An Inspiring Whimsical Scrapmetal Menagerie

The Swetsville Zoo ┬áin Timnath, CO is actually a sculpture garden showcasing the wild imagination of Bill Swets. Filled with creatures made from metal scraps including parts from cars, tractors, and motorcycles, this “zoo” includes dinosaurs, birds, insects, reptiles, dragons, even people and flowers. The two things all Swets’ creations have in common: they are all made from recycled materials and they all make you smile.

The first thing I saw when we arrived should have told me what was in store. I’m not sure if you have to keep your dinosaurs under 5 mph or you drive under 5 mph because of the dinosaurs. Either way, I was in.

dinoSpeedLimit_web

There were LOTS of dinosaurs. This was one of my favorites (complete with a bird’s nest in its mouth):

dinoSculp_web

There were quite a few dragons as well.

2headedDragon_web

While I liked his ants and other smaller insects, his giant praying mantis was my favorite.

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I found his birds charming, too.

bird_web

rooster_web

Last but not least, here’s something that reminded me of the goblins from the movie Labyrinth (note the little driver in the mechanized monster’s open mouth):

goblinDriver_web

All the articles I found online talk about the looming demise of this unusual garden. Big box stores have been built right next door and there are plans for more development in the near future. But the Swetsville Zoo is still open (no entry fee! Donations welcome) for your enjoyment and I am hoping it will last. Get there while you can.

 

Lake Loveland

The last night my parents were here, we went to dinner in Loveland. When we came out of the restaurant, it was a gorgeous evening, so we decided to drive to a nearby park for a little walk before the sun went down. However, we got sidetracked as we were driving past Lake Loveland. We pulled off at Lakeside Park and watched the glorious sunset. It felt like the perfect end to a wonderful visit. There was even a statue for us to enjoy.

Generations, Lake Loveland, Colorado

I was taken with the colors and texture of the lake surface as the sunset went on. I took several reference shots, thinking I might make something to mimic this look.

But the sunset itself was the real treat, and I have pictures that document the entire evolution of the event, from burning to burnt out.

Sunset over Lake Loveland

This is turning into the Summer of Sunsets. I’m grateful to live in Colorado, where we are surrounded by such beauty every single day.