Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Art in Bloom Art Show

We got 9 inches of snow on Sunday, which was very welcome as it will hopefully reduce our fire danger for at least a few weeks in the spring. And although the Loveland snow sculptors would have preferred to have the snow come earlier in the month, we’ll take it whenever we can get it. 

But even in the dead of winter, it’s always spring in a greenhouse. In fact, there’s something almost magical about strolling among the plants and flowers when the out-of-doors looks like this:

So I went on Sunday to Bath Garden Center for their second annual Art in Bloom. The idea behind this art show is for floral designers to put together arrangements that “recreate the essence” of paintings by local artists. It is such a great concept and makes for a unique and beautiful display. I was so glad I went, and I'll definitely try to catch it again next year. But I will go when it opens on Friday, because floral arrangements look best when they are very fresh. 

Apologies: I lost my notes, so I can't tell you with any accuracy the names of the artists and designers in the following pictures, but I'll list everyone who participated at the bottom of this post.

Floral designers: Nature's Grace Design, Hanna Style, Lace and Lilies, Finishing Touches, Florals by Rhonda, Faire Eliza's Flowers, Jordan's Floral, Kris Cowell, and Marcella Wells.

Artists: Gregory Mayse, Kevin Meredith, Amy Walton, Chelsea Glanz, Vicki McCargar, Michelle Heronema, Diane Edwards, Jaime Gastelle, Mary Ellen Nickodermus, Danielle DiFiore, Eric Siebenthal, Melissa Carmon Myers, and Trish Murtha.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Photo Flashback

Continuing with my look-back theme this week, here are several of my favorite photos from last year. Enjoy your Friday!

Fluorescent rocks at the Gem and Mineral Show

Downtown train

Crabapple trees

Niagara Falls

Blackhawk Helicopter

My neighbor's peony

High Park Fire

Bubble battle

"Fun" at the reservoir

Dog show profile

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Looking Back at 2 1/2

Mid-February marks the 2 ½ year anniversary of my blog, so I thought I’d take a quick look back. (Plus, I don’t have anything new for today. Such a slacker.) Choice City Native began as a self-imposed challenge. As a lifetime resident of Fort Collins, in the great state of Colorado, I wondered if I could spend a year doing one new thing a week in my hometown. I’m not a particularly adventurous person, so I knew my list  wouldn’t include sky-diving or body piercing. But I did see my first roller derby, take a balloon-tying class, try my hand at archery, watch a competition of (formerly) wild mustangs, have my picture taken with an Elvis impersonator, and almost take my boys to a head shop (yes, I am naive enough to think that 'glass blowing' meant Christmas ornaments, thank you very much).

I visited local shops and natural areas, and I treated myself to dinner theater with the preeminent food blogger in town and a cocktail with my husband at an underground jazz club. I also tried to do some good deeds by removing graffiti, helping at a senior (as in age) prom, walking for MS, standing on a street corner waving an election sign, and getting up really dang early to join in the International Hour for Peace. (For links to all my first year activities, click on the “New Fun: Year One” tab above.)

After the first year, I’d had so much fun and met so many nice people—both in person and in the blogosphere—that I decided to keep going. I’ve relaxed the rules a little and don’t always do something new. Sometimes, I don’t do anything at all. But I’m still getting out and keeping it local…for the most part. Thanks for visiting me, and I hope you enjoy a look at life in Northern Colorado.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Photo of the Week

Something waddling this way comes....

Goose tracks in the snow. So much better than goose poop in the snow.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Snow Sculpture in the Dark

Although Loveland, just south of Fort Collins, is named for a man (railroad entrepreneur William A.H. Loveland) and not an emotion, the town is known as the Sweetheart City and honors the ‘love’ in its name with lots of fun activities this time of year. For 67 years, volunteers with the valentine re-mailing program have hand-stamped hundreds of thousands of cards with a special postmark. During February, red hearts with personalized messages hang throughout town. And for the past couple of years, the downtown has hosted Snow Sculpture in the Dark—a winter festival offering food, drinks, art, parades, and snow sculptures.

Because it’s been as dry as a can of Pringles around here, the snow was man-made and then stomped into sculpture-worthy pedestals by dozens of willing feet. Despite warm daytime temperatures, the sculptors were able to pull off some amazing artistry. This was my family’s first visit, and we were not disappointed.

And there was tiny ice bowling…with a frozen chicken for a ball.

This year’s event was sanctioned and the winners will compete at the U.S. Snow Sculpting Nationals. First Place went to Ray the Manta Ray, and People’s Choice was Snow Swans. But they all looked like winners to me. I wish the sculptors best of luck at the national competition! And Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Photo of the Week: A Dog's Life

My boys are past their prime sandbox years, but we still have one in the backyard because:

the dog likes hanging out there. I figure it's kind of like a day at the beach for her. Too bad the tide is always out.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Red Fox Meadows Natural Area

To be honest, I really didn’t expect much from my first visit to Red Fox Meadows Natural Area. It’s located at a busy intersection that I’ve passed by dozens of times in the past year alone, and from the car, it doesn’t look like much more than a parking lot, a restroom, and a nice fence. Not that I don’t appreciate a good fence, but all in all, the area didn’t inspire me to stop. I also had my secret suspicions about the existence of the so-called meadow.  

But I decided I should go and see for myself. As my older son and I strolled along, enjoying the late sun of a February afternoon and chatting about his upcoming history test, we discovered that Red Fox Meadows extends well beyond the parking area. The easy trail covers about a mile, running alongside and across a canal and a drainage ditch. Dogs are allowed here, and we saw a couple of them taking their people out for walks. And as far as this meadow business goes, the grasses are winter-brown now and the trees are bare—and, no, we didn’t see a fox—but the area is still a lovely little respite in a rather unassuming place.  

Along with giving humans a place to recreate, Red Fox Meadows has an outdoor classroom boardwalk for educational programs; provides habitats for wildlife; and is an important part—several years in the making—of the city’s flood management plan. Although it has been so dry here that a flood seems unlikely in the near future, Mother Nature may have other plans. It wouldn’t be the first time. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

National Wear Red Day

Cross my heart and hope to not die of heart disease. Today is the American Heart Association's 10th annual Wear Red Day, aimed at raising awareness of the impact heart disease has on women's health, quality of life, and longevity. If you're a woman, take a few minutes today to find out what you can do to improve your heart health and lower your risk factors for heart disease. Then do something heart-friendly. Take a walk. Hug your sweetie. Have a salad. Call someone you love. Switch from milk to dark chocolate. And wear looks fabulous on everyone. 

Have a lovely weekend! I'm going to finish knitting that scarf now.

Find lots of healthy heart information at The American Heart Association.