Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall color and back to baby Penny

Quick post as I'm leaving to fly back to Virginia to visit baby Penny(with Mommy and Daddy of course). Leaving gorgeous fall color. People stopped all over the roads to ooh and awe and take pictures. Saw deer and elk in the road on the way back from an art center meeting. I go slow and have my brights on - it's coal dark out there!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall spectacular, deer, and wood

Deer are spending their last few weeks eating everything in sight to stock up for winter. Lots of munching in our yard and some territorial tempers flaring as well. The photo of the two bucks ended in the chasing away of the smaller, not just by the bigger buck, but his doe friends. We see deer out every window at odd times throughout the day and some have even taken to having naps in the grass inside our fence. Okay then...

I win
Another fun jeeping day. This time went up to Paradise Divide and wow, the fall color is gorgeous and it's not even peak. Snapping the camera everywhere... We were not alone in the venturing out either - lots of people out on tiny 4 wheel roads and Ohio Pass.

Tried to make the most of the days while Mark was here. He's back to Detroit next week. Went to dinner at Soupcon (terrific as usual with a nice fall themed menu) and ate lunch at Ryce today before the jeep trek. Love that place, and no, Heather, the dish has never been as on fire as when you had it! Asking everyone when they close for the off season. Yup, there is that here, and for the first time we will be here as well. Mostly, they're off the latter part of Oct and reopen close to Thanksgiving with variations. Not enough tourists around to keep open.
Finished a fantastic book written over 10 years ago - where was I?  One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus.Western story set in the late 1800's about Indian life, our government, and women who went to be Indian brides.
Getting ready slowly for the cold stuff. Mark stacked the 2 cords of wood he had ordered. Lots of cozy fires to anticipate.

And we should all be thankful today since the space station satellite that finally fell out of the sky not only didn't fall on the U.S., but not on anyone apparently (Pacific Ocean is what I heard).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Exploring the mountains and elk

Much fun was had on Sunday when we took the Rock on an all day trek to Ptarmigan Lake. Over Cottonwood Pass, then winding up and up, to finally hike up the last mile to the 12,300 pristine lake. Mark had been once before and was anxious to see it again. Crystal clear water, gorgeous peaks all around, and huge trout. Mark had some hits but no fish. Next time... It was sunny but brrr cold and windy as you'll see from my outfit. Saw a new animal we didn't know - American Pika. So cute, they live at the high elevations in the rocks. They look like a cross between a big mouse and chipmunk with no tail. None close enough to get a good photo sadly.

The Rock from a long way away
marmot friends
On an after dinner drive at dusk we came across a bunch of elk just outside Star Mt. at Castleton. Nice to see them around again. Should be heading into our woods soon for the bugling extravaganza. This was a monster size elk across the road from 30 cows (female elk) His harem probably...lucky guy.

We are official Colorado residents all the way. Obtained our driver's licenses and registered the jeep this morning. I was asked if I'd ever had a Colorado license, "No", I said, then quickly retracted. Oh, yes, of course I'd had one - about 40 years ago. "Well, I have to look it up, but we weren't doing much with computers then," he said. Yeah, got it - I'm OLD.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In the clouds, deer, and rainbows

We are in fact a house in the clouds and here are the photos to prove it. At almost 9000 ft we have our own weather system. Means lots more snow in the winter - not sure if that's a good thing, but nature wins every time. We wee little humans just have to deal.

Seasons are a changing... The deer appear inside our fence at all hours of the day now, attracted by the spent wildflowers and grasses. They'll be here for another few weeks and then poof, vanishing for the long winter. Lots of does with their twin fawns, including yes, good old Flap and her babies. As is typical, she lets the fawns wander around our house on their own for a very long time before she shows up. Not like the other mother deer at all. Hmph I sniff...

fawn lost her spots but not gray yet
We've had rain off and on over the last few days and some spectacular color shows have lit up the sky. These photos are not color retouched - pretty amazing...

Rolled into Crested Butte for lunch and a few errands. Nursery did not have their daffodil bulbs yet, typical here somehow, local roasted coffee freshly ground and packaged now increased in price by $2.00. (they apparently think a lot of their coffee beans), and walked around in the chilly weather (40's) with a dusting of snow on all the peaks. Wow, really - can winter be that close? Yikes!

I have been remiss in reporting books read. Somehow with all the company and excitement of baby Penny I did finish 4. Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron - new author to me but entertaining story about small town southern female judge turning detective to solve a murder. I'll be reading more in this series. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (yes, it's baby Penny's name reversed! pure coincidence) I've read a couple of hers - also female solving murder story set in Canada. Hmmm, what does this mean about my taste in books?  Anyway, next is Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan, highly recommended by one of my blog book authors, but unfortunately, I disliked it a lot. All the characters were completely unlovable and the character flaws they  had were not resolved by the end. Lastly, another author that I've read multiple books - Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn.  Very consistently good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Til Oct sweet Penny, and fall at Star Mt.

I'm back at Star Mt. Goodness, it feels like two months, not two and a half weeks. Penny is now a major part of my heart. What a doll baby!  I'm putting the last couple photos up knowing she is changing every day and by the time I get back to see her (late Oct) she'll be a different baby altogether.

Getting ready for the beach?
Fall has arrived in full force here. All the hay is put up, cattle being moved in every direction (ours are still here - for probably another two weeks) The aspen are just starting to turn, and everything else is a haze of golden color. Still a little disoriented from my travels - not the least of which is the absolute opposite environment in which I live to that I just came from. Coyotes howling in the night, deer in my front yard, and a porcupine in the driveway this morning. And 38 degrees when I walked!

deer are turning gray for the winter
Mark comes home Thursday. Hurray - we've been apart for nearly 3 weeks. Will we need to reintroduce ourselves?