Thursday, October 16, 2014

Out and About or RMA and Colorado Center for the Blind

The mornings sunrise found Dan Burke and myself headed south on I 470 towards the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. We wanted to hike the trails and spot some of the numerous wildlife found there. After passing through the gate and the visitors center we spotted the first of many deer that inhabit the refuge. They were busy having breakfast and didn't pay us much mind. The refuge is home to a large population of Prairie Dogs that can easily be photographed from your vehicle. If you get out of your car though they are gone in a flash as evidenced by the Prairie Dog hole! After parking the car we hiked the three mile long trail around Lake Ladora. We spotted more deer and Dan recorded Meadow Larks singing and Magpies raucous calls. We also heard a mysterious buzzing sound that we were never able to figure out. It was from the grass and it was more staccato and continuous than the cicadas we could hear in the cottonwoods. We spotted a tattered Monarch Butterfly on its journey south to Mexico. Hopefully it makes it as it is awfully late in the year to be migrating.It has been unseasonably warm so it stands a good chance. Leaving the park we headed out for a lunch of Greek Gyros. Yum! After lunch Dan gave me the grand tour of the Colorado Center for the Blind. The center was pretty amazing. It is in an located in an old YMCA building and was beautiful and spacious. The place was a beehive of activity. I observed students receiving training in cooking, cane navigation and travel as well as reading braille. The center runs numerous programs including Independence Training Program for Adults,Youth Programs, Senior Programs and Training for Professionals on Blindness. One of the primary goals of the center is for its students to be independent and self confident. Here is a quote from their website "Grounded in the National Federation of the Blind’s positive philosophy of blindness, the Colorado Center for the Blind provides innovative teaching techniques, daily challenges and self-confidence that are the building blocks of independence, opportunity and success. Day after day, year after year, blind students leave the Colorado Center for the Blind’s training program as living examples of the NFB’s motto: “With effective training and opportunity, blind people can compete on terms of equality with their sighted peers.” Following the tour of the center we stopped by Ketring Park for a short walk around the edge of the lake and got a great look at one of the friendly inhabitants a Red Fox Squirrel. Then we headed homeward for a well deserved break. God's love and blessings to all, chris