Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Fire Burns and Life Goes On

Life has just been crazy at the Garden Spot. We have spent most of the week hanging on waiting for updates on the High Park Fire still burning west of Ft. Collins. Having started in Rist Canyon, it is now headed for the Poudre River, moving north and west putting more and more homes in dangers. The good news, Jenn's family's homes survived the fires. Barely. The flames came very close, but the houses and out-buildings are standing. The news is not so good for some of our other friends and we really don't know yet just how many people we know who have lost their homes. We hear really sad stories: the couple who closed on a home last week. Burned. The HP worker who was laid off last week from his job and his house burned this week. 46,000+ acres have burned in the five days; the fire is only10% contained. We still have smoke and haze depending on the direction the wind carries them. 

So while so many are waiting to see if they still have homes, I just wasn't in the mood to blog about a more normal life at the Garden Spot last week, though we did have a busy week. Our grandson Jacob came for the week, we had a nasty summer storm, the hay got bailed and stored inside before the rain came, and I started a sewing project that I may share when I am confident that it is good enough to share with the world (a baby bonnet). Jacob had a busy week. We went on a picnic, he went to coffee and the archery shop with grandpa, swimming and putt-putt with his new friend, he went camping over the week end with grandpa, Monday we saw Madagastar 3 (cute movie), he whipped me at both Monoploy and Life. We finally took him home last night. He went home certified to do his own laundry, load the dishwasher, and bake a mean batch of oatmeal cookies using a recipe in his cub scout handbook. It was a great week.

Monday: picnic in the mountains--before the fire. We visited a nice park up Big Thompson Canyon.

He studies the various butterflies and moths that live in the park.

My friend and her granddaughter joined us. Jacob made a new friend.
One of the beautiful mountain butterflies that floated around the picnic area.

Tuesday: The girls had their ballet recital.

Thursday: We watched the hay getting bailed. We are always really nervous when we have the hay down that it might get rained on, which will ruin it.
But the good news: the hay got bailed and stacked in the barn before the storm.

Thursday night: A summer storm full of sound and fury and hail. Nasty hail. We had minimal damage here, but others parts of the area had serious damage. The siren went off, sending us to the basement to wait out the tornado warning. 
The hail shredded the water lilies.
It perforated the rhubarb.

It pounded the roses.
And it beat up the poor little struggling hydrangea.

On a more cheerful note, we never know what we will find out the backdoor. I was wanting to capture the gold finch at the feeder, but got a bonus shot with the cotton tail enjoying his breakfast.

  The spring flowers are pretty much done blooming, making way for the summer color to come on.  The rudebeckia has reseeded and while the flowers are not as huge as the original plant, they are plentiful and will add brilliant color to the center garden.

Near by, the kniphofia are putting on a show. I have 3 huge clumps that I moved from the old house. This is their third year and I am thinking

that I will have divide them when they are done
blooming.  Their common name Red Hot Poker  describes how hot they really are. They put on a grand show, but regretfully they don't last long.

One of my most favorite flowers, digitalis, is doing so well. A bit battered from the hail, this fox glove is the only one I have growing, but I think I should go buy some more since this one is doing so well. I have to admire this little plant because she is doing such a fine job in what I consider harsh conditions for this little English princess that would probably much rather be in her homeland.

She has a near by friend new to the garden, a Jerusalem artichoke, as my daughter calls it. She gave me two last fall and they seem well adapted to the Garden Spot. This one is nearly done blooming. I don't think that it is a particularly pretty flower, but it certainly is unusual and adds nice contrast to Red Hot Poker.

And so the sun sets on another good day at the Garden Spot, a bit more colorful as the sunlight filters through the smoke. 

I do appreciate all of the concern and kind thoughts that you have left. While the Garden Spot stays safe, we can't help but worry about those who are losing their homes. I can't imagine. The images on television show how widespread the fire is, how far it stretches, the billows of smoke. 
Mother  Nature at her worst.  With the weekend approaching, I wish you a good one.


  1. Morning Ann, pleased to hear your daughters house is ok. Your flowers look lovely I have a few foxgloves in the garden the same colour.

    That is lovely that your grandson made a friend and had such a great time with him and his grandparents. They can learn so much from the older generations.

    We have had so much rain her recently, yesterday was a lovely sunny day but more rain is due almost until the end of June.

    Have a good weekend, love Jackie in Surrey, UK.

  2. Hi Ann, so glad you and your daughter are both o.k. It is awful to hear that so many have lost their homes and I hope the fire can be contained soon. Glad you got your hay undercover, too. Your grandchildren are so cute. Thanks for sharing your flowers as well as the children!

  3. Wow, what great photos to follow your commentary. My mom mentioned the Colorado fires - they are so scary. I remember in 2002 the ash came down like snow. Crazy.

    I've been seeing a few wild foxgloves wild in the forest - same size as the large garden variety. I wish you could see them - you'd love it :) I think of you next time I see one. XOL

  4. Between the fire and the hail, Mother Nature is really throwing you guys a curve ball lately. But the garden carries on, doesn't it? I thought your Jerusalem Artichoke was a yellow bee balm, and obviously they do belong to the same plant family because they look just alike.