Friday, July 20, 2007


I dragged the family off for a day of adventure yesterday. It also happened to coincide with one of my current obsessions and got us out of the house for many hours.

We went to the Starsmore Discovery Center in Colorado Springs after I'd read this article in Front Range Living.

Being a sucker, I used MapQuest for the directions. No problem! I thought. I've got the whole address and everything. So I printed it out the night before and then we followed them properly all the way down from Chez Hatchet only to discover that we were horribly misplaced (Not lost mind you, we still knew we were in Colorado!) and had found our way into a swanky section of CO Springs after having driven through the icky section, which looked rather like Colfax in Denver. Very run down commercial area. Bleah!

Eric thought I was lame and broke out his Secondary Brain Unit (Sprint PPC6700) and got new directions for us. I felt embarrassed, but how was I supposed to know we would wind up in suburbia? We were in the Springs and that part made sense! So then after he punched in new data, we determined we were only a couple of miles away (Whew!) and took off again.

Only to find ourselves outside a local elementary school.


Hah ha! Almost never has vindication felt as sweet! It wasn't me, it was MapQuest! Or, actually, Eric had switched to GoogleMaps, so it was Starsmore! The elusive mystery of hummingbirds had apparently also made the site difficult to find as well. Eric tried again, using the actual name of the park this time (North Cheyenne Cañon Park) and then we drove the next two miles and finally made it. I knew we were in the right place as soon as I heard the high pitched buzzing.

Hummingbirds everywhere! There were flowers and feeders all over the place and bunches of males desperately working to keep other males from getting to "their" feeder. We were dive bombed several times as one male chased another between/over/around us. Taking pictures was nearly impossible until they landed, since you couldn't count on getting a feeder shot unless it was the "rightful owner" of that particular feeder. Wanna see?

Of course you do!
Male black-chinned.

Male broad-tailed (although you can't tell since the sun didn't hit his gorget right for this shot).
Male rufous. Here's an actual image. All of the shots are seriously cropped and these are taken with my 70-200mm. I don't have a "birding" telephoto lens. Yet.
Same shot, zoomed in.
Very pretty throat. Boys are such show offs!

Oh, I spent a little time talking to the lady at the Center and asked her wher my hummers were. She said others were running into the same problem and that the Center blamed it on the wet spring we had. Wet spring = more wildflowers in the wild = less birds looking for suburban feeders. OH! Well, that explains that then. Now, however, that it's hot and dry and the wildflower seasons is coming to a close, this is when we start to see hummingbirds in our backyards. OK then. I won't take it so personally next year, then.

But they'd better show up!

After we were done (You really can't spend hours staring at tiny birds whipping about you like mad fighter pilots.), we headed on home and stopped off at Castlerock for a little outlet shopping for maternity clothes. Ahh!

And some really awful mall food. Apparently the food is "seconds" as well.

Later that night, I felt a burning need to go to the grocery store. Since it was Caitlin's bedtime, I went alone.

Never let a pregnant woman go grocery shopping by herself!

I returned with organic toaster pastries (Oh, come on, you know I mean organic Pop-Tarts!), 3 kinds of premium ice cream (Strawberries & Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Espresso), organic raspberry yogurt (Why can't they make large containers of this?), organic plums (Conventional taste like crap. I'm not wasting money on them anymore. They taste watery and often unripe/bitter. Phooey!), a few bagels, pasteurized garlic cheese spread, crackers, a small thing of milk to tide me over until our yummy milk is delivered and a bottle of this caffeinated protein drink I've taken a liking to (I've found I hate the taste of soymilk.).

So much for trying to rein in my sweet tooth. I'll be lucky if the twins don't come out immediately hopped up on sugared cereal. Le Sigh!


Ali said...

Oh yeah, bring on the food talk! (And I'm comforted by the fact that you're still drinking caffeine. Me too, lady.)

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I try to limit the whey protein caffeine thingy to once a day, but it's mighty tasty. Besides, it has protein in it! It's good for me!



Anyway, actual studies have shown that it takes a SERIOUS amount of caffeine to actually have the bad effects that everyone is referring to. No one ever actually explains this to you, but it's true. 8-16 oz per day, no big deal. Once you start getting into the 6-8+ cups a day, then you're in trouble: calcium absorption issues.

However, whenever I feel most pummeled by my twinnage, I ask Eric to take us down to the tea house and get a steaming cup of real chai. Yum! Starbucks? Eww! Over sugared and not actually strong enough. Best chai around these parts is at the Royal Peacock in Boulder, but that's a bit of a drive. Oh well!

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