Colorado October Autumn Adventures!

Time goes by so fast these days! The seasons are changing and now we are deep into Autumn, and with a hint of winter showing up last week when we had our first measurable snow. Thankfully it was short lived and melted away quickly! Autumn will still be around for awhile according to the forecast. I am not ready for winter yet! I have selected some highlights of my month in photos and videos to share.

October started with a visit to Golden Gate Canyon State Park hiking the Burro Trail, a moderate hike, but for me it was a breathless trek and I could only go so far. My friend continued on to the end, and I stayed behind relaxing on a comfy rock creating en plein air drawings of the autumn beauty. The aspens were beginning to show off their golden beauty mixed in with the evergreens. It became cloudy with a threat of rain so I headed down the trail and met my friend closer to the entrance where we began. I had fun collecting leaves creating photo collages while I waited for my adventurous and fearless friend to meet me. She has hiked a 14 er on Longs Peak, so we were not matched for a day of hiking! It was glorious to be out in nature and continuing to feel as if I really do live in Colorado.

Spent the afternoon with a friend enjoying the beauty of Evergreen, Colorado. We went to a wonderful exhibit at the Evergreen Art Center featuring Water Media paintings. I found a serene Labyrinth near the Church of Transfiguration near a pond surrounded by an evergreen forest. I have wanted to finally make my way to that Labyrinth since I heard it was in a beautiful natural setting. It did not disappoint. I would like to return on a warmer and sunnier day, since it was a bit chilly in the shade. It would be a lovely place for a picnic spending time in the serene location with a beautiful Labyrinth to enjoy, I will return soon. There are so many historic old structures in downtown Evergreen, it was fun to drive though and we stopped at the famous Beau Jo’s Mountain Pizza Pies for lunch.

I took another fun adventure with a few friends going to Boulder for an event that occurs nationally and annually on the third Saturday in October: World Singing Day! It was so wonderful, young and old singing their hearts on the Pearl Street Mall! It was a gorgeous Autumn day, sunny with perfect cool breezes. There were handouts with the lyrics and music blasting as we all sang along, and danced to the beat. I will definitely mark my calendar to repeat this fun event next year.

I continued to explore my neighborhood going to Standley Lake Trail and Two Ponds Wildlife Refuge. See some photos below of my walks in those glorious nature areas. I feel so lucky to have such amazing access to these places so close to home. I had quite the experience at one of my walks in Two Ponds when I came upon a Deer Couple, a doe and a buck. I think we startled each other, and for a moment I got a bit anxious being out there all alone at dusk. I hustled my way back down the trail getting home safe and sound…and not chased by deer! I do love them, they are my spirit animal! I used to see them all the time when I lived in Sedona. I know they are gently creatures, but maybe not when they are startled and possibly in mating season!

Last but not least I continue to visit my favorite Labyrinth and Park in Arvada. The Labyrinth is now covered in crunchy maple leaves, since we had a few windy days and then a mini snow event. I enjoyed walking in the crunchy leaves, love the sound effects, it is one of my favorite things to do in Autumn. I have included a short video below so you can enjoy the fun! I also went to Majestic View Park for my weekly meditation class, and took a few photos this week on a very cold windy day with spectacular majestic views as always!


I hope you enjoyed my October Adventures in Colorado! I will soon be uploading some full size photos of these glorious nature spots that can be purchased as prints, etc. at Fine Art America.

Thanks for coming along on my adventures, hope you enjoyed!

Rocky Mountain High~6 Months in Colorado!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Hello Colorado! Yes, I finally feel like I LIVE in Colorado after my visit to Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. Here in Arvada I have been admiring the view of the Rocky Mountain Front Range everyday and salivating at the chance to get closer into the mountains. Last week on a beautiful autumn day I realized that dream. It was 48 years ago that I fell in love with Colorado, and that long since I was up close and personal with the glorious terrain. I probably took hundreds of photos and it is overwhelming to begin editing my favorites. I found heart rocks covered in multi-colored layers of lichen that thrilled me. We saw a herd of Elk in the throes of their mating season and listened to the bull bugling for his herd to follow him! We went to the timberline, about 13,000 ft. altitude, and I was slightly out of breath, albeit it was about 25 mph wind and freezing cold! Along the road up to the mountains the Aspens were showing off their beautiful autumn colors, mostly yellow, but some orange bits and still some green. We took a short hike in a meadow with the mountains surrounding us and it reminded me of why I fell in love with Colorado! A few wildflowers were left in the meadow and of course I found a few heart shaped stones as souvenirs. As a bonus in Estes Park we found a lovely Labyrinth to walk with amazing views. I am so grateful to live here amongst the magnificent Colorado nature, and for new friends to share these wonderful adventures with. Here are a few photos to enjoy.

