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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Miracle

As this photo above shows the Spring Fire burned right up to the edge of the road but did not cross over at our home and property. On both ends of our property the fire went right up the mountain but it left us and our home green and alive in an oasis amidst what is other wise total devastation.

Here is the miracle: We had hundreds, perhaps thousands praying for us and our home to survive across our great country and around the world even to the Ukraine. Some may call it lucky, one in a million, coincidence but if you could see our property like we are able to see it you would know it was none of those but divine intervention. Regardless of the readers faith, lack of belief, religion we know in our heart, soul and mind that our property could not have been saved other than the Lord heard all the prayers and answered them.

I don't post this as any theology discussion but as simple facts as we see them. He does not always answer prayers the way we hope, but in this case our prayers and those of many were answered.

Here is another piece of the puzzle.   When we were all crammed into a small motel room in Alamosa our good friend Shanea brought another friend by whose hobby is maps and studying land areas. She knows how to access remote cameras and see live what most people are unaware of. She had accessed a remote camera as it zoomed in on our house as the fire had passed our area.  It was intact and looked normal. She was also able to see what we all thought was a bulldozer line around our property. We saw the view also but when we looked for that view later we could not find it.

Seeing that bulldozer line around our property gave us hope.  When we were finally able to get to come home the first thing I looked for was that bulldozer line. There was no bulldozer line or any indication that any firefighting activity had occurred on our property.

Shane Greer the incident commander stated at one of the briefings I attended that in his 30 years of wildfire fighting he had never encountered one that burned this hot. The heat against our outer wall was so hot it popped table joints and caused the remote for the TV to swell. Sixty or seventy feet away trees had heat damage but did not catch fire. Shane also commented several times the Spring Fire was so intense and fast moving they were trying to catch it and were unable to get ahead of it.

The only evidence of firefighting activity we found was where after the fire the firefighters came in to work on a few hot spots. Call this what you will but we are right here to see it ourselves and there is no power on earth that could make us believe it was anything other than our Lord who protected our home and property. As we stare in unbelief we can find no other explanation. We are in an oasis of green with total devastation surrounding us. In fact there was a fire tornado not more than 3/8's a mile away that uprooted huge trees, broke others in half and even in that super intense heat and the heat not 80' from our home we don't have any damage. Thanks be to the Lord......

Friday, July 20, 2018

Requirements

Here is what is needed just to dispose of ash, metal and concrete that has been reduced to totally burned homes. Last I heard was the 6 mil. bag only held about a yard or less of ash. This makes it hard and expensive to dispose of the remains of your destroyed home. All the homes in the park are 1986 or newer and per the asbestos ban imposed in the early 70's should have zero asbestos. Seems like overkill to me and very costly to remove remains of 134 homes so people can rebuild. Not to mention very time consuming. Same with lead paint...which is no longer being used and has been banned for decades.. These homes are reduced to grey fine ash with no substance. Wash twisted and burned pieces of metal roof before disposal? Just my opinion......


Disposal and Handling of Ash and Debris Spring Fire, July 2018 The ash deposited by a wildfire burning grass/trees is relatively nontoxic and similar to ash that might be found in your fireplace. However, any ash and debris from burned structures may contain more toxic substances due to the many synthetic and other materials that may be present in buildings. For example, car batteries or mercury light bulbs, lead-based paint, plastic items and other potentially toxic materials may have been present in the buildings prior to the fire. People should take precautions when entering buildings that are partially damaged by the fire or when handling any materials from buildings completely destroyed by the fire. They should wear protective clothing and equipment to avoid skin contact with debris and inhalation of ash. One particular concern in handling debris from structures damaged or destroyed by wildfires is the possible exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and exposure to asbestos fibers can cause or contribute to the development of various diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos fibers have been commonly used in a variety of building materials including texturing, drywall, insulation and floor tiles. Asbestos-containing materials that are in good condition should not pose a hazard. However, materials that are damaged or disturbed can release asbestos fibers creating a potential exposure risk for building occupants and neighbors. To address this, Colorado law has detailed requirements related to the proper identification, handling and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. For structures that are damaged or destroyed by wildfires, following all of these requirements may not be possible or feasible. In recognition of this, the following modified procedures for dealing with buildings damaged or destroyed by the Spring Fire must be followed: I. Addressing asbestos in buildings completely destroyed by the fire where only ash and debris remain, or where sampling building materials for the presence of asbestos cannot be done safely1: Safe Handling of Ash and Debris The ash/debris should be handled in a manner that will minimize potential exposure to asbestos fibers and other hazardous materials in the debris. • Ash/debris must be wetted to minimize dust; packaged inside a container (such as an enddump roll-off) lined with double 6-mil plastic sheeting with the sheeting completely closed over the material once the container is loaded. • Soil under/surrounding the building should be scraped to ensure that all ash and building debris has been removed from the site. • Contractors should consult with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at (303) 843-4500 ext. 136 to determine training and personal protective equipment that will be required for those handling this material. Proper Disposal of Ash and Debris Ash and debris must be disposed of at an approved landfill. The following landfills can accept ash and debris from buildings destroyed or damaged by this fire that cannot be safely characterized for the presence of asbestos.

