Friday, June 26, 2015

Star Mountain Magic

Oh the joy of coming back and the reverence I have for this place called Star Mt. After a record rainfall in May (broke records back to 101 years ago) everything is brilliantly green and wildflowers are going crazy.

The wildlife report as it stands now: coyote howling in the night, deer all around but no Flap yet, lots of elk sightings off Star Mt. with only one sighting going into our woods, slow moving grouse, and sadly but a fraction of the hummingbirds are around. They apparently made off to other parts when we came back a month later than normal. The Rufus (aggressive orange ones) are arriving now as usual and probably surprised at how easy it is to take over the feeders.

Lots of work going on here this week both physical and mental (Mark's conference calls with his job) and massive spring cleaning and yard work. We left when there was still snow on the ground so a lot to do. Nothing like getting you acclimated quickly!

There are always changes in restaurant and retail in our area when we leave. We tried the newest breakfast/lunch place in Gunnison - Mom's Kitchen. We say good! It's just down from the W, which is interesting as the owner used to waitress there. It's their second venture in the city as they bought Piezan's a year or so ago obviously having success. Next, haven't visited yet but Gunnison now has a mini donut place (Niky's Mini Donuts) opened by a family from Houston who've made the big move out here. A second location in Crested Butte is coming.

This will be the last post with photos from my old camera. I've had it two years and a month ago it developed a hard black edge line that shows up in my fully zoomed out photos. You can see what I'm talking about in the grouse photo above. I've been cropping out but that ends up a tedious thing and ultimately decided time for a new one. It's the updated version of what I had, a Panasonic DMC-ZS45. This has all the same features plus selfie capability and wifi. We'll see how much I use of either.

So excited as we have family arriving Monday and Wednesday. Anne and family including my mother from Seattle and George and Linda from CO Springs.  Fun times will be had!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bye Naples for now

Bird of Paradise
This will be a quick post as early am tomorrow is departure time for the long trek back to Star Mt. Can't believe it's time to go, and we're still on the adventure tour of who goes where. I will probably not be back to Naples before Oct. but Mark will be, and of course to Miami.

Bye to the manicured landscape, the beach, the great restaurants, and let's not forget Whole Foods. Hello magnificent soaring peaks, the wildflowers, the woods, the animals, and the quiet.

Bye to the creatures here. Enjoy your hot summer! The otters came back and big boy lizard has a friend (little girl, little boy?)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Miami experience and Star Mt. is calling

Aaand back from Miami. Calmer visit for me, probably because I opted for a quieter schedule (walking, painting, reading etc.) as there was no need to jump around shopping for the condo. It's pretty outfitted at this point. The same can't be said for Mark. His schedule is a whirlwind at all times and he's in the moving and shaking crowd. Pretty intense stuff.

Ceviche at Jaguar
Fun dinners out of course. Miami is such a foodie town. Jaguar in Coconut Grove and Crazy About You downtown. Great food! It's been a bit of a challenge to dress for these dinners. Miami style is its own thing, not Naples at all. Dressier, quite body conscious, and heels, the higher the better. Ugh. So I wore heels and looked good realizing I was gonna pay later. I have great sympathy for the women walking the red carpet at Cannes. Did you hear? They, the organizers, are requiring high heels, no flats allowed.

My walks in the morning around the island were a delight even with the Florida summer heat. Lots of people watching and boat watching as well, with docked cruise ships bells wafting across the water. In this heat I'm trying out a cooling bandana made by Frogg Togg that you tie around your neck. Only used it once so far and I think it made a difference. It's a weird texture (rubbery) and kind of heavy (you soak it with water before use). so it definitely needs more testing via me.

looks like a mosaic from on high
We are getting a little more comfortable with this "high rise" life style thing. It's quite the place we've landed in, well more for Mark than for me, and these lofty heights are pretty fascinating.

The giant yacht was gone this time. (See 2 posts ago). Mark looked it up and Fountainhead belongs to Mark Cuban, who considers Miami "home". A little bigger than we thought too -280ft. He's made the top 100 list in the world with that one. And then there are the party boats. That's a crazy amount of people on the one above and if you aren't looking you're still hearing it. The pounding music is cranked to the max.

Homegrown and yummy, mangoes from Maria and Brett's yard. 13 mango trees and a daily collection via wagon from Maria. Thanks for the bounty!

Hard to believe, we head back to Star Mt. this coming Friday. My thoughts are drifting to the elk (have they had the usual number of babies there?), the hummingbirds (did they give up on us and leave the area?), Flap (has she been the normal frequent visitor and did she eat up my daylilies?), and will we see newcomer Mr. Moose? (he's been seen again, this time in our mudhole and wandering back into the woods behind our house). We're coming, we're coming.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The long hot days of Florida summer

A much quieter week especially with it off season in Naples and Mark in LA and Seattle all week. My lists for the lists has officially started. We are two weeks and counting before loading up the car and trekking back to Star Mt.

My morning walk is as early as I can get out as it's hot and humid now even before 7am. Hardly a soul around and I plow through gossamer threads that have been busily woven overnight. Wildlife sightings of the day -turtles, ducks, tropical birds, and rabbits.

I feel the familiar itch for Star Mt. creeping back. Early mornings involve eyes swiveling in every direction for quite a different set of animals - elk, deer, bear, fox, coyote, and now we hear a bull moose has been spotted on Star Mt. twice. Mr. Moose, please wait for us...

Ahh, no more clean car, Whole Foods, and a myriad of stores and restaurants 5 minutes away. It's a trade off to be in one of the more beautiful places on planet earth. A wild and fierce love for Star Mt. is embedded in my heart. Interesting summer coming up with Mark coming and going from Florida and I to stay at Star Mt. and man the home front.

Still enjoying the beach, and during the week it's quiet and sweet. The enjoyment of the water by all continues, and then there's the occasional dolphin sighting.

Back to Miami next week. More adventures in salsa town.