Longs Peak 14,259′
Rocky Mountain HIGH
Estes Park Labyrinth ~ MARS PhotoArt
Autumn in the Rockies with friends!

I celebrated living in Colorado for six months on September 4th with a month of fun filled adventures with new friends, enjoying cultural outings, taking art classes, continuing my weekly “meditation in nature” class that I love, listening to live music at a few venues, going to the theater, visiting some galleries, taking in the First Friday Art Walk in Denver along the Sante Fe Arts District, holiday barbecues, nature walks in the neighborhood along the trails near my house, walking the Labyrinth, and the path in Majestic View Park, savoring the breathtaking sunsets over the mountains. I will include more pictures for you to enjoy.

Majestic View Park Sunset
Sunset Labyrinth Walk
Trees framing Longs Peak over Standley Lake
Standley Lake Gem
Standley Lake Sunset

Last but not least, I celebrated my Honda’s 32 year anniversary! I bought it brand new in 1990 in Los Angeles, and it has been with me on all my life journeys ever since! It only has 61,000 miles on it and will outlive me for sure! I went to Standley Lake for a photo op and Mother Nature gifted us with a rainbow in the distance! I also celebrated a 6 month anniversary with my friend Alan who has a similar Honda. We met on March 12th at Majestic View Park, and for a moment as he drove up, I thought my Honda was being stolen until I realized his car was too dirty! He has almost 333,000 miles on his! We have been “car” friends ever since, and he came for visit to take a photo of what I call, “The Meeting of the Honda’s”. Here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy!

Happy 32nd Birthday to my Honda!
The Meeting of the Honda’s!

I am looking forward to October with many more Autumn Colorado Adventures! So until then I hope you enjoyed reading about my September fun filled adventures! 

Happy Autumn & Enjoy!

Colorado Cultural & Creative Fun…

I don’t know where this month of August disappeared to. Thankfully, I have a lot of photo art creations and fun memories to look back on. Much of the month had to do with learning my new cell phone and fun camera editing apps, causing many challenges, but also a lot of serendipity along the way! I’ll post some of my favorite photo art and a serendipitous video of my first rainbow sighting here in Colorado. I enjoyed so many glorious nature outings and of course taking photos along the way! I also enjoyed some fun cultural outings with friends. We went to a one-man comedy production in Lakewood, Colorado at their lovely Cultural Center. It was a laugh riot entitled: “My Mom’s Italian, My Dad is Jewish, and I’m in Therapy! It resonated with me since I happen to be all of those things! Also, with friends we enjoyed some live Americana folk music at La Dolce Vita, a cool coffee house in an eclectic part of Arvada called Olde Town. Just the other evening with one of my newest friends, we went for a walk along the labyrinth and out for dinner back in Olde Town. And last night a belated birthday dinner with my housemate, and girlfriend at my favorite sushi restaurant. My life has been so enriched during these almost 6 months of living in Colorado, making new friends and sharing in such fun cultural and creative activities.

Fun with photo filters!
A view of the Rocky Mountains!
The labyrinth with the Rocky Mountains in the distance! Another fun photo filter photo art creation!
Out for a lovely evening sunset walk in my neighborhood, with the Rocky Mountains in the distance! This was my first attempt creating photo art with my new filters!
Photo Art Creation – August Full Moon – Supermoon

I took more enjoyable walks in the neighborhood savoring the amazing clouds and sun after a few thunderstorms. The month of August has been extremely hot here with thunderstorms almost every afternoon it seemed!

Amazing clouds, sky and sun!
An afternoon of Meditation in Nature at Majestic View Park a few weeks ago.

My new cell phone camera surprised me with this video of a time-lapse rainbow, the first rainbow sighting I’ve had since I’ve arrived here! Apparently it’s just something my phone does if it finds a landscape photo that it can turn into a time lapse with music in the background! Quite serendipitous to say the least!

Serendiptious Rainbow Video!

I’ve also had even more fun with my new camera apps, experimenting with new techniques, and lighting, which I am calling painting with my camera!

