Total Pageviews

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

More Photos Of Adams State Basketball Team




Hard Workers From Adams State University

 LaPuente brought another group of hard working young men to gather firewood for those who are unable to get it for themselves or can't afford it. They take the wood from our property, cut it to length, split it and distribute it to those who need it for warmth over our long winters here. This group was the basketball team from Adams State University in Alamosa.
 They came with two of their coaches and the team from LaPuente. Something about being around fun loving young men that is contagious and lifts my spirits. From the coaches to the players they all are just fun to be around. Their coach did a very nice thing and had each one of them introduce themselves individually  to me which was a very nice gesture. I hope they enjoyed their time as much as I enjoyed having them here.
 Also, many will benefit from their efforts this winter. I'm hoping that they have a very successful basketball season. They are nice young men who deserve an outstanding season.
It was fun for me to be with this group. I'll be pulling for them this season and I hope they will do well.

Trail Camera Surprise

It is always a surprise when we don't check the trail camera for a few weeks. This one must have been taken several weeks ago. Bull elk keeping that harem moving along. The other photos were close up's of his side where he brushed up against the camera. I noticed the camera a few weeks ago was at an awkward angle and just straightened it up. I should have realized it had been moved on the tree and just hadn't slipped. .

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Disaster Can Occur In An Instance

I went to cut down a dead aspen tree yesterday. Having cut down hundreds of trees in the past this one seemed like a simple one to cut down. It turned out to be anything but simple. The top photo shows the stump, the base of the tree about 12' behind the stump which is very unusual. I cut the tree about 90% through and inserted a wedge to make it fall in the direction I wanted it to fall. Instead it fell into the top of the tree in the bottom photo which acted as a fulcrum and instead of sliding off the smaller tree it hit it, bent over, and sling shot it straight back with the base about 15' in the air into the large tree in the middle photo.  
The base then hit the tree behind me and the tree rolled down the limbs sloping down right toward me and where I was standing. This all took a second and occurred very fast. Somehow I ended up on the other side of the tree laying parallel up against it.  
The heavy aspen shot up in the air and backward into a much larger tree. I ended up with a very sore pelvis and emergency room visit where X-Rays revealed no fractures. The little pine tree in the above photo just to the right of where the aspen is laying was hit so precisely that the aspen bent it over, did not roll off of it and when it sprung back it slung the aspen like a spear directly back and into the very big pine tree. Where it hit that big pine tree was about 12-15' up if broken branches are an indication. 

This tree as bizarre as it was could easily have been a widow maker. I feel very fortunate that I only ended up with a bruised hip and that I'm not dead. That little pine threw the aspen back with tremendous force and I sincerely doubt that the scenario would happen in a thousand years. I am sore but feel very fortunate to be here to write this blog.   


Monday, September 11, 2017

Toughness

 Here in the mountains the nights are getting colder and the days very mild or cool. All the wild flowers have gone away except this single flower. It demonstrates toughness and perseverance. Out of many acres only one single wildflower remains and it is radiant albeit stubborn.
This was a wet summer and the wild roses have been covered in rose hips. When I went outside today I noticed that they were all gone except these three in the photo. The deer love them and they are loaded with nutrients so they come around at night and have a feast.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Stay Safe

This hurricane Irma is a brutal storm and I hope friends and family in Florida will stay safe. I have personally been through 8 hurricanes and know how serious they can be. Someone else's roof or patio furniture can when propelled at 150 mph do major damage to people or their shelter. Once an opening is made the strong wind and rain works on tearing the structure apart. This is a well organized hurricane and even though it is heading right for Florida they still don't know where or if it will turn. What I do know is if it goes through 'hurricane alley' into the Gulf of Mexico it will be a monster storm as it strengthens over those warm gulf waters. Prayers go out for all those in its path.

Mother nature is brutal and a 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Mexico is a major hit and hopefully people are safe from the destruction. Having the ground shake and roll under you is a very scary experience I'm sure. I have personally experienced both hurricanes and earthquakes and they both are very scary. The noise from the rocks grinding together and the ground moving is frightening.  Once in one there is very little you can do but be scared, ride it out and hope for the best.

A good source for following hurricane activity is: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Chapel Bells

We have installed motion sensors to let us know when the person/s who like to vandalize our property and prowl around our house stalking us is about. I have them set to bells sound and it sounded like the bells of St. Mary's so I went to investigate. We are in a cloud this morning and it is only 42 degrees but I could see two mother deer out there and one had a single fawn and the other one had twins.

