Thursday, June 30, 2011

Slow down summer season!

I was only gone 6 days, but lots of happenings went on at Star Mt. First, the elk mommies had their last party with their babies cavorting in the wildflowers before all leaving for other grazing ground. Boo - missed it. They'll be back in the fall to meet up with their future mates - lots of bugling during the rutting season. They'll all leave for their winter grazing areas and the males stay with the females through December. Off they separate and then females come back again in June to have their babies. I love mother nature's process. Our woods apparently are the place to be when it comes to fertility...

The flowers are quite spectacular now, but I noticed the larkspur had virtually disappeared. Ooh, the cows are coming, the cows are coming...
As a matter of fact, at some point while I was gone, the cowboys put this summer's group in the fenced field across the road (it's still Star Mt. property so I know that's them ther cows waiting to come in.) Whoops, our fence is still in need of repair, although it's minor stuff and the gates will all close. Pretty darn important, that.

My hanging baskets weathered the trip inside quite well. My mother suggested putting them in the bathtub and cover with plastic. Sort of a mini greenhouse -  worked like a charm. I put them back outside on the front porch to "harden", and a little while later heard a big thump out there. Surprise, surprise a new visitor was checking the plants out. Marmot! We checked each other out before he ran away.

Another weekly farm visit. They've moved the chicken houses closer in. Quite the crazy building. And that is the largest college letter (W) in the U.S. (320ft X 420ft). A football field is 360ft X 160ft My knowledge impressing you?  Of course I looked it up...
River report: - still muddy and high, but coming down. It's needs to get on with it, we have people coming soon who like to fish!
I take my paintings up to the gallery in CB tomorrow morning to hang for my July show. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Baby Shower

I'm back after the whirlwind trip to the east coast. The baby shower was wonderful, thanks in large part to Heather. She did a terrific job organizing and doing crafty decor things, plus baking the star of the show - her cupcakes.The dessert theme was in full force and sugar overload extraordinare. Many compliments went to Heather and many were eaten!
Tiffany looked fabulous and was overwhelmed with all the wonderful presents everyone brought. We even had a guest baby - Tiffany's terrific boss Elise's 4 month old daughter Tully - sooo darling.

Sara, our "third" daughter, flew in from California for the shower

We crammed in a lunch at the National Harbor Center so we could see Chris as well. Oh, forgot to say Mark flew from Detroit into Baltimore to be around for the weekend. We flew out Monday morning to separate destinations - he back to Detroit, I marching to Star Mt. What a crazy, crazy schedule we've had going on.

Parents to be

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Magical stuff here

Road report: Ohio Pass is still closed. Remember that scheduled opening is May 31 and the road crews do absolutely nothing to expedite the clearing. Mother nature only - sooo, clearly still snow blocking the road - surely it will be open when Heather gets here (July 2). We had almost freezing temps here last night and a new dusting of snow appeared on the Anthracites and Whetstone. I realize it's hard to believe when there's record breaking heat in lots of places - just our crazy area!

Lots of people in town now. And vehicles of all sorts. This is some sort of old military jeep - with a gun holder - minus the gun, thank goodness. People are very peaceful here generally.

Back into Crested Butte to shop and eat. Big June sale on ski clothes and equipment. Bought some things and then enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite places - Secret Stash. Great as always, but, as always, watched groups of people walk up to the odd looking outside of the restaurant, look at the posted menu, and finally turn and walk away. You have to "know" this is a fabulous place.

Drop dead gorgeous flowers everywhere. It's magic around here. The elk have massed with a pile of babies on the next hill over this morning. Those babies are the size of large dogs at birth. It's a special thing to be able to watch them. They'll leave in the next couple of weeks for higher ground, if past summers are any indication.

The deer stay all summer, so we'll get to enjoy their antics and babies. They are loving the salt lick - making progress as you can see -indentations of tongue...
Had massive wind last week which knocked down some enormous aspen in our woods, including one close inside the fence. Out came the chainsaw and we quickly got that cleaned up - another new pile of logs. It's astounding how many downed trees there are in our woods. Could take us years to get it all up - Mark wants to hire someone to make a dent, we'll see.
Last post before my travels to the east coast. Baby Shower!

