Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Critters galore and glorious spring

After a ridiculous wake up to snow on the ground again, we jumped in the car and drove to Lake City, which was a repeat of last year's Memorial weekend. We drove a different way over (through Powderhorn) and knew there would be very little open still, but a great down home restaurant would be. Southern Vittles - great chicken fried steak and catfish. We were joined by a motorcycle group from Switzerland, a little different for sure.

The deer are back in mass. And we've seen Flap! We'll see if she has babies this summer (had twin fawns 2 years ago). The deer don't have babies for another month. The elk on the other hand, are now quite scattered into singles or small groups. Babies soon, at least this has been the pattern for the 5 years we've been here...

You can't believe where our idiot pair of robins have built their nest. Back to the original place of tiny bluebird nest, building upon a miniscule one from last year, I guess since I pulled down their inept nest this was the decision. Oh boy, baby birds will be falling out of the nest again... It just shows I can't apparently impact nature.

Just watching everything pop wide open with splashy color and amazing light.

Rushing spring runoff continues with public service announcements stressing wearing life jackets and being careful in the water.

Ohio Creek
Taylor River
When or when will the water be low enough to fish?
Big horn sheep just hanging out in someone's yard. They are endangered here, we heard there was only one new baby last year. Wishes for a more fertile summer...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Majestic mountain splendor

Oooh, so gorgeous now I can hardly stand it. As you can see, the aspen are halfway out and just that alone is enough to put a spring in your step. The runoff water is still in full roaring mode. The snowpack was very good this year and makes for high, high water in all the rivers, streams, and creeks. Too high and muddy for fishing yet.

The deer are back and I have eyes peeled for Flap. Her flappy piece of ear is very distinctive (probably tore it on a fence years ago) so easy to spot in a crowd. We only saw her twice last year and she barely stopped in our yard. Which is mostly a good thing, since she eats all manner of things that other deer won't.

The old school house sans roof - 125 years old
This tree was right by the road, more bear climbing tracks
Mining town of Baldwin -  used to be 100 buildings late 1800's
Longer hike/walks happening around Star Mt. as I'm trying to get in shape for some big plans in July. We're planning on doing the Crested Butte to Aspen hike and Mark has talked me into hiking our first 14er. For those you aren't in the know that's a 14,000 ft mountain. Yeah, well it's a plan... Anyway I've been wandering on roads I don't normally travel even though it Star Mt. (a big place this is) and got some nice photos.

The dreaded purple larkspur are here (they're gorgeous flowers but poisonous to cattle) hence our rancher does not put the cattle in until first of July when they're done.

Scared a male grouse in full protective scary "eye" and big fan tail. There's a nest close by for sure...

For those of you who were worried, never fear the magic spring is still going strong. 24/7, 365 days a year. As pure water goes, its right up at the top, lucky for all of us able to access it.

Look who came back! The female Bullock's Oriole( the western version of Baltimore Oriole). I think that's going to be it for the sighting though. She couldn't get anything from our big boy feeders unlike the regular kind. I have crazy pictures of the male and female hanging upside down slurping away a couple of years ago.

Still can't jump in the jeep for some fantastic mountain trip. Too early. Most passes are not open yet including Ohio Pass. Enormous amounts of snow left to melt. They have been working on Kebler Pass including announcing if you were foolish enough to leave a snowmobile from the winter it will be pushed off. Okay then.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hummingbirds, elk, cattle drive, and spring finally here

Normal busy things in our little part of the world. Finally, finally aspen are starting to pop out (late snow delayed everything) and the first wildflowers emerging.

Slowed to a crawl by a normal spring occurrence(1,000 head cattle drive) on my way into town I realized how small a world it is here when one of the cowboys I passed was "our" cattle rancher. He'll be putting his steers in Star Mt. within a few weeks. Our summer visitors.

The hummingbirds are back with a vengeance. Big Boy feeders have come back out. Let the boiling of sugar water commence!

These photos are a little unusual I know. That's Mark on a borrowed Bobcat working on our driveway that was pommeled over the winter. Our gravel flung everywhere but where it belongs. Will he want one?

elk with changeover raggedy winter coats
A LOT of elk tracks in the neighborhood
Elk are out grazing everyday wandering all over. If you remember they come back every year to have their babies in our woods in June. Fantastic how our wildlife sticks to a pattern.

Great time with company at our house last night serving, drumroll please, Shrimp  Paesano. The famous, don't need to know fat and calorie, special maybe twice a year dish. They'd all had it at the restaurant at one time or another, so  the anticipation was great and the pressure to produce great also. Of course Mark got rave reviews. Sorry you all missed it...

Couple books read, Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes. Great second memoir  of her southern childhood (first was Under the Tuscan Sun you might know) and A Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, another in her great Canadian mystery series.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Mexico Giant Trip

We are back from a whirlwind trip to Santa Fe starting first with Taos, then Chimayo, then finally all the wedding festivities in Santa Fe.

We explored the Taos Pueblo which has been lived in for thousands of years with no electricity or running water even today by Native American Indians. Much is restricted to tourists as the native people live, work their crafts, and worship within the walls. Bought a few things here and there - love artist crafts.

Mark's extra fluffy enormous pancakes included a blue corn one
Our bed and breakfast inn in Chimayo was cute with the restaurant across the street. Good food- the best kind of New Mexican. This place is huge and pulls in masses of people from a large radius. We were warned, so no surprise when there was no TV, internet or cell coverage. Happy to report we managed nicely. Thanks Nancy for the heads up.

Now the next abode was quite fabulous, courtesy of Nancy. Concierge extraordinaire at La Posada in Santa Fe, and we had the presidential suite. 4 rooms plus 2 bathrooms. Awesome stuff, sooo,we had everyone there after party two nights in a row, and wedding shower there as well. Did you see the pool table? Was played by one couple only (Brandon and Jessica) but at least was used...

Charles and Heli
and the doggy must participate
proud parents
hours of hand carving by Nancy and Rodney
Ohhh the wedding. Wow aren't weddings fun! Well, this one certainly was. Nephew Chase and beautiful bride Heli.