By Cathy Walton-Smith – Fall colors will be in full bloom this week near Grand Lake |

By Cathy Walton-Smith – Fall colors will be in full bloom this week near Grand Lake

Cathy Walton-Smith / View from the LakeGrand Lake, Colorado

This week it seems like fall jumped up and nipped us on the nose. The aspen trees are changing color so fast you can almost watch it happening. If you really want to preserve their golden beauty, cut some of the smaller branches and soak them in a solution of glycerin and water for about a week. Mix 1 part vegetable glycerine to 2 parts hot tap water, using enough to make the mixture about 2 inches deep. Smash the bottom inch or two of the branches to help them absorb the glycerine quickly. (One or two whacks with the hammer is all you need.) Place the stems in the glycerine-water mixture, and leave 3 to 5 days so they can absorb the glycerine. You can tell when they have absorbed enough glycerine by the way they look and feel. The glycerine/water mixture can be reused several times.I highly recommend that you check and make sure your camera batteries are charged. When that sun comes out you’re going to want to grab some shots. I think this is going to be our premier week for aspen viewing. You’ll find the best aspens in the county right around Grand Lake, especially down County Roads 4 & 41.Today (Monday, Sept. 14) at 1:30 in Grand Lake Town Hall, Rocky Mountain National Park Superintendent Vaughn Baker will listen to ideas about the future of the Betty Dick property in RMNP. As it stands, the structures could be destroyed, left as is, or renovated into some use. If you have interest in this, attendance would be a good idea.In case you haven’t noticed, the first two units of the Smith-Eslick Cottage Court moved unexpectedly last week. The second two units will move this Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 1 p.m. or shortly thereafter. The Grand Lake Area Historical Society will be there in the street with costumed characters and fun, shouting out the name of each and every donor as the Cottage Court moves the 250 feet to its new location. Come by to see how it’s done. Don’t be late, as the actual move may take just minutes. There’s still a long way to go to collect the $25,000 needed to pay for the move. Donate by mail to GLAHS, Cottage Court Fund, POB 656, Grand Lake or call for more info at 627-9644.The Grand Lake Women’s Club will meet on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. at the Fire Station. The guest speaker will be Judy Burke, Mayor of Grand Lake. Edie Strate, Adult Services Librarian at the Grand Lake Juniper Library, will also be present to speak to the women. All women are invited to attend.Tickets are now on sale for “A Night in Morocco” fundraising dinner and show sponsored by the Grand Arts Council. This year’s event is this Saturday, Sept. 19, 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Arts Center on Park Avenue in Grand Lake. This is the sixth year for this fabulous evening of exotic food prepared by chef Sherry Kent of Showboat Catering, plus exciting entertainment by a bevy of belly dancers featuring Rafi’ah of Denver and Kysheema of Grand Lake. Tickets are $65 per person at the Grand Lake Art Gallery or call me at 970-531-3055. Dinner guests are encouraged to dress in keeping with this fun an exotic theme.The Mountain Family Center and the Grand Lake Area Chamber have teamed up to build Colorado’s largest can sculpture (of Smokey the Bear). The almost 10-foot structure will be built in Grand Lake Town Park beginning this Thursday, Sept.17. Volunteers are still needed to put it together, so show up and help if you can.This year the Fall Festival has evolved into a genuine Blue Grass Festival with free music and activities all day on September 19 and 20. Look for, Bounce Castles, Horse Drawn Hayrides, Games and Arts & Crafts. Served all day: Turkey Legs, Corn Dogs, Wild Boar Sausage, Corn on the Cob, Pumpkin Pie & Candied Apples. Something for everyone.A 3K walk, “Grand County Walks Away Hunger” will kick off the Grand Lake Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, Sept. 19, with registration at 9 a.m. and the start at 10 a.m. Walking teams from area companies and individuals are urged to collect pledges and help :Walk Away Hunger”. Registration and pledge forms available at .The main stage music schedule looks like this: Saturday 10 a.m. – Highway 40,12 p.m. – Loose Cannon Bluegrass, 2 p.m. – Slip Stream, 4 p.m. – Steel Pennies, 6 p.m. – Grass it Up. On Sunday 10 a.m. – Steel Pennies, 12 p.m. – Blue Canyon Boys — Winner of 2008 Telluride Bluegrass Festival, 2 p.m. – Giddyup Kitty. You just gotta be there.