I found a beautiful heart cloud in the sky and then I used my filters to create it into an ethereal looking cloud!

And last but not least some other interesting sites and new furry friends I found along my walks in the neighborhood in the month of August!

Soul Rehab ~ Colorado Home

I finally got to take some time to myself for a week in July to enjoy some long overdue Soul Rehab here in my new Colorado Home! It’s been a wild ride the past 1 1/2 years in my life! This blog will be a day by day sharing of my thoughts and photos during this very cathartic journey in my week. It was a delicious and soothing week for my soul. Maybe you might try a similar exercise, it can be very ZEN and healing! Namaste

First steps in Soul Rehab…Day 1… unpack and hang some of my favorite creations in my office! I haven’t seen them in 14 months, they’ve been in dusty old boxes, moved from Sedona, to my brother’s garage in NY, and 4 months ago to my house in Colorado! Hello old friends…the site of you soothes my soul!

Soul Rehab…Day 2…So happy to see more of my old friends hanging on my walls once again! I’ve missed you, it’s beginning to feel like I have a home again! Also… I took a lovely, delicious, peaceful, luxurious bubble bath to add to the soothing of my soul!

Antelope Canyon Photo Art by Mars

Soul Rehab…Day 3…My bedroom sanctuary that soothes my soul with all my favorite art. Some of my creations, and a few of my dear artist friend’s magical paintings.

Soul Rehab…Day 4…Hanging a few more old friends in my office! I so love my large canvas which I named “Serendipity”, painted back in the late ’80s! It really soothes my soul to see it while I’m working at my desk! The rose was painted by a dear artist friend in Portland, Oregon. A very special birthday gift that she painted from one of my beautiful lavender roses called Neptune.

Soul Rehab…Day 5…I spent the day getting back to work in my home office, and was soothed by seeing all my favorite art on my walls! Later, I went out for a lovely Labyrinth walk, so very healing. I took my drawing pad and pencils for a plein air attempt at drawing the mountains! The bonus was an amazing sunset over the Rocky Mountains! So grateful!

Soul Rehab…Day 6…On this Full Buck Moon I cooked one of my favorite meals, Lamb Rib Chops with Mexican Gray Squash. I think it shows in my photo that my soul is very soothed and satiated! Today was my favorite meditation in nature class at Majestic View Park, so perfectly timed for my soul rehab week!

Soul Rehab…Day 7… Beautiful sunflowers greeting me on my evening walk in the neighborhood, after a work day, and also a healing acupuncture treatment.

Soul Rehab…Day 8… As my Soul Rehab week comes to an end, I enjoyed the day doing some of my favorite things! I took a lovely Soul Healing walk at the Labyrinth, and created a plein air landscape painting inspired by the Rocky Mountains. For dinner I picked up some of my favorite Italian take-out food, from our neighborhood restaurant Massino’s, Baked Ziti & Buffalo chicken wings! Delish! Here is a collage of some of the foods I’ve cooked this week, breakfast, lunch, & dinner!

Officially a Coloradan!

After 48 years of Colorado dreaming I have officially become a Coloradan! I got my Colorado ID/drivers license, car registration/license plates, and voted in the primary election! Now, let’s hope I don’t get called for jury duty, not yet at least!!! The month of June went by like a flash, so many official things to accomplish!

Colorado Plein Air creations by Mars

I did have some creative fun in June, and began a 53 week plein air art project, drawing my interpretations of the Rocky Mountains and surrounding landscape. I have been inspired while visiting all my favorite nature spots in the area. I continue to walk the labyrinth several times a week, and love my meditation in nature class every Wednesday at Majestic View Park. That is where most of my drawings were created, along with my newest nature favorite, along Standley Lake trail. I am excited to begin a drawing and art class on July 1st which I hope will assist in improving my skills immensely!

Continuing in the creative mode, I got inspired to write a short story about my almost 4 months of living here, and the trials and tribulations of life at my affordable rental house! It was very cathartic to write, and is quite humorous at times. I have always loved Norah Ephron’s writing, so I attempted to infuse some of her style into my story.

