter how many photos I see of you all in those mountains, I’m struck by how flippin’ beautiful they are every time. So glad you got a new camera to capture all that beauty – your family and the mountains both! Enjoy the late summer, and good luck with those pesky deadlines!

  7. August 1, 2012 8:39 am

    there is nothing like wild raspberries! what a great trip for you and your family.

    also, that col would have bugs as pets: amazing.

  8. August 2, 2012 6:37 am

    I am crossing every appendage that my own 13 yr old will enjoy this weekend camping trip more than he is planning. He is not…. outdoorsy. But we love camping and he used to have a great time… So we are hoping he comes back to at least LIKING it. Otherwise, it’ll be a looooong 4 days for all of us…

    Love that the fort remained!

    • August 2, 2012 7:43 am


      I know about those 13 year olds who loose interest. I have one. Now, she’s in college and returning to her roots in some cases. Take heart.

  9. Amy McGregor permalink
    August 2, 2012 11:21 am

    I KNEW there was something different about these photos! My mom came to visit (for my wedding… you know, the one Natalie blogged about!) and we bought her a new camera for her birthday. She graduated from 3.2 megapixels to 16 megapixels and finally entered this decade. So, THAT was a big deal.

    I more remember the times where I dragged my kids up a mountain THINKING they were going to get over their bad attitude and it totally backfired on me. I’m sure it’s happened in the reverse but for some reason those memories are evading me. Probably because I need coffee.

    Happy new camera and mountain time!

  10. Chris B-E permalink
    August 2, 2012 2:10 pm

    It’s so reassuring to hear Col & Rose grumble about going up into the mountains (then love it)! That’s been our experience with our 4 boys, too – totally down on us when I announce we’re going out to the woods/park/creek/river for the day…followed by giddy, running glee within 5 minutes of getting out of the car at our destination, even when said destination turns out to be hotter, wetter or colder than anticipated. Too many of our friends never realize that if you can grin and bear it through the grumbling, there’s this huge payoff on the other end! And it’s holding true so far even with our oldest, who just turned 12 and can really stick it to you with the complaining.

    Thanks for the photos, police car moth totally made my day!

  11. August 3, 2012 1:03 am

    Yes, even my nature-loving kids don’t always want to go where I drag them into nature. We’ve learned some coping skills for the long drives, and they are getting better at everything, but I tell you, there have been days… it is all worth it in the end.

  12. August 5, 2012 7:07 pm

    I especially love the photos of the wildflowers. The first and only time I visited Colorado was years and years ago — July 1999, I think — and the wildflowers there just enchanted me. Their loveliness was so unexpected to me, who had been looking forward simply to being impressed by the grandeur of the mountains. Turned out that the mountains weren’t all that grand, either; they were … something else. Something grander than just grand.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      August 8, 2012 12:36 pm

      I know what you mean. There are the grand mountains, and then the somehow, even grander wildflowers!

  13. Anonymous permalink
    August 7, 2012 1:43 pm

    I think it is of childhood to crave sameness, to be the change you wish to see in the world rather than have change imposed by one’s parents. Based on my sample size of one, or two if you count me. Lucinda told me yesterday, as we scrambled the rocky path toward the Riverview Elementary playground, that I chose this steep hill, not her. Then she was thrilled to be in the huge sandbox with its leftbehind buckets and bulldozers, making cakes and dancing slide steps until I minded the thunder and turned us toward home. Too bad we didn’t stay home and do an Angelina Ballerina puzzle in her bedroom.

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