They were making the sensors go crazy but they were sure in lush eating area's. Hard to see but there is a mother and baby in this photo.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cooper's Hawk

When we walk out the back door we never know what we will see. I went outside to lock up under the house and there 8' away was a Cooper's hawk. I didn't know then what it was but looked it up and it is about the size of a raven and had apparently gone after something in the back yard and was on the ground and cornered by the gate, It unsuccessfully tried to get through the fence but was to big so it flew up to the top rail on the fence and then flew up to a tree limb. I had never seen one before and up close and trying to get away was a special treat..

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Trail Camera Photos




Wood Stove Safety Barrier

It has been getting cooler nights and it won't be long before we will need a fire in the wood stove to warm the house up. It was 41 degrees this morning. I cleaned off the 7 piece barrier that goes around the wood stove and set it up this morning. Each part interlocks and is adjustable. It is finally connected brackets on the the wall for sturdiness and stability. It only has 7 pieces but they have to go together exactly right or it won't work.

I tried about 50 different combinations and finally got it together. In the process I found that I could learn and speak a totally new language. I now speak ?/**^%)(++#@!^** fluently. The dogs will be safe for another wood burning season so it was all worth it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pet Cemetery

We buried the cremated remains of our three deceased fur family members today. It was an emotional time of remembrance of our loved departed fur family members.

 When we got home Carol gave me an early birthday gift which was a photo block with our four departed family fur members. I was speechless and miss these four so much....

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Our sweet girl Henrietta the broad tail hummingbird is dying on her perch. They claim hummingbirds live 3-5 years but Henrietta has been around for us for at least 12 years. She has always been the first to arrive and the last to leave. When she was young she flew into the window and we revived her and she has lived all these years. She is dying at a place where she knew she was loved. We always talked to her and told her how much we cared for her. I suppose most would consider us weird that we had a connection with a hummingbird but Henrietta was special. 
It is not very funny how we can get so attached to a tiny bird that has given us loyalty for so many years. We are very sad to see her go but she won't have the long migration this year. She hung on until the last as we take the feeders in next week. This too is a tearful goodbye to Henrietta....RIP girl, you will really be missed.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Lightning Strike

 I had cut some dead trees down three days ago and we went down to de-limb and cut them up this morning. As I was standing next to one tree I leaned against it and noted it didn't feel right. On examination that tree had been hit with lightning day before yesterday as the wound was still fresh and had small pieces of wood in it. 
Day before yesterday we had a bad lightning storm that knocked out the telephone and wifi system for a day and fried some of the phone companies costly equipment. 
This tree is only a little ways from where my trail camera is attached to a tree so I expect that the batteries in that camera are super charged now. When the lightning hit that tree it shook the house. Had I not cut those dead trees down I don't think we would have even noticed the lightning strike...


Friday, August 25, 2017

Mountain Sunset

Sunrises can be stunning here in the mountains but so can sunsets....

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Last Violet of 2017

 As I was cooking cowboy breakfast for some good friends this morning I noticed we still had a late blooming wild violet. I covered it with a bucket so I wouldn't step on it by accident and until I could get a photo of it to share. I love violets as they just seem to tuck themselves into the wild grasses in the spring but it is rare to see any this time of year. I am always on the look out for them as they are so tiny and if I get down on the ground they are intricate as well. I didn't expect to see one this time of year but in the spring we have several patches of them on our property...so I had to photo and share this last one.
The above photo doesn't look like much but what it is intended to show is the brown needles on the very much alive long needle pine tree. This happens usually in the fall when the tree stops sending nutrients up and instead stores them in the roots for the next year. It is a sure sign of fall and then winter. The ground squirrel that lives at the side of the house is so fat its belly scrapes the ground when it runs. Another sign that fall and winter are going to be tough this year. The deer seem to be putting on more weight than usual too. Last winter was brutal for high wind and wet snow but I expect this winter will be colder and more snow that last year had. If the trees and animals are any indication this may be a real hard winter.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Life In The Mountains

Check out a blog on Mother Earth News about the 20 year reflection of living in the mountains full time. http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/life-in-the-colorado-mountains-zbcz1708