I have also begun writing another memoir, this one about the past 5 years of my life, which I have entitled: “Limbo”! I have written about 6,000 words so far, and many more to go! The past 5 years have been filled with so many adventures and challenges, and as I write this memoir it brings up many emotions that I have pushed aside, so I could keep moving forward, and now it has become a very necessary healing and cathartic piece to write. The uncertainty of life during the pandemic was excruciating to write about, it was a time of “Limbo” for all of us. Between my Zen adventures, the political climate, the pandemic, and all the unplanned moving around I had to do, it has been quite a ride in Limbo Land for me! Limbo Land also known as the space in between, the bridge to nowhere, and the timelessness tunnel of my life.

I mentioned this is my second memoir, my first was written during the height of the pandemic in 2020. It was a great escape into reliving my many wonderful food related travel adventures throughout my life! It is available on amazon, and is called: “My Royal Palate”, Lobster, Steak and Ice Cream! There are great stories about my childhood, family restaurant, and many delicious recipes are included!

The summer solstice just passed us by, and I have begun the countdown, there are 84 days until autumn arrives. I hate summer, I hate being HOT, I hate being sweaty, and I really HATE mosquitos! See you in July, it’s one month closer to autumn!

Mars May Adventures in Colorado! “Springtime in the Rockies?”

Celebrating One Year later: May 14, 2021 – May 14, 2022. Left Sedona, AZ, 9 Months of Life in NY, and finally giving birth to my new home in Colorado!
Happy Birthday Mars! March 4, 2022 making Colorado my home, and May 28, 2022 celebrating my first birthday in Colorado!
Serendipity! Sun Dog with a Heart Cloud!
Majestic View Park, my view of the Rocky Mountains while in meditation in nature class!
Adventures in Boulder, Colorado! Found a labyrinth to walk, and happy to be back after 30+ years!
Springtime in the Rockies?! On May 20th we got 8 inches of snow! Mother Nature did quite the remodeling job of the trees. Many branches with the new growth couldn’t take the weight. So happy the lilacs and iris survived.
Hiking Standley Lake Trail after the Spring Snow storm. So many trees got remodeled by Mother Nature, and might I say, haphazardly!
Sunset Walk at Majestic View Park.
Birthday Eve sunset walk at Standley Lake Trail, and creating art on a bench!
En Plein Air creation with markers.
“Rocky Mountain Majesty” by Mars

Colorado Adventures and Explorations…

I have been busy getting to know my new home here in Arvada, Colorado this month of April! Many nature outings, walking labyrinths, discovering new eclectic neighborhoods, and enjoying some great restaurants in the area. I am sharing a few photo grouping just from todays outing, this last day of April. I discovered this historic area in West Denver, called The Highlands, where there is a labyrinth underneath a carousal structure from many years ago! The carousal has since been moved to another area in Denver, but the labyrinth is there to walk underneath a very cool steel dome structure. I photographed a cool mural of a black cat, and noticed a unique car filled with colored balls, and people riding in open back having a blast in the Tennyson area. A very eclectic street with many restaurants and galleries and a cultural flavor all its own!

To get back to nature toward the end of my day, I explored a new park in the Lake Arbor neighborhood, with many Canada Geese chilling out in the lake and on the grassy areas. My final destination today was a quick walk at Majestic View Park, and the Labyrinth at sunset, my favorite places and time to get in touch with nature and feel grounded looking at the beautiful Rocky Mountains in the distance. I still have to pinch myself that I live in Colorado, after all these years of dreaming about making it my home! This was just one day in the life of Mars in Colorado, and I look forward to many more adventures to come.

I live each day with this quote in mind by Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!”

Hello Colorado, Welcome Home!

Colorado Purple Mountain Majesty

Welcome Home MARS! Colorado is now my new Home Sweet Home! I have finally realized my dream of almost 48 years! In the summer of 1974 I traveled cross country to Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains, and always knew one day I would live somewhere in Colorado close to the Majesty of the Mountains. I have on so many occasions attempted to move here, but for whatever reason, the Universe was not in alignment with my dream until now. This time it was so divinely orchestrated I still have to pinch myself as to how it all came about so harmoniously. I have lived here almost one month, and already have enjoyed many adventures, Labyrinth walks, and find myself constantly gasping at the glorious beauty of the snow covered mountains so close by. I have strolled through The Majestic View Park, the Sculpture Field at the Arvada Center, followed the road west to see amazing sunsets over the mountains, and taken some lovely neighborhood walks in the many green spaces nearby. I feel as if my whole world has suddenly opened up, and everything that I have always dreamed of is now at my fingertips. There is so much to explore, so many nearby cities to visit, and so many cultural activities to partake in, the list is long and the excitement in me is palpable.

