If there is somethin’ I love about my hometown of Telluride is the great BIG welcome you get when you arrive. Yesterday I went out to photograph this old building which sits waiting at the edge of the Valley Floor.
Every day I pass by it. We give each other a nod hello. I will photograph it many times. In all different lighting conditions. It fascinates me.
I am a light chaser ~ this old barn reminds me that each day is filled with prayer, gratitude, lightness and JOY. It stands strong and reminds me to do the same.
Before you enter the majestic box canyon you pass by the Valley Floor on your right hand side.
You will see elk grazing, deer prancing and birds soaring.
This land lies in a deer, elk and Canada lynx migration corridor…it is the home to endangered species (Southwestern Willow Flycatcher) and a host of amphibians, resident and migrating birds, fish, mammals, insects and plants.
Prayer flags flap & wave in the wind…
The Valley Floor is 570 acres of land that was placed on the list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” in 2000.
It was formerly the hunting and camping ground for the Ute Indians. It then became the site of San Miguel City mining and dairy farms.
Through the years this special land has been stressed by a local land owner who wanted to develop homes on this open space.
Thankfully the land is to remain free…
Today the land is under a conservation easement to be preserved as open space in perpetuity. Thank goodness.
In 2002, a citizen driven ordinance was presented to the voters of Telluride. It asked the Telluride Town Council to pursue eminent domain. This is a government’s right to acquire private property for “public use” for “just compensation,” also known as condemnation. You can read more about this history at ValleyFloor.org.
The delicate ecosystem has also been threatened by mining impacts (though studies show it has maintained it’s biological integrity.)
Running through the Valley Floor is an aquatic ecosystem that filters and purifies our San Miguel River.
It is also a storage area to supply the river during the low runoff periods of fall and winter; and it mitigates down-valley flooding.
I love capturing the little things ~ weeds, grass, frozen flowers and snow this time of year.
Wildlife always thrills.
As does old wood and fencing.
In the winter you can cross country ski and hike on this precious land.
There are even moonlight ski parties here. With bowlfuls of steamy soup to enjoy with friends. I will join this party soon.
In the summer the mountain biking here is fun, adventurous and great for any level.
To live in such natural beauty is a blessing. One I am thankful every minute of every day.
What place of natural beauty inspires you?