Snow in summer

I love red. And black. Except I went with white. I took pictures of these raspberries in the dog days of summer - almost a blur for us as we have swapped weather with Seattle currently. In the upper 90s and almost 100 in Seattle whereas it's in the low 50s and 60s out here with lots and lots of precip.

How I love fall in summer! There might even be some fresh summer snow in the high country.

Snow in summer?
Snow in summer

The second pic is my entry to Bee and Jai's Click: Bi-colour. I prefer the first pic but the white background could be anything. In the second pic, the berries are dusted with powdered sugar. White sugar on a summer berry. Snow in summer. Get it?

I made Jen's raspberry and lychee panna cotta with these raspberries. I didn't have fresh or canned lychees so I used 2 cups of lychee juice, added 3 tbsp sugar and boiled it down to a syrup. Medha loved it. This was the first time I have had panna cotta and the raspberries with the lychee flavor made it more enjoyable for me; otherwise, I don't think I am much of a panna cotta fan. To me, it tasted like a smooth flavored version of the rich cream (saaya) that would float to the top of the milk pot in India - something I meticulously strained out before using the milk, something my husband loves to slather on a slice of toast with a good dose of sugar and chomp into over the kitchen sink. Apparently, it doesn't taste the same if it's eaten at the table. Whatever.

The best crêpes ever!

This weekend has zipped by so fast that it's hard to believe that it's almost the start of yet another work week!

I organized the 2nd Annual Art Expo in our neighborhood. We had fused bead art, paintings, baked goodies, beaded jewelry, friendship bracelets and marbled cards. The kids enjoyed receiving accolades for their handiwork and they literally glowed from renewed self-confidence. Like last year, we had a raffle and the prize was a smaller version of the Wisp scarf that I had knitted earlier this year. Two guinea pigs, a swarm of wasps and a shy bullsnake also put in an appearance and added to the overall excitement.

We rushed to the Louisville Farmers Market soon after the Art Expo because we had heard so much about the new crêpe stand, Crêpes a la Cart. We had always walked around it before as the lines are just too long but by 1 pm or so, it's usually so hot that most folks have eaten and gone home or given up on the long line. We shared a lunch crêpe with mozzarella cheese, asparagus and all the veggies they had left. The vendor called them interactive crêpes and encouraged us to add our touch. We added just one thing! Watch the video to find out what!

Sunday saw us dreaming of a hike in Chautauqua Park. I had underestimated just how popular the area is because everyone and their dogs were there. Parking? Dream on. We headed up Flagstaff Road instead and went on a short stroll. We parked at Realization Point, took the Ute Trail to Sensory Point and back via Rangeview Trail. Just over a mile long, this walk was lined by wildflowers - only two were new to me - and the views of the Front Range on the way back were spectacular. (Photos from this walk are coming soon!) Given that Boulder Falls has been closed since late March due to a tragic accident from falling rocks, this short hike is the next best option for out-of-town visitors, especially at this time of the year. It's short, it's easy and it won't deplete whatever oxygen they have left in their lungs.

How was your weekend?

All sorts of Crack

It only took us four years to finally hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, apparently one of the most visited wilderness areas in the US.

Diamond Lake has been on my list of must-do hikes for a long time. The problem is that you - we - need to get to the trailhead rather early, not just to get a parking spot but also to ensure that you are back before the afternoon thundershow. Diamond Lake is not an easy hike but we've graduated to moderate and slightly strenuous hikes with Medha (and me, but don't tell her) that it should not be a problem anymore. But the rise-and-shine early thing presents several issues on weekends; on weekdays, too. But it's summer and we are allowed these small luxuries of life even though I always feel like we're sleeping our lives away. Yet it seems to be firmly ensconced in my genes and poor Medha has it socked from both sets of genes she inherited.

So Diamond Lake, it was not. Instead we thought we'd do an easy hike to Lake Isabelle (10,870ft), 2 miles one way. Except, we didn't get parking at the Long Lake trailhead - no prizes for guessing why. We had to park near the Niwot Cutoff Trailhead (10,300ft) in the Brainard Recreation Area, making the hike a 3-mile one way trip. Someone was not very happy: "this is like doing BolderBoulder at almost 11,000ft, Mumma!" but she was glad she came along because Lake Isabelle is so worth it! The lake is nestled in a valley, almost at treeline. It's an incredible kind of high.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day to everyone in the US, US citizens all over the world and everyone else who wants to join in the festivities!

Here are some pics from my attempts at capturing the fireworks display in Louisville, Colorado last year. I had no clue what I was doing and fiddled with the settings until I got pictures like these.

Fireworks are dynamic and depending on the kind of fireworks being shot, you may need to change your settings on the fly. I looked it up after the fact and found that it's a good idea to start off with an aperture of f/8, ISO setting of 100 or at most 200, and a shutter speed of about 2 seconds. Or if you have a remote, use the Bulb setting for best results. Reduce the aperture if the explosions or trails appear to be over-exposed. Turn off your auto-focus and set it at infinity as the fireworks are usually far enough for that to work. A tripod is essential.

I'm hoping to get some better shots this year!

All said and done, my most fave shot from last year was one taken with my little P&S:

I'm off to a barbecue where the menu is mojitos. I think there will be lots of food, too. But when there's mojitos, food is just by-the-way!

Hope you have a great celebration!