Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Magical mountains with dazzling snow and bluebird skies

And we are here back at our beloved Star Mt. It's gorgeous, blinding white with bluebird skies. We've only had a dusting of snow in the last couple days and no big storm is predicted while we're here. It's a decent snowpack winter so far but we can always use more. It's been pleasant during the day , 32 yesterday, but chilly at night. Woke up to 3 degrees this morning. Cozy fire time indeed. One sad note: Heather came down with a flu bug and wasn't able to fly here on Tuesday. Still holding out hope she recovers in time to reschedule. Crossing fingers!

You'll have to trust me on this - it's mountain lion
I've been out snowshoeing every day breaking that trail. And what did I come across, oh yes, mountain lion tracks and a bed down place. He's baaack... No way to tell how long ago could be two weeks for sure.

Changes abound in both our little towns. You wouldn't think so much activity would happen in just a few months, but we've learned to watch for it.  
In Crested Butte:
Long time Ruben's New Mexican has moved to Elk from Crested Butte South
Niki's mini donuts has opened a location in CB
Third Bowl is offering donuts now in addition to their ice cream (probably due to the above)
Bacchanale has closed and something called LoCo is in its place. A bar with some kind of food - that's a wait and see.
The old bakery now is 3 Chix & Alpenchix, a full dinner restaurant with brunch/bakery weekends. Not sure what the food theme is on this one either - they're labeling it "elevated comfort food".
And lastly, there is a Caribbean cafe next to Mountain Earth natural grocer.
You can see we have a lot to try!
In Gunnison:
Less news or we haven't found it quite yet. The Local Market is temporarily closed while the new owners put their own spin on the organic food/antiques store previously owned by Kathleen Curry She is our esteemed ex house of representatives and local organic rancher. She is reopening a place in Parlin as I write.
And the High Alpine Brewing Company finally opened last week with locally brewed beer. someone other than me will have to try as I'm not a beer drinker.
Of course only those readers who know the area will be interested in any of this but we who are, are a passionate group who care about everything that goes on around here.

Wildlife sightings so far extend to a bald eagle, no photo sadly, and a red fox. Oh my what a sweet sight. He/she came one afternoon, perused and then came back sometime in the night to sleep in a little ball right outside our kitchen window. He (I'm guessing) stayed around sleeping for half the morning hours, did a little hunting (the giant jump in the air to nosedive down in the snow) with no success and then wandered off. Magical.

Mark is working like a madman while we're up here but hopefully will be able to take one day to go ski. Downhill I'm talking, which yeah, is not so much for me anymore. But there's nordic for both of us in the plan. This time will go way too fast I can see.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Star Mt. winter trip coming up!

Countdown to our two week trip to the brrrr but gorgeous Star Mt. And hurray Heather will join us for a week. Let the snow fun begin! 6:20am flight out tomorrow - hear me groan.

My great open air studio
I'll miss a couple of art classes while I'm gone, but it's definitely worth it. Lots of inspiration in the magical world of Star Mt.! Snowshoeing and cross country skiing for me, downhill for Mark and Heather with a little cross country with Mark thrown in.

Been spectacular weather here which will make the shock of CO arrival a tad more severe. I've been in shorts and flipflops for weeks. Yes,pity me....

I watch the pelicans splashing in their dive for fish, see the otter across the water rolling around in the grass, and here comes "our" ugly duck waddling up to our lanai for another bread handout. It's not Star Mt. by any standards but there is a charm here in this tropical land. Summer here is a much different story. HOT, sticky nasty hot. Star Mt. it will be for me. Mark will be trekking back and forth as he did last summer. The job, the job.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Time slipping through my hands like sand

Season in Naples is a good/bad scenario for sure. We have all these wonderful stores and restaurants because of it but a whole lot of traffic and crowded spaces come along too. Fun to hear all the different languages wafting in the air and watch the endless out of state license plates meander by. Out of country as well; Canada is more than amply represented here.

As you can see above we had a nippy spell here causing a cold inversion. Out came the jackets, hat, and gloves for early morning walks. I realize it's slightly ridiculous mid 40's in Florida causes near panic. Wondering if the sheer amount of months down here will make any difference in how we acclimate when back at Star Mt. We leave in a week, and it's a short but sweet visit, only two weeks to experience the magical, but frigid, winter wonderland. Heather is joining us which will be great.

Mark is keeping up the pace and jumping back and forth from Naples to Miami. His is an intense work schedule while I'm trying to keep up an intense play schedule. Art class, yoga, tai chi, beach, writing, photography, reading - gosh who do you suppose is having the most fun?

Enjoying having my photos made into canvas prints. This one is huge 30x60 but fits perfectly over the bed. The only thing I haven't done yet is sign them. You know for posterity...

I leave you with this photo. Sometimes we're all by ourselves and just...balancing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fun with friends in the Florida Keys

Ahhh, the uniqueness that is the Florida Keys.

Old Seven Mile Bridge - pedestrians only
Our friends Wade and Pam graciously hosted us for a long weekend at their place in Marathon. Beautiful unspoiled place on the water. The Keys, if you don't know, are a 112 mile long chain of islands just south of Miami with Gulf on one side and Atlantic on the other. Only one road in and out.

Had a manatee sighting in their marina while we were there. I know, it just looks like a big blob. Currently endangered but just announced that they have made enough recovery to be downlisted to threatened. Gentle, slow moving, ten feet long, 900+ pounds and at risk from humans mainly from boats and fishing activity.

sponger in action
On our way down to Key West, Wade stopped to point out a sponger. Yup, that's an occupation here. And we went to the sponge store - of course I had to buy one. I'll think of sponges slightly differently now.

Wandered around that craziness that is Key West. A little bit of everything.

Why did the chicken cross the road - haha
The chickens were everywhere. I didn't remember this from the last time I was here. A population explosion.

Fun with the spongeman. And this was pre- cocktail hour. Photos courtesy Wade.

The birds were with us everywhere...

And there were many forms of transportation.

Key West from up high - bigger than I thought. 25,000 pop apparently.

A much needed rest stop before the piece de resistance - sunset at Mallory Square. And yes, it was chilly - in tropical Florida.

Mallory Sq. is famous and we've never done it. People, food, drinks, and street performers as far as you could see.

And this - is the Catman of Key West. That Wade and Pam said we should not miss. He's been performing on Mallory Sq. for over 30 years. And he is.stark.raving.nuts. Or the best actor anywhere. We could only manage to stay for half his show. Treasured animals, no injuries occurred if there was concern. He has a website -  if you wish to know more. Wheeeeeeeeee.

And while watching crazy man this magnificent sunset was happening. Great fun all around - thanks Pam and Wade!