I am not on vacation this month, but I’m taking it a little slower. Instead of regular blogging, I’m doing a photo essay based on last year’s trip to a place I go as often as possible: the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado.

This black-billed magpie is sitting on the porch at the administration building.

Imagine just to the right, a group of Buddhist monks in brown robes walking past, making much less noise than the magpie. Then, imagine off to the left and forward (where the field is) the Cheyenne East High School marching band practicing for football season.

Last year was the third time I’d gone to the Y during the week that the monks and the band are there at the same time. It’s one of my all-time favorite convergences.