I created my first digital painting of “Colorado Purple Mountain Majesty” living here in my new home, on the first day of Spring, inspired by the beauty in Arvada, Colorado. I am so excited to experience all the seasons here, and am very grateful to have all these many opportunities ahead of me.

Namaste

Happy HEART’s Day & Thank You Universe!

Colorado Dreamin’ by Mars 2018

It’s Valentine’s Day, or as I like to say: HEART’s Day! Either way, it is a Happy Day, and is my favorite time of the year, since I am known as Mars “The HEART Lady” after all! Often I find myself going on what I like to call: Heart Hunts, where I find favorite heart shaped treasures, especially a few days after Valentine’s Day, when they are on sale! This year is a bit different though, instead of finding heart shaped treasures, I have found something that I’ve been looking for with all my HEART for the past 9 months, and dreaming about for the past 48 years!

I do believe in miracles, in divine timing, in manifestation prayers with the Universe, and synchronicity for sure! I like to say that the “best is yet to come”, and in this situation I could never have guessed the exact timing of it happening on my favorite day of the year, and on my nine month anniversary living in New York. I have found my next Home Sweet Home in Colorado! I will be starting a new chapter and adventure on March 1st! I feel as if these past nine months were a very challenging gestation period, and I have finally given birth to my dream. Living in New York was only a temporary plan, a bridge, a transitionary time in my life, due to the unfortunate circumstance of having to leave Sedona unexpectedly during the height of the pandemic. Some wonderful memories have been created during our nine month family chapter, but now we go back to our preferred areas. For 45 years we have lived miles apart, my brother on the East Coast and me on the West Coast, or in that direction! I’m sure there will be future visits to look forward to.

Ever since the summer of 1974 when I took a cross country trip throughout Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, I have wanted to live in Colorado one day. It found it’s way into my heart and never left. I visited many times, but the timing just wasn’t right for a relocation. I guess the Universe always knew I would live there one day? I have always loved the quote by Marsha Norman: “Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.” and my own quote: “Dreams are flowers that bloom in your soul”. I have been Colorado Dreamin’ for so long, and now all is coming to fruition and blooming! I know it won’t be perfect, many things are not the same as they were 48 years ago, but the Rocky Mountains are still there in their majesty, and that is where my heart wants to be.

Thank you Universe & Happy HEART’s Day 2022!

Remembering Zen Master~Thich Nhat Hanh…

This week I took time to remember Thich Nhat Hanh after his passing at 95 years old, by watching many of the beautiful ceremonies around the world, honoring his lifetime of powerful teachings on mindfulness, peace, and revered Buddhist principles.

My life has been enriched beyond measure after learning about and listening to a wonderful interview with Thich Nhat Hanh and Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday in May 2013. I have since read many of his books and wonderful quotes about peace, joy, loving-kindness and compassion. His teachings will live on in my heart eternally, and his legacy will continue to inspire many more hearts and minds worldwide. When you listen to him speak you can’t help but notice that his heart was overflowing with love, joy, compassion and kindness. His heart smile will live on eternally to remind us all that to love one another is of utmost importance in living a beautiful life.

I will include links to the interview that touched my soul, to his Buddhist centers at Plum Village and Dear Park Monastery, and a podcast that I enjoy listening to called: “The Way Out Is In” curated by his Monks at Plum Village in France, it is very enlightening and meditative.

I have shared some of my favorite Thich Nhat Hanh quotes designed with my original HEARTwork and a link to my book: Mars Mindful Moments that include some of his quotes and others.

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful. – Thich Nhat Hanh
The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions. – Thich Nhat Hanh
We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Here are some links to the interview, podcast, and writings by Thich Nhat Hanh:

A list of all books and calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh can be found on the Plum Village website at: plumvillage.org

My current favorite book is a thought provoking gem of a book entitled: TRUE LOVE ~ Here is a link to check it out on amazon: https://amzn.to/3HhxXp9

The Podcast: “The Way Out Is In”: https://plumvillage.org/podcasts/the-way-out-is-in/

The Oprah Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ9UtuWfs3U&ab_channel=PlumVillageApp

Dear Park Monastery in Escondido, California and Plum Village in France are mindfulness practice centers that are high on my bucket list to visit one day!

https://plumvillage.org/

https://deerparkmonastery.org/

Namaste

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