Thursday, September 26, 2013

Snow, cows, and rainbows

Changes all around and our gorgeous first snow! Only on the peaks but more than just a dusting. So it begins.

Hummingbird feeders have come down, chippies are gathering food for their winter homes, and deer and elk are munching every bit of grass they can find.

The cows are here still but only for another week. As usual, they have grown mighty big and fat on Star Mt. grass. Ranchers everywhere are starting the fall round up of cattle. Manure traffic jams...

aspen still green
Long list of things to do before winter sets in. Plant seeds, move furniture in, hoses in, snow blower up,move wood, etc. etc. Hurry, hurry.

more rainbows - fantastic.
We leave for a long weekend to see Miss Penny. Yippee. Be back with photos...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

All things four footed and gorgeous scenery

Clouds and rain at Star Mt.
Big animal doings going on. Fall is most definitely with us and we're observing the changes. Ground squirrels gone underground, chippies frantically gathering food (including roots and flowers from our pots on the deck), hawks and eagles soaring over hill and dale, deer and elk moving, munching, mating, all headed towards winter. Had our first freezing temp two nights ago. It's actually quite late, with our local professor expert saying we are 10 degrees above normal in our lows for Sept and fall color is late, while last year was early. Rain? Hmm.

a few days ago on Ohio Creek - there's a huge bull elk out of sight (his harem)
 elk down our hill this morning
buck with his harem - in our yard
eating the last of our wildflowers
out the front door this morning -weasel after the chippies
Marched off for another day sightseeing trip. This time Lake City to Creede to South Fork to Cochetopa Pass and back. Fun stuff and yet another lovely restaurant,The Far Dog for lunch. Creede is tiny, with cute shops and a theatre. We caught it with a car show down Main street and the last week of restaurants open. We also saw where there was a forest fire close by, and a major area of beetle kill. Quite devastating, 30 years for recovery I think.

Giant beetle kill in the background, happily hard to see
the best shrimp and grits
and we end with buffalo
We are trying to see as many friends as we can before the season winds down, and we actually fly to Reston for a quick Penny trip this coming weekend, which cuts into the time we have left before leaving for Naples. And Mark has a business trip (or two) thrown in for good measure. All good stuff, life just moves at supersonic speed most of the time.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bear sighting and another day trip

We've had much more rain than normal, but nothing like the disastrous massive flooding going on around Denver and Boulder. Feel horrible for all the people there. This weather system is finally supposed to leave starting Monday - rain, rain go away.
The big news here is we finally saw a bear yesterday. Not at Star Mt., but in the river by Almont as we were on our way over Cottonwood Pass for another trip to somewhere new.

There were fisherman in the river below where we stopped to jump out to take pictures, and I swear were so intent on their casting they never even looked up. I've got my eyes peeled for more as fresh bear scat was on the road when I walked this morning. They are crazy active trying to build up fat for the long winter sleep.

Taylor Reservoir
Cottonwood Pass
Road trip was fun, went in the jeep (our only car at the moment, the other's in the shop)  not a jeeping ride though. Cottonwood Pass to Buena Vista to Chalk Cliffs and St. Elmo.

Fun place in Buena Vista to have lunch. Eddyline, which is on the edge of town, in sort of a mini urban multi use space. I had been once before with my mom and dad on the way to CO Springs. Hidden gem.

Cascade Falls
Chalk Cliffs looked exactly like the name, chalky white with towering heights, and the area was beautiful, tree lined roads, lakes, pretty river, old mining town, and a really nice  looking resort- Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort. Lots of pools, 102.7 degrees, spa and cute cabins, open year round if you want to check it out...

Finally made it to The Momo in CB. It's a little outside lunch place with limited days and hours with great Tibetan and Nepalese food. Yup, yet another place in town. Well its more interesting than say, 10 hamburger places in a one block radius...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Magnificent nature and big news

Crisp air, colors a changing, birds starting their migrations (we are down to a handful of hummingbirds), and mating season for deer and elk is upon us.

Does and their fawns are showing up in our yard most days. Big, bouncy and healthy looking - ready to march through the long winter.

The elk are on the move, and they don't seem to care about mingling with the cows.

Hunting has started, it's bow hunting only so far, but definitely have to pay attention where you plan to hike now.The salmon are running, a big deal here.Mark had some success on the Gunnison a few days ago.

We are zipping over to see Miss Penny in a couple of weeks, just for a long weekend, I can only go for so long without a visit! And some very exciting news - Penny will have a sister or brother come late March. Grandbaby number 2!

Listing more books read before the list gets out of control:
Below Stairs: Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir that inspired Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey by Margaret Powell - good, not fantastic as I was hoping - she was a little whiny, and admitted this at the end.
The Uncommon appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith - this series (Isabel Dalhousie) is all great.
The Sweet Dove Died by Barbara Pym - wonderful writing, British characters behaving badly, just not my favorite kind of style, maybe because I'm not British?
Book of Sight by Deborah Dunlevy -  a young adult book that had rave reviews, told my sister about for my nieces, then promptly bought and read it myself. Really good.
Cochetopa Dreams by Allison Carroll - local author (Montrose) with a first mystery novel about the cochetopa area. Entertaining.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Black Canyon, Paonia, Kebler Pass, and a foal

Blue Mesa
Little bit of fun over Labor Day. Drove (regular car this time) through a portion of Black Canyon on our way to Paonia. Been awhile since I'd stopped and done the lookover. It's a long, long way down there. Ran into a rock climber at one of the overlooks watching out after his partner who we couldn't see, as he had already gone over the edge , I mean, over the cliff. You get my drift - I think not for me. Spectacular area, formed 30 million years ago, and watched a tour boat waayy down there going along the river. Gave me some ideas for the future.

Drove through Crawford, a teeny town of 400, with shhh, a celebrity in residence (Joe Cocker). Next up, Paonia, a cute artsy town in the heart of fruit and grapevine country. Who knew there were a bunch of wineries in this area. Can't speak for quality as we didn't stop at any, maybe next time although I must admit grave doubts about Colorado wine being any good. Prove me wrong! Did however, stop at a darling Italian bistro for lunch.The Flying Fork, with a quaint fruit tree strewn courtyard, marvelous food, and a small bakery as well. The owner/chef hails from Long Island, went to culinary school, and was a sous chef at Snowmass before realizing his dream of owning a restaurant. Yum.

Zoomed past the big mines in the area and Koch land (one of the billionaire brothers who owns one of the mines and has lots and lots of land) on the way to Kebler Pass. One of the great drives for fall color, we were too early for that but its a pretty drive anyway. And I forgot to mention we had a bike race with us the entire day. A 134 mile race that was a fundraiser originating at Western State. We leisurely drove, stopping at picturesque spots, ate a relaxing  lunch, while they exerted sweat, blood, and (possibly) tears. All this extreme athletic behavior is always with us - wish it rubbed off!

All that goes with early fall is happening, including a late foal. We saw almost none this summer.

ooh baby, but her mommy?
There's mommy!
Get up mommy.
Off we go
And the rainbows have returned. Surely this means gigantic good luck if its over your house. Happily send it to all those we care about.