Monday, August 21, 2017

Rainbows Inside

 We have a cut glass ornament with a prism hanging inside it that we have in the front window. At certain times of the year it creates little rainbows that float all over the front of the house. It is very pretty and we have enjoyed its rainbows for many years.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fungus

We were out for a ride and saw this tree along the way. It is covered with fungus almost all the way to the top.  Unusual to suddenly come upon...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Flycatcher

Life is tough for Flycatchers sometimes. We have had the same family of flycatchers come  back year after year and nest in the same place to raise their young. They always seem to lay three eggs and have been successful in raising their young. I found one that apparently died when it attempted to leave the nest this year and yesterday one flew into the window and subsequently died. I held it for a long time trying to keep it from going into shock but after an hour or two it died due to its injuries.

That leaves one left from the family this year and we are hoping it survives to come back another year. This is the first year we have not had several families of western tanagers nest around the house. I wonder why they didn't come back this year but perhaps life is hard on western tanagers too...


Also our bat population has diminished from 6 to one this year so when the bat migrates to the south it too may not return next year. We love our birds and bats as they keep our fly and insect population in check. Hopefully others will take their place....

Pet Cemetery

We have set a small area aside for a pet cemetery where we can bury our faithful fur families cremated remains. We have ordered three memorial markers for our deceased fur kids and when they get here we plan to bury the ashes of our best friends.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Bat

Several years ago we had some bats so I made them a bat house that we put up under our front over hang. We had about a half dozen or more bats that migrated here every year and over the years they have slowly diminished.

I was concerned that they were all gone because I had not seen any this year. A couple nights ago I was out in the back yard at dusk with the dogs and a single bat was flitting around eating insects. In the past the bats have eliminated our population of mosquitoes. This year it is feast time for the bat that survived all these years. We are happy to see even one bat return albeit late in the summer.

Hummingbirds

Our flock of Broadtail and Rufus hummingbirds number approximately around 50. It is hard to tell for sure as they zip around so fast but on the three feeders they sometimes perch side by side and take turns at the feeding holes. 

We use 4 cups water and 1 cup of sugar. We have 2 gallon jugs that we rotate. We put 12 cups of very hot water in it, add 3 cups of sugar and shake until the sugar is dissolved. There's a 12 cup mark on the side of the jug so we don't have to measure the water every time. We have 3 feeders out and it will keep us busy until September 1!!!!!

We do not use any red food coloring as we understand that is bad for them. Mixed in this flock is Henrietta who is the first to arrive and the last to leave. She has been coming around at least 10 years and we can usually tell her from the rest as she has a slight tremor from a collision around 10 years ago. Carol found her in a snow bank and held her until she revived and warmed her with the warmth of her hand. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Cake Donut Recipe

Here is the recipe. I use a deep fat fryer and take them out of the hot vegetable oil about 20 seconds before I let them dry on paper towels. They make about 20 the way I do them. Yumm..........



Directions

  1. In a large bowl mix the sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  2. Add eggs, milk and melted butter. Beat well.
  3. Add 3 cups of the flour, beating until blended. Add one more cup of flour and beat well. The dough should be soft and sticky but firm enough to handle. If you feel its necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for *at* *least* one hour.
  5. Remove your dough from the fridge and begin heating about 1" of oil to 360F in a large metal skillet.
  6. Working half the dough at a time, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/2" thickness. Cut out circles using a doughnut cutter or large biscuit or cookie cutter. For the center, I actually use the cap off my martini shaker ;) to cut the holes.
  7. Gently drop the doughnuts in batches into the hot oil. Flip them over as they puff and turn them a couple more times as they cook. They will take about 2-3 minutes in total and will be lovely and golden brown all over.
  8. Remove from the oil and set them on paper towels or brown paper bag (that removes all the fat, you know).

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Improving Skills

Because I have to take one medication with food and I get up early I usually take it first thing in the morning with a cake donut.  For years I have bought my cake donuts at City Market but recently they stopped making them. Donuts from their bakery were especially good but for reasons known only to them they decided to take one of their best sellers off the market.

I decided to make them myself and obtained a recipe from the internet. My first effort wasn't that good but this time with some adjustments they came out excellent. (see photo above) I remember as a kid that cake donuts were a special treat when my mom would make them only she called them fried cakes. What ever you call them they are good and I don't need City Market now. Takes about 1 1/2 hours to make them and to me the home made ones just taste better anyway. Yummy........