Bright berries, blue skies, and a riot of blooming Penstemon – these are the essence of summer at Stillwater.

We’ve had some lovely lazy days this year, along with lots of rewarding but exhausting days caring for the landscape. I plant and water and weed, while Scrape takes on the serious work off clearing the forest of wildfire fuel left over from the beetle-kill. Meanwhile, birds are si

Cold days are coming, but nature persists, finding sheltered nooks for new life.

nging, bees are buzzing, and hummingbirds zip past our faces like tiny nectar-seeking missiles.

 

The water in Box Elder Creek is high, and I’ve seen more frogs, fish and salamanders this year than ever before. Our little canyon is so alive, and so very much loved. Every day is different, and every day a joy.

But at 7500 feet, summer’s warmth passes quickly. Soon we’ll taste the nip of autumn as aspen leaves gild in the sunshine and the tall grass, too, turns to gold. The warm season is waning, but I’ve preserved it in a selection of photos to celebrate the summer of 2016.

The festive pinwheel of a Black-Eyed Susan celebrates by the stream.

The festive pinwheel of a Black-Eyed Susan celebrates by the stream.

Chloe enjoys her favorite sport: swimming in the Still Water. When she reaches deep water and goes buoyant, an expression of sheer wonder and delight lights her eyes.

Chloe enjoys her favorite sport: swimming in the Still Water. When she reaches deep water and goes buoyant, an expression of sheer wonder and delight lights her eyes.

 

A coneflower blooms against the cliff face near Box Elder Creek.

A Rudbeckia blossom blooms against the cliff face near Box Elder Creek.

Showy Daisies by the stream.

Showy Daisies in the shadows by the stream.

The bridge from the Still Water to the Meadow leads from one green glowing landscape to another.

The bridge from the Still Water to the Meadow leads from one green glowing landscape to another.

Chloe is ready for action - any action!

Chloe is ready for action – any action, any time!

Big, billowy clouds in a deep blue sky presage a coming storm.

Big, billowy clouds in a deep blue sky presage a coming storm.

A weathered old tree, victim of our high winds and sudden storms.

A weathered old tree, victim of our high winds and sudden storms.

The spires of wild Lupine grace the tallgrass Meadow.

The spires of wild Lupine grace the tallgrass Meadow.

The Ogre guards the passage from the Still Water to the Wild Side.

The Ogre guards the passage from the Still Water to the Wild Side.

A grand old Ponderosa casts its shadow on the cliff at the Second Still Water.

A grand old Ponderosa casts its shadow on the cliff at the Second Still Water.

 

Cold days are coming, but nature persists, finding sheltered nooks for new life.

Cold days are coming, but nature persists, finding sheltered nooks for new life.

Wax currants need little to thrive; fat, succulent berries dangle from bushes that rise from sheer rock.

Wax currants need little to thrive; fat, succulent berries dangle from bushes that rise from sheer rock.