Friday, August 29, 2014

Creede, fire, packrats, and wild mushrooms

A quick post before everyone arrives tomorrow. Sooo excited. We've been busy, here and there enjoying everything this magnificent area has to offer.

Visited Creede on what has been a once a year adventure. Fun little town with a nationally known performing theatre. We read about a crazy decades old restaurant/resort 20 miles out of town - Freemons.Wow, not to be missed. 1950 here we are. Old fashioned great hamburgers and ice cream (we only tried the hamburger this time, yum).

Mark is back at it, meaning burning woodpiles and fighting beavers. Wow, being a homeowner here seems  to require more physical labor than we expected.

All fine, no injuries and proper authorities called. Who knew rubber boots, rack, shovel, and gasoline were essentials around here.

Haying continues. It's monster business around here. Be careful truck drivers though, hay catches on fire easily, was behind one a while ago.

Went with friends Gail and Steve to Blackstock Bistro, another new place on the Gunnison scene. Verdict, food very good, quite LOUD though. Choose seating in the front.

wild chanterelle mushrooms
18 day dry aged beef
Special, special meal tonight. We had our first aged beef in over a year. Nothing you don't already know, beef is expensive these days and we need a big 'ole roast to age (at a reasonable price) which was  very hard to come by. Finally got it and the steak was fabulous but almost overshadowed by the magnificent chanterelle mushrooms provided by our friends Bunny and Walter. They are mushroom gatherers extraordinaire.Thank you for the special treat!

Crazy, snow on the peaks Aug 27!
Sidenote, we are minus one packrat so far. Five years here and this is the first, so we've been lucky. They are nasty, dreadful nuisances and must go. A friend loaned us a live trap and that worked.We pretend we are not living in the wild, but we are. Interesting experiences to say the least.

Be back with the family fun!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The sweetness of the mountains and small mysteries

Around here it is unwise to be complacent, which we forget. The impending fall also means changing of animal behavior which can catch you unawares. The wild orange Rufus hummingbirds have vanished leaving the less aggressive ruby throat and black chinned to enjoy a last peaceful few weeks before heading back to Mexico. Mark had a large black bear actually cross in front of him just down from the house when he was driving early to town. He kinda chased it down the road honking to get my attention at the house (which sadly I didn't see or hear) and it lumbered into our woods. They're starting to bulk up for winter so out and about a lot more.

All the mess thrown on the driveway
We have a little mystery discovered this morning. Inside the bottom of the gas grill was full of daylily leaves and cut stalks of wildflowers from the front of the house. Mark pulled it all out but what is trying to store food for the winter? We think it may be, gulp,a rat. It's big size stuff, a fair distance away to drag it over, and being done at night. The chippies and ground squirrels are not nocturnal. I'll keep you posted.

The missing twin, a girl judging from her build
And surprise, surprise - Flap has twins not just a lone fawn this year. She's very consistent, a set of twins every other year since we've been here. I'm sure she teaching these all her bad habits too.

This is a silly photo of a female grouse leading a steer (she thinks) away from her babies. The steer is simply heading to the water tank.

And these were following me. The cows have just about a month left before the cowboys round them up.

More mysteries. This bear has been attached to a fence down the main road for at least a year. I go this way on my long hikes regularly now. What's the story?

Lots of migrating birds around suddenly.Don't know where they're coming from and don't know where they're headed but must assume a warm place for winter.

Books read: The Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey
                    A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta by Paul Theroux
                    In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
The first two were okay- not my style of writing, and while In This House of Brede is considered a classic and well written, it's about nuns and a nunnery. Limited interest here sadly.

Family all coming in 8 days.  Cannot wait!

Friday, August 15, 2014

It's all about the animals

And we march through the long last days of summer. Going too fast, see the start of the golden hues a comin'.

and her baby!
Big surprise
Lots of animal activity these days including Flap and her fawn. She is quite the lackadaisical mother, so surprised every time she appears with babies. She's had two sets of twins prior to this one. Deer live 10-12 years here in the wild- wonder how old Flap is?

pretty restored creek
And the beavers came back. I went with Mark this time to assess the damage. A monstrous amount of branches and rocks everywhere and they jammed the head gate again. They are certainly industrious little creatures.