  According to the latest word from OSHA, any contractors who are involved in the debris removal process will be required to have employees wear protective equipment. It is possible that this may change depending on our success with the State. Your contractors will be able to obtain a copy of the restrictions from the office. (there is also a note they must be trained first by OSHA in debris removal)


1) Metal can be removed from the debris, washed on site, and taken to the designated staging area(s) for removal by recycling companies.
2) Concrete can be removed from structures and piled on site, pending further developments. At this point, the SLV Landfill cannot accept the concrete without testing for asbestos, but we are hoping to have this requirement eliminated or find other options for the concrete.
3) Ash and rubble can be wet down and piled on site. Currently, the SLV Landfill can accept this material only if it is treated as asbestos contaminated, which means that it must be dampened, and double wrapped in 6 ml poly. We will be addressing this requirement with State officials, but unless and until it is changed the Landfill can only accept the material if it is prepared in this manner and labeled. You will also need a “manifest” for having it hauled to the Landfill. We suggest that owners delay disposal of the ash and rubble pending further clarification.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

When A Victim Becomes A Real Victim

Our community has already heard from the EPA, OSHA and the rules have already been explained to us about debris removal. What these hard and fast rules will do is destroy our community. So far they have only decided about the double bag 6 mill disposal and metal disposal. They are still contemplating concrete disposal and will inform us when they have reached a decision. What our neighbors both with destroyed homes and those with still undeveloped land have yet to realize is the cost associated with this debris removal. Even vacant land will be required to comply to these gov't bureaucrats, and removal will be required.

Below is what I posted on Facebook and while it is harsh it has merit in my opinion.

What happens when the wildfire goes out and the smoke clears? When the service agencies leave and so does the media and the third largest wildfire in state history is nothing but a statistic.
There were 134 homes reduced to ash and twisted metal and people are still in shock and those who still have homes have to drive by the devastation of blackened trees, grey ash on the ground and the pungent smell left behind or the clouds of ash and dust that blows on the wind.
People are still in shock and have trouble focusing or concentrating with the constant visual reminder of what is now reality.
But little do they realize that the real trauma has already started. Not adjusters who actually are there to help or those who are trying to restore utilities or the electricians, carpenters or plumbers. The real trauma is when the bureaucrats swoop in with all their requirements and rules/regulations. Those heartless assholes who never leave their desk or office but impose unrealistic conditions on already victimized citizens in the name of the gov't.
How people can't clear the debris from what was left of their life that is now ash or twisted metal unless they comply with "regulations". It is for their own safety they say with asbestos that could be present. Of course the oldest home in the community was built in 1986, and asbestos was outlawed in the early 70's, so the chance of asbestos is nil...
Normal contractors are not qualified per the gov't to handle ash, concrete or metal. Homeowners have to hire a hazardous asbestos specialist to evaluate, supervise debris removal. Ash has to be wet down and put in 6 mil bags and double bagged. The trash bags at Walmart are just a little over 1 mil thick. 6 mil bags then have to be buried at a landfill a certain depth. Both the bags and the cost to bury them is expensive.
The EPA and OSHA have there unwavering requirements that must be complied to without any variance. 20 years ago before I retired and handled claims a single bag cost was over $35.00, and anyone handling them had to be fully protected in a hazmat suit and mask and trained. When the final cost to dispose of these non toxic materials per bag was tallied up it was super expensive. Then multiply hundreds of bags and factor in the specialized cost of disposing of concrete and metal and remaining wood that may have a minute trace of lead you have 135 super fund sites.
When our traumatized neighbors realize the enormous expense to clear the debris will easily exceed the cost of what it will cost to rebuild their home and the majority exceeds what insurance pays the real meaning of being victimized sinks in. What they have gone through losing everything in a catastrophic wildfire was a walk in the park to what the government bureaucrats are going to put them through. They are about to learn what a totally whimpering victim is really like at the hands of the EPA and OSHA.
We have already been told about the requirements explained above. .FEMA is nowhere to be seen nor any of our politicians who can make the rules abated or less restricted. The fact there is no asbestos in our community means nothing to a pompous bureaucrat because they have their rules and regulations and this is their chance to have real power over hapless citizens which make them seem important. Take a bottom feeding bureaucrat who has a little power and they will make people true victims with their regulations whether they apply or not.
Our community is going to go down the dumper not due to a wildfire but due to a heartless bureaucrat and our government idiots.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Home Again



The Spring Fire is almost, if not, fully contained now and as far as the south end of it goes we will be able to return to our homes tomorrow and we who still have homes grieve for those who lost theirs. It is a sad and disheartening thing to return to a heap of ashes and twisted metal. Those who had beautiful mountain lots with abundant trees and growth now only have charred sticks pointing to the sky and grey ash on the ground. I can remember how excited we were planning for our retirement home and those who bought lots to do that have had their dreams shattered. I think emotionally their loss is equally great. It will be even greater if they come view their property.

