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I continue to catch up on images from last month. These are from two walks to Aspen Lake three days apart. Not much changes except the approach to the lake.

Mid-October and the days were getting shorter. We managed to get in two short hikes to two beautiful lakes – Cutthroat and Blue. Next year I think we ought to add Ann and Rainy Lakes and have a four-lake day. I think this may have been the sixth or seventh time I went to Blue Lake in 2017. And I went to Cutthroat a few times in the last few months. Such pretty places and so close to home. I feel lucky.

Yellow is the dominant color. Soon it will be white.

Honestly, this is my favorite hike. I’m pretty sure. We did it with Molly and Mary in August and you can see it here. It was very different in mid-October with another Mary, and Marcy and Gus and Guthrie too.

Near the end of the hike, I lingered in the sunshine, not ready to let this moment go. I was rewarded by a tiny pika¬†perched within ten feet of me. No doubt, this little guy was relishing the moment in the sunshine too. Pikas, the smallest members of the rabbit family, live in the harsh environment of talus (rock) slopes and they do not hibernate. During the warm months, they gather greens and make ‘hay’ piles, letting them dry before storing them in a dry place under the rocks, to consume during the LONG winter months.

Our next venture out and about was to Cutthroat Lake. It’s a short hike to a beautiful place and I especially like it in the fall. It was a real test to see if Sky was actually healed. I really wanted to take it slowly with her for fear that she would start limping again. Not only did we give up our walks and hikes, we also gave up agility and retrieving. As you can imagine, this was a real hardship on the dog. Fortunately, she has not had any setbacks!

The larch trees were magnificent.

Face it. Many people in the west have had to battle smoke and wildfire for weeks. Even months. Those things stole our summer from us. Now, it’s cool in the mornings and you might need a sweater in the evening. Colors are changing. Not so much with freezing temperatures but endless weeks without any moisture. I don’t expect a big fall colors show like last year. So even though the calendar doesn’t agree, I think summer is over.

Luna and I got out of the car at the trailhead this morning and I was reminded that my brain is still in summer mode. Fortunately, in my car, I had a light jacket and some gloves to get me started up the trail. It did warm up after we got to the lake and the changing colors are beautiful.

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