Friday, June 17, 2011

June marching by

We had a great visit with Mom and Dad here, and after dropping Mark off at our little Gunnison airport to head to Detroit (yes, again), off we went back to Colorado Springs. I stayed for a couple of days enjoying their area, and even got to stock up at the local Costco on my way out. Life has changed - after being used to having everything at our fingertips in Naples, no such things exist in this area. To have all this beauty and wildlife, I guess this is the tradeoff to keep our area unspoiled.
I came back to empty hummingbird feeders and pee on our newspapers left in the driveway (this happened last year when we left for a few days - we think coyote - marking territory, or making a statement on their opinion of Wall Street Journal).

My Earthbox with tomato plants seemed in good shape. This box thing is crazy. You don't water the plants - water in the tube that goes into the bottom - watering by evaporation I guess. It came with special soil, fertilizer, and very specific instructions on how to plant etc. I'm crossing fingers for great tomatoes - it's so hard to grow them in this area.

Went to pick up the weekly eggs and this month's mixed meat mystery bag. I'm so used to seeing the dairy cows inside there being milked, I just waved hi and went on with my business. Strange world I live in now...
Those are chickens underneath the farm equipment - not the best place I think - where is their guard dog?

Mom and Dad became converts to the magic spring water. So much so, that I took back with us our container to leave with them. That's Dad bound and determined to drink from the source - pretty nimble for 86! I'm actually going back over their way in just a few days - again- since I'm staying at their place overnight before flying back east for the big baby shower. Yup, I haven't talked about it much, but the big event is getting closer (Aug) and I'm soooo excited.

Finished all my paintings for the show. Huge relief. The last one is being framed as we speak. After I'm back from Tiffany's shower, it will be time to take them all and hang them at the gallery. We'll see if anyone notices...
Also finished another book in the midst of everything. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake - enthralling story at the beginning of World War II.

The water report - still incredibly high, but starting to come down. The only people enjoying the water are the kayakers and rafters.
Mark is back for the weekend, then off again - he has massive deadlines and no way to avoid Detroit. Hopefully all will calm down to a more reasonable schedule starting in July. 

It's so gorgeous here now in every direction, it's hard to pinpoint any special place, so I'm closing with a pile of pictures taken all over last week. Yippee - enjoying every minute...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Company, rushing water and elk babies

Sorry for the delay - time got away from me with trying to finish paintings, getting ready for company, and planting projects (trying to create a replica of those fantastic hanging baskets that  make the streets of CB so picturesque. I've done it all wrong in the past, so here goes one more time. I got a nursery expert to walk me through the process - right flowers, planting method, special organic fertilizer, regular fertilizer, special, special potting soil (with bat guano!) and watering instructions., Complicated yes, and why, you ask, are you not buying the already planted, big lush baskets? Because they cost a fortune and I need 4. Sooo, wish me luck...

Major animal days - everywhere I went around my own house I was disturbing animals. Elk showed up in our woods, where I could see them and they could see me, to lounge around for a couple house. I could not fill the hummingbird feeders (which upset the hummingbirds) until they went away. Then I went to turn on a hose under the deck, and this was disturbing the mama bluebird in her nest tucked under the deck. And finally, we have started a compost pile down in the woods close to our fence. Went to dump leftover veggies on the pile and disturbed deer having a morning siesta.  Okay, okay I understand we are just visitors here...

So here's the end of the elk story - BABIES. I am positive that the group in the woods were the very same that had babies that afternoon. There are two babies so far, and am watching them appear all over. This is a photo of one mom, one baby, and an auntie. Yup, I'll make up a story for just about anything...

My parents are here and we've been having a great time. Weather's gorgeous, but been too windy to paint outdoors - too bad. However, Mom's been giving me great advice on how to finish my last couple paintings. Sooo lucky to have her eye...
We went back to Soupcon last night. Remember I said only for special occasions?, well this counted. Great food as usual, and my parents enjoyed it a lot. In addition the place had a lot of guests in town for the big bike race that ends up going over the state (6 day race - 300 miles)!

Look at these tents - unbelievable - taking over the school parking lot. Main street was full  - what fun.

We made it up to Spring Creek Reservoir finally. I think the pictures speak volumes - this is the state of the water. Little Spring Creek!