I have not yet seen a prairie dog.

I did see some wild turkeys this morning, plus a cute bunny, and a great many birds. I guess turkeys count as birds, too, but yesterday I drove by an enormous flock of blackbirds, at least some of them red wing blackbirds, and that experience was very different from spotting some wandering turkeys. Very, very cool, however. I wish I could have taken pictures or, better yet, videos. Seeing hundreds of blackbirds all lift off the ground in unison, some of them flashing their red wing tips, then come back to land is pretty spectacular.

Yesterday was not my favorite day ever, though. I left Trinidad Lake and drove to Colorado Springs, where I did laundry, and then I just drove and drove and drove. Ever since the Grand Canyon, I’ve felt super wary about exercising too much at altitude. I had a lovely one mile hike at Trinidad Lake — seriously beautiful and it felt great to be outside and doing — but then my stomach started getting unsure of itself again. Grr… Since I’m headed east anyway, I decided that rather than spending a few more days at altitude, I would just find myself some lower ground. But I really did not enjoy my long driving day with an uneasy stomach.

Fortunately, I like Prairie Dog State Park quite a lot. It’s close to empty and beautifully peaceful. The day is gray and rainy, but reasonably warm, in the 60s, so I am making lamb stew in my instant pot, watching the lake, and considering cups of tea. It’s that kind of day, that kind of place. Cozy and peaceful. Pretty, with trees and plains and fields, but not in a dramatic way at all. Even the trees are very gently changing color — the leaves are yellowing, but not dramatically.

view from the van window with Zelda curled up underneath

Lake view on a gray day, with a dog quite happy to curl up and nap.

My big ambition for the day, now that I have written a blog post and made stew, is to get through my current chapter of Grace.

Favorite line of the day (so far): Grace set the pen down and gave him a Look. Her brothers and sister would have winced and apologized immediately, but her father didn’t even have the decency to look abashed.

Votes on keeping the capital L in Look? Editor-me hates it, but writer-me thinks it is essential as is.