I've stuffed my cheeks but I want MORE
The ground squirrels have now taken over the deck. They demand food morning, noon, and night. Our fault of course. They're very cute and fun to feed.

Off, I want this off!
Now their munching on my flower pots is not cute- at all. So the first experiment with cheese cloth has accomplished not much as you can see. These are petunias, or were... There is a daily pull contest to get it off.

CB farmer's market still going strong, at least for another few weeks. Grabbing lots of heirloom tomatoes and peaches while they last. Yum.

sauntering through town
Bucks, bucks everywhere. Handsome boys...

Friday, August 8, 2014

The special days of late summer

Gorgeous weather with a thunderstorm or two thrown in. Makes for wildly atmospheric photos.The late wildflowers are starting to bloom with as much variety as the early. Only for a few more weeks.

view towards Ohio Pass road
The waterfall
We did another hike although this one was not completed up to the summit. Ohio Peak and while we made it 2/3 of the way, I was really the one responsible for the abort. Suddenly not feeling well, light-headed and breathing irregular. We turned around and went back down, and what I thought was a high altitude reaction turned out to be a some kind of virus that took me a couple days to shake off. Oh well, another time to do the summit.

Cows are fat and happy at Star Mt.
The mass of summer visitors is starting to die down. Lots of working people in action - haying and ranchers eagle eyeing their cattle. Can't hardly believe it, but school is starting soon in many places. We still have family coming the end of the month and mid Sept. which makes us very happy.

Hummingbirds are ferociously eating after a short lull. Going through a gallon of sugar water a day right now. The chipmunks and ground squirrels are training us to feed them on the deck. And if we don't move fast enough they start chomping on our pots of flowers. Ha. All the nests of birds under our deck are grown and flown away- two bluebird nests and the slightly kooky pair of robins. Actually no idea what happened with the robin baby birds. I made a vow not to watch since they were destined to fall out of the too small nest. Three fawn sightings only, one of them this morning. That is an extraordinarily small number for here.

Books read. I now realize I haven't reported since early July. Whoops.
Ruth Reichl - Delicious
Diana Gabaldon - Written in My Own Heart's Blood
Deanna Raybourn - A Spear of Summer Grass
Anna Jean Mayhew - The Dry Grass of August
Julia Reed - The House of First Street, My New Orleans story
All good, but the highlight definitely was Diana Gabaldon's latest. fyi her first, Outlander, is a mini series on Starz starting on 8/9. Can't wait!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Little fire and smoke action and jeeping fun with friends

Bits of fun and it's August already. How did that happen? Gonna enjoy every minute of our last weeks of summer.

Mark and neighbor Tommy spent half a day burning down two of the enormous wood piles on the common ground, the result of all the initial creek restoration work. His first time for this- it involves diesel, gasoline, and matches. Quite a dangerous combo which is why there is a required call to police dispatch. An unexpected side job was the, renewed with a vengeance, beaver activity. Huge logs, stones, were all jammed in the head gate. How do beavers move large stones? Anyway, Mark was up to his neck in the creek trying to move it all. I'm thinking trapping may be on the list, which requires some knowledge, and apparently there is "a guy".

remnants of mine activity - its around every corner
We had such a fun time going jeeping with Gail and Steve. Weather did not look promising as we met in Gunnison in the rain. But Engineer Pass was dry until we started down to Silverton, so it worked out perfectly.

that jeep is waay up there
Gorgeous flowers, lots of jeeps meeting us at the top coming from Ouray and Silverton, thank goodness not too much maneuvering on those narrow roads.

This trip certainly caused some reminiscing about the "old Spring Creek days". This was a walk in the park jeep ride compared to the infamous Devil's Punch Bowl trek of years ago. You all know who you are...

The Rock did well
on top of the world
Lunch at Handlebar's was great as usual, first time for Gail and Steve. They pronounced it good.