Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Whiplash from Naples to Miami

And it's back to balmy breezes, swaying palm trees, and white sand beaches. This messes with my mind and the wardrobe. The crazy thing is I leave again in a couple days for Virginia for a family visit. So what, I say scratching my head, clothes am I to pull out for there? I think spring is coming but maybe a touch early. I'll figure it out.

These precious little things appeared on my morning walk. These are baby ugly ducks, which are not cute as adults but isn't it a truth the young are so sweet in any form.

Made it to the beach which kind of looks like my beach right? Au contraire, its just I go early and as the crowds start to come in later, I disappear. Slight shifts are happening which say spring around here but they're hard to spot. The winter seabirds have left so the beach is quieter.

Next, off to Miami for the weekend. Mark had an event and I came over to join him. Hopping town as usual. This time the ULTRA music festival, which was right across the water from us, 55,000 people a day, traffic jams, and very loud techno music..all weekend. No, we didn't go. I think we needed to be at least 30 years younger maybe more. Great dinner out with friends at a new restaurant, the Big Easy, owned in part by golfer Ernie Els and was great south African food. Then on to a Sunday Peruvian brunch at the Mandarin Oriental which is within walking distance of our condo. Amazing food, love it all!

Your eyes are not deceiving you - those are peacocks. On my walk in downtown Miami, there they were, a flock of peacocks wandering around with high rises looming. I just looked it up and it's either an ostentation of peacocks or a muster of peacocks. Who knew.... Anyway, no one else was paying a bit of attention but I caught a photo. You never know what you're going to see.

Manny the cat was out on my walk. He thrives and still has his food and water bowls filled every day. Nice life if you can get it...

Two different mornings of water views and it never gets old. Back to you after my VA trip. Should be fun!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Family visit and playing in the white stuff

I'm back! Way overdue but somehow didn't find a minute to sit down and do a post the second week. Arrived back at our Naples place last night, or correction, early this morning - 1:30am. Air travel is not so fun theses days.

Star Mt. community property across the road - icy sheen
Our two weeks in winter wonderland went very fast. The last week especially as we had company, Paul, James, and Katie - loved having you and missed you Sherry!

Montanya Distillers
Now there's some snow for ya.
Their windows covered up
Love this quaint remade miner's cabin
Mark and I did manage a dinner at our favorite, Soupcon, and a pre-dinner rum cocktail at Montanya. Both places were very busy but food and drink (Maharaja of course) were excellent.

Elk sighting! These were a very long way away courtesy my wonderful zoom lens, close to Almont on the way to Crested Butte. You'll notice these are either female or youngsters. Males go on their merry way in the winter.

I continued to snowshoe almost every day and watched the slow emergence of the top of our fence. That's our driveway in the top photo. Even with above freezing temps the whole last week it will take quite some time for all that snow to melt.

Oh the beauty of the mountains. The ride into Crested Butte is always stunning.

CB - they hauled the giant piles of snow away.
Normal sights here - on the right a guy dressed for Red Lady Ball
A town full of characters and never ending celebrations. This was for,at least I think, Red Lady Ball, an annual celebration to support the efforts to keep Mt. Emmons (Red Lady) mine free. Outrageous works as long as its red. Until the next party...

And some shopping, eating, and of course coffee at "the" place. Spring break for both Texas and Oklahoma made for crowded everywhere.Tiny town for all that action.

Sandhill Cranes. They only come for a few weeks, just passing by, but it heralds spring a comin'. Their call is quite unique - a trumpeting, rolling sound, and when hundreds are calling, it's something to hear. They are big, 4 feet tall, with a wing span of more than 5 feet, and can live 20 years or more.

The other big sign of spring are calves being born. It started just before we left and its always quite a sight to see little wobbly creatures wandering in the snow next to their mothers.There are hundreds and hundreds born in the next few weeks. Keeps the cowboys busy.

A last dinner before family went away. Lots of skiing and snowboarding happened, even a day on Monarch. Next time you must come Sherry!

A last sunrise before we left. Keep well til we get back. It will look quite different in June when we come.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Winter brilliance at Star Mt.

We have descended upon the white dazzling world of Star Mt. Wow, what a contrast coming from Florida. We arrived in gorgeous sunshine and brilliant sparkling snow everywhere. And then the "little" snow event hit. Our problem, as in our community, is we are geographically set right in an area that has major winds frequently so even when the snow is not severe the winds cause major snowdrifts. Mark had to immediately get out our big snow blower that has sat ignored in the garage with us gone. Thank goodness it started right up.

It's been an unbelievable winter here. The mountain areas are 131% in snowpack and Gunnison County is 149%. Denver, that big ole metro city, in contrast had the lowest moisture level in history. Denver gets its water from the mountains so it's a good thing so much snow fell. The mud season is starting to show and what a mess that is. We will miss the vast majority of that and not sorry.

What amazing views we have right out our living room window. Oh these mountains...

Yippee snowshoeing! The woods were calling. There was not a hint of animal life nor any noise just pristine snow. It was so quiet I could hear my heartbeat. Which was at a fast pace given the altitude and activity. We have so much snow around the house I literally had to guess where the back gate opening was. The fence is totally covered and I walked over the gate to get out.

My track goes by markers that I take note of. Bear claw marks from some unknown time period and the squirrel house entrance- looks like a big living room in there. I'm missing the enormous red tail hawk nest we had every since we bought the property, that was abandoned and exists no more.

Second snow shoe trip out there were quite a few animal tracks jumping in and out of mine. Fox, mouse, and something I didn't recognize but small. You may remember in years past I've seen mountain lion tracks so I have an eye out.

We're only here two weeks so mean to make the most of it. Mark went skiing on the mountain today and we have family coming Saturday for a week. Hurray!

What a magical place this is. Early signs of spring will come soon in the form of newly born calves. The ranchers are busy night and day with all this new life. The greening up of spring takes forever here and we might  be one of the last places besides Alaska to have spring actually show up. In the meantime lots of playing in the snow,something everyone here does as much as possible.