Winter Park Thoughts, Wildflowers, and Drones

It’s 12 degrees in Winter Park, Colorado, as I write this shot blog. On a cold day like this I’m burrowed inside. I much prefer the summer months in the mountains – the wildflowers, long hikes into the quiet valley or to summit a lofty peak, and the warmer sunshine of a perfect afternoon. But in the mountains, there is a noticeable dearth of snow for this time of year. A majority of the ski runs are still closed, both here and at Granby Ranch. Snowmakers are working overtime. We were hoping to spend some time snowshoeing over the Christmas holidays but there wasn’t enough snow on the trails to do so!

So this has left me wondering what the Colorado wildflowers season will be like. I know that often, when snowfall is light in the winter months, April and May can often bring heavy snows just before the warmer times. Maybe that will happen this year? We’re currently in a La Nina weather pattern, so maybe that is affecting the precipitation, as well. Or maybe it will be an early wildflower bloom in the high country.

In other news, with the lack of snowshoeing or skiing available around Winter Park over the holidays, I decided to study for and take the test to legally and commercially operate a drone - the Part 107 FAA Remote Pilot certification exam. So after about 10 days of scouring a few study guides, I took and passed the 60 question test in a total of 37 minutes. The testing proctor told me it was the fastest anyone had finished – and I scored a 93. I was actually a little disappointed I didn’t score higher, but passing is all that counts. That all being said, I get annoyed when I hear drones buzzing overhead, and I certainly don’t want to be “that guy” that is disturbing other peoples’ hikes – just as sure as I don’t want someone messing up my “zen-moments” either. And for now, I don’t even own a drone! I just thought it would be nice to have the certification just in case I wanted to fly one down the road.

I hope everyone stays warm and has a good rest of January.

~ Rob

Images from Colorado

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