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A walk around Thunderbird Lake reveals many small wonders. (Glenn Cushman, courtesy photo)
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On March 9, we moved from our home surrounded by Open Space fields where meadowlarks and coyotes sing into an apartment at Frasier Meadows.

Christmas in March? Some mahonia leaves turn brilliant red in winter, but soon the yellow blossoms will open. Also called holly grape, it’s one of our first wildflowers to bloom. (Glenn Cushman, courtesy photo)

A week later Frasier went on lock-down. Although we cannot even socialize with friends living here, we can still walk around Thunderbird Lake in Burke Park. Until things more or less return to normal, we decided to switch our monthly column from walk descriptions to discovering “Small Wonders.”

To stave off despair after 9/11, Barbara Kinsolver wrote a book called Small Wonders. In the face of the looming pandemic, here are some wonders — large and small — observed around Frasier in the week following lock-down.

  • Two bald eagles circled above Thunderbird Lake, and a red-winged blackbird gave its “kongkareeeee” spring song.
  • A pale spider, possibly imported from our former home, scuttled across the carpet, almost a perfect match in color.
  • On March 18 before dawn Jupiter perched a mere two to three degrees above the crescent moon. Venus — now high in the western sky in the evening — will break the 6-foot rule and cozy up to within ¼ degree of the brightest star in the Pleiades constellation on April 3.
  • Amidst the rubble of construction at Frasier, daffodils bloom. Even more daffodils poke through the snow at Burke Park.
  • During the big snow storm a male house finch with bright red feathers and his brownish mate lit on our balcony railing. More finches sang their sweet spring song from the trees in the park.
  • An American kestrel, wearing dawn on its breast, perched atop the star on the blue spruce outside our window.
  • This anchor statue at Admiral Arleigh A. Burke Park is from a World War II destroyer. It looked like a bird to us and made us laugh. And laughter is another small wonder that will help us get through this. (Glenn Cushman, Courtesy photo)

    Following the storm someone etched the word LOVE in five foot letters in the snow beneath the Frasier windows.

  • Trader Joe’s delivers left-over and still beautiful flowers on Fridays. A new orchid has joined my Phalaenopsis pantheon.
  • Friends from “Outside” delivered two rolls of toilet paper to augment our supply of old t-shirts that can be washed and re-used. Good recycling, n’cest pas?

We encourage everyone to rejoice in their own small wonders.

Ruth Carol and Glenn Cushman are the authors of Boulder Hiking Trails, published by West Margin Press.

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