Armed with my sweet new digital camera, a Christmas gift that managed to survive its delivery from United Package Smashers (UPS)1, the dogs and I set off for a holiday morning hike to Colorado’s Pawnee Buttes.
The Pawnee Buttes rise from the prairie of the Pawnee National Cattle Pasture—I mean Pawnee National Grassland—in north-central Colorado. The two most prominent buttes are some 300 feet high and are apparently the remains of glacial runoff from the last ice age as opposed to the remnants of gradual erosion caused by the omnipresent cows, which have long since trodden and grazed the abundant surrounding private property into impotence.
The brief trail to the buttes travels through a small canyon of sedimentary rock, which itself is replete with a labyrinth of channels, and around a small sandstone bluff that provides a nesting area for prairie falcons. We were fortunate to see a number of falcons as well as a small herd of pronghorns, though these migratory native ungulates maintained a great distance from their sedentary, land-raping, immigrant cousins.
The dogs, meanwhile, seem to view every hike as a gift and happily served as subjects for the trial run of my journey into the world of digital photography. So far, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i gets a big thumbs-up … although by the time I figure out even half of its features, foraging livestock could erode a whole new butte-bedecked plain.
1 What can Brown do for me? How about advise the fuck-UPS who comprise the company’s delivery personnel to walk packages to one’s front door instead of barrel-heaving boxes from the step of the van against one’s house. I appreciate the effort to make deliveries in time for the holidays, but I submit that most customers would prefer to receive their goods late and in working order. In light of UPS’ recent dreadful slogans—anyone list the color brown and a love of logistics among their turn-ons?—I suggest a twist on one of their old catchphrases: “Delivering the world on time. If not in one piece.”