Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fall is coming, haying, fishing, and rainbows

And change is in the air. Everything is starting to turn golden, bits here and there. Schools are back in session and the tourist crowd is definitely less. The businesses in both Gunnison and CB had a great summer - always nice to hear.

Haying continues on. It's big business here if you're selling it and so important for winter feeding if you're not.

We still have the cattle for a few more weeks. They are huge now, courtesy of that great Star Mt. grass.

Had a little drama here. Gratefully all is fine, but a small, very small fire started by lightening happened in Star Mt. two nights ago. Two great things - a neighbor on the other side of our neighborhood saw smoke and called it in, and the emergency fire crews from town came rushing right out. They worked away and then the rain poured down -hence the end of the fire. And rainbows came out - a beneficent sign.  The fire started nowhere near a high area - poof goes the theory lightening goes for the highest point...

A little fishing on the Taylor for Mark and lovely spot to paint for me. Got to enjoy the beautiful weather while its here. Ate at the Nugget Cafe in Taylor Park for lunch. The area is a big one for ATVers but it's gone all quiet now. Long time homey cafe, famous for their pies, and we've bought many, but their price is a little steep these days.Hope some one's paying attention! All closes down Sept 15 for winter.

Wildlife report: no bear sightings, and we're at the end of August (last year's 3 sightings were all in August) but there's still a few weeks left. There was a mountain lion sighting in the middle of town (Gunnison), a young one that created such a crowd of watchers, that he had to be sedated to safely be taken out of town to be released in the wild. We have coyote, elk, deer, hooting owls, plus our (or Mark's) ground squirrels and chipmunks beg for food on the deck everyday.

doe resting outside our window
number 3 in a line of coyotes
Where's my food?
Of course late on books read: Iron Hand of Mars by Lindsey Davis, another in her great series about ancient Rome. Letters on an Elk Hunt by Elinor Pruitt Stewart, the continuing true story of a life in Wyoming in the late 1800's and early 1900's - the first was fabulous, and so is this - highly recommended. And lastly, Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson, a new author for me, but loved her style, a novel set in 1780 written in sort of a Conan Doyle style. I'm on to the next one...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Alaska, salmon, mushrooms, and end of summer

The last few days of August are marching by. How...never mind, you've heard this question from me all year long. Just enjoy I tell myself...

that's unmelted snow way back in the middle, at the end of August!
Jeeping drive to Emerald Lake (we said hi - Tiffany and Chris!) and then over Paradise Divide. The late wildflowers were great - they've been great all summer. The first tinges of fall coming is visible with a branch of yellow aspen leaves peeking out here and there. Fall is spectacular here but comes early and done, done by the end of Sept. A doe I saw this morning was mottled in color - starting the change from brown to gray. I am not ready for this.

Float plane to remote area 60 miles out of Anchorage
Mt. McKinley 20,322 ft
35lb king salmon - he caught more this size and even a 50lb!
our nations majestic bird
Go Mark!
and the bear swimming
Crazy looking salmon - chum/calico
too rough for the guests and yes, a woman was part of the group
rugged looking crowd if you ask me!
As promised, some of Mark's Alaska fishing adventure photos. And, he brought back my camera safe and sound. Phew...was missing that. He caught all five kinds of salmon,slept out in tents for 6 days, had good weather, very few mosquitoes, saw both black and brown bear (browns are close to grizzly size), and made new friends - part of their group was a husband/wife team and she was an avid fly fisherperson, or however you want to say it. Good times, but as I said before, just a teeny tad too primitive for moi.

Edible! Oyster Mushrooms (well, maybe...)
It's mushroom time here and a banner year all over. The CB Mushroom Festival has resurrected itself after 4 years off, and while we didn't participate there, we certainly tried to do a home grown version - at least in the hunting part. We searched in our woods and found at least 20 different species. All photographed, none picked. I made the mistake (or wise decision) to buy a book a few years ago on mushrooms, and promptly decided to never pick them. Not interested in dying too soon... Wow , the amount of poisonous lookalike mushrooms is staggering. Just put up a sampling of photos for fun, and only one I believe, is supposed to be edible. Had fun finding them, and in the process found massive areas of low growing bushes with luscious looking berries. Thought wild blueberries or huckleberries - nope, my favorite plant nursery put me straight. Inedible - Colorado creeping holly. Boo, and I thought a pie was eminent...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fun in Seattle

Apologies all around, I thought I would get to a post before I left for Seattle, but time got away from me.

Back now and fun times were had in Seattle. Great visit with my mother, sister, nieces, and brother in law. Trip to the wine country,  fun dinners out, ferry to Bainbridge Island, visit to one of the locks,and shopping. Water, water everywhere and great weather (rainy season is just around the corner).

Beautiful Sunday afternoon with loads of people with the same idea. There was even a live classical music happening in the park.

Anne and Bing - the energizer dog
Anne's (my sister) neighborhood is a fantastic eclectic mix of cute stores, coffee shops, and homes with all that wonderful character that older neighborhoods have. Even a Tibetan Buddhist monastery...ummmmm.

dungeness crabs
Berry time!
Great fun in a wonderful grocery store. - Central Market. Could have bought a lot in there...

While Mark was on his fishing trip catching salmon in Alaska, Jean (my brother in law) was also on a fishing trip - a charter trip off the Seattle coast. Salmon, salmon, salmon. He brought back beautiful king salmon fillets. None for me sadly, I was leaving...
Next post will have some of Mark's fishing trip photos. He had a great time in the wilds of Alaska. A little too primitive for me...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Second half of Alpine Loop - jeeping, jeeping, jeeping

More jeeping, no surprise I'm sure. We did the second half of the Alpine Loop over Cinnamon Pass this time. Very beautiful as well, rougher road, the Rock performed like a charm, and we ended up back in Silverton for lunch. The rain had already been on the loop - lots of big puddles and washout on the main road and overcast, but the rain held out until we got home. Our favorite is Engineer pass (see prior post) but its all great and well worth the trip.

following another jeep
big horn sheep close by the road
the Rock
I was freezing - 46 degrees!
Eureka Lodge - cute, though no tv, no internet or cell phone
yes, really that red
In the interim, we went on another jeep trip, really a road trip over Marshall Pass (towards Monarch) an area we had wanted to explore. Pretty, nothing spectacular, but,boy do I have a recommendation for RV camping. O'Haver Lake. Closed for a year for renovations, owned by U.S. Forest service, looked great.

Only a few days before big trips away to Alaska and Seattle. I'll be back with a post before then...