Sunday, September 17, 2017

A dusting of snow and a pinch of fall magic

There is sadness for all the destruction in the aftermath of Irma. So much damage everywhere, power is still out for many, a boil water mandate in Naples, scarce gas, and normal services are not up and running. For us, however, nothing was breached, and while power is still out in Naples, we count ourselves as very, very lucky. Mark is in Miami and I'm at Star Mt. and he'll be checking on Naples in a few days. So many people we know are not in the same situation and our hearts go out to them.

Flap - the clue is the right ear
Isn't it great - Flap appeared outside our window after an absence of 2 months. She did not have any fawns in tow, so I think our theory she's in the latter part of her life is probably true. She looked good and healthy though. I've added it up, since we moved here Flap has had 13 fawns. That's how the deer population becomes large and healthy!

Our first snow dusting. It was 35 degrees in the morning and a spectacular day. A great horned owl hooted at daybreak from the peak of our roof and as I went for my early morning walk elk were bugling  in every direction. Magnificent nature.

We are marching ever closer to the peak of fall color with winter soon to follow. The small creatures will start hoarding food for their winter homes. I am about to take down the remaining hummingbird feeders, always a painful task, since it means the season is done. We have 2 little birds still showing up, all the rest have clearly marched on their path to Mexico. I need to wish these bon voyage...

Deer are still all around us, including visiting the deer spa under our deck. They don't stay however, some unknown signal says get to lower ground before the real winter snow starts. Once it starts, it stays until April.

One of the 200 cows at Star Mt. They don't know but their time here is coming to an end. Our rancher will be picking them up in a few weeks. They are enormous after eating Star Mt. grass all summer. I cannot lie, I will not miss the manure... Happily we have one more round of company(Paul and Sherry) before we shut the house up for many months.Elk hunting and fall color photos will be happening.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bear, hike, and worry over hurricane Irma

I am writing this with a heavy heart. Hurricane Irma is bearing down upon Naples as I write and affecting a good deal of Florida with more to come. We have places both in Miami and Naples so it's quite horrifying at the moment. We are but minuscule small creatures in the face of mother nature. Houston is left with devastation from Harvey, and so many islands already have had severe damage from Irma. I pray for everyone as it moves through.

Mark has been here on his normal schedule but obviously with the storm he is still here with departure back to Miami unknown.We have had gorgeous weather here in CO and been trying to make the most of it. Went to some of our favorite places: Montanya Rum and Soupcon. Never disappoints.

Different view of Carbon Peak
still snow - an unusual year for sure
We had a great hike in the West Elks back in mushroom country. We were mainly hiking not mushroom hunting, which was a good thing as we only found a small handful. It's really the end of the season so to find any was a bonus. Gorgeous views all around as we got much closer to the Castles than we ever do. Had a tasty picnic at the top. We were the only people around and were definitely watching out for the "big" creatures - saw none, by the way.

Ohio Pass - the color is coming 
Made our way over to Crested Butte for breakfast and saw bear number 6! Mark first spotted it as we made our way over Ohio Pass. This was a big guy - that's is a long way away. The bears are very active right now as they are bulking up for the big winter sleep.

Hoping for less damage than predicted in Florida and wishing everyone in the path to be safe.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Mushrooms, Marble,and Crystal Mill

Fall is a'comin.The signs are all around. The deer are turning gray, and the aspen leaves are starting to turn. It's coming waaay tooo fast. This is one of our resident bucks who takes advantage of the Adams deer spa under the deck. It's crazy, we have a pile of does and bucks taking a snooze under the deck almost every day for hours.

dirt brushed off
Mushroom hunting! Good friends took us to their secret mushroom locations. Shhh, there will be no names or locations given. Mushroom hunting is serious business around here. So we newbies had great success, with help of course. 4 lbs of Chanterelles to bring home. Marvelous. They are magic if you haven't had any. We had them in two meals and froze the rest. Great fun - thank you B & W!!

There's an upside down car way down there - caution is the word of the day
Next up a big adventure jeep trip over to Crystal Mill.It took all day with regular roads first, going over Kebler Pass and then the jeeping from Marble to Crystal Mill. Crystal Mill was built in 1892, shut down with the silver mines in 1917, added to the registry of National Historic Places in 1985 with some restoring, and sits on private property.

Wow how things have changed. Tons of ATVs, jeeps, trucks, bikes, and hikers. The poor hikers had to jump off the road with every passing vehicle. And of course, these days there's gonna be a drone. Crazy! The hope is that it's a holiday weekend, so would be much quieter if we come again "off-time".

Cutthroat trout - not found often
Mark had some excellent fishing time in the Crystal River. He caught a ton in the pristine, clear as glass river. No, didn't keep any. Maybe next time. I had to tear him out of the river to get something to eat.

Lunch was at Slow Groovin BBQ the only restaurant in town. Jammed of course, but worth the wait. Everything is smoked on site, and that is one giant smoker. Great food!

This is what is done with marble from Marble, CO these days. Beautiful but I'm thinking back to the time where marble was used to build the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. Mostly a ghost town these days, population is 136.

Tis all for now. Enjoy your end of summer!