I personally have a huge sadness as I drive into what used to be lush mountain land and now it is scorched earth. While our home was one of those surviving I don't think I'll overcome the sadness and sorrow that I know others  are experiencing who are not as fortunate are going through.

All because one moron who defied the multitude of warning about no fires decided he could have one anyway. 108,000 acres burned and destroyed and hundreds of dreams and lives damaged... sad....

Heat Melts ATV


We have been attending the Spring Fire briefings each day and yesterday on the wall was this display. I thought at first it was a piece of art but what it really is - is what is left of an ATV. The heat was so intense that it melted the entire ATV and this is what is left. This wildfire generated intense heat. 

Aluminum melts at 1220 degrees  (f) and a wildfire with fuel burns up to 1,472 or hotter.  One of our neighbors brought this in to share and so we could see how hot it was. The heat ignites anything in its path...

Monday, July 9, 2018

Odor Removal

When I was working I used cleaning companies to remove smoke odor from homes that had a fire. Twenty five years ago using an ion machine was state of the art and only a few companies had this equipment as it was costly. I checked it out on Amazon and the price had fallen on these machines substantially. The one shown will do 4000 square feet and it costs $90.00 including 4-5 day shipping.

These little beauties destroy all odor in a house and not mask it or hide it. Also perfect for people who suffer allergies. The drawback is that no one or pets can be in the house for an hour or two when it is in operation.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Photo Taken Yesterday

This photo was taken yesterday. This is the big lake in Forbes Park from approximately Forbes Park Road looking toward the dam at the end of the lake. Hopefully this section will be put out soon. In our 21 years in the park the winds that funnel through this cut in the mountains are ever changing and strong. This is l mile from out house which is off to the right, When we visited our house yesterday I put out a hot spot just up from our driveway. Photos to share later. This photo courtesy of Spring Fire 2018...

Friday, July 6, 2018

Bath Tub



 Ever since we have been temporarily staying in this BW motel room Echo has  been fascinated with the bath tub. He will go into the bath area and just stand and look at the tub. He has yet to figure out what that thing is used for but he keeps studying and pondering that strange thing..

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Miracle

We found out our house AND property were spared. The tax assessor took a photo and nothing damaged. It went down the other side of our road. We are overwhelmed with this good news but grieve with those who are not so fortunate. Sitting in the notice meeting when a home was  announced destroyed I would hear an exhale or little moan. My heart was breaking.....

Today 4:00


Wednesday, July 4, 2018
6:55 p.m.
A notification meeting for Forbes Park Landowners whose property was listed as inaccessible at Monday’s meeting, as well as units G2, the remainder of H1, H2, J, K, L, M, N, P will be held on Thursday July 5th at 4:00 pm Sierra Grande Middle School located next to the Blanca Fort Garland Community Center.
The meeting will be restricted to property owners listed above. Rapid tags will be required to enter the meeting. Rapid tags can be obtained at the Disaster Assistance Center located in the Blanca Fort Garland Community Center Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Picture ID and proof of residence are required to get a rapid tag.
The meeting will include breakout sessions during which the condition assessment will be shared for properties with permanent structures (no RVs or vacant land). Property owners whose property was destroyed or damaged will receive photos of their property. Behavioral health staff will be available. Members of the media are not permitted.  
Homeowners who are unable to attend the meeting on Thursday can view the assessment report which will be available on www.slvemergency.org later Thursday evening.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Update


For anyone wanting to follow this wildfire in S. Colorado, there are some official links. You can go to two sites for County reports: One is on Facebook and one is a web site. Both are slvemergency but the web site has .org.
The other official site also has two sites,  one on Facebook and one a web site. Springfire or Spring Fire with a .gov. When you put the wildfire in your search engine it has multiple sites and some are Spring Creek Wildfire and all other variations.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Update


We have been in a motel with no internet due to a severed fiber optic cable for five days. We finally have internet back and are now waiting for the county officials to update the homes that have been destroyed. They are not up to our area yet due to heat. We hope to hear something in the next couple days. So far there have  been 104 homes burned down and 61 saved. That is about 1/3 of our community of 350 homes and those are in the first part so being in the middle we have yet to be accounted for. So far this fire in 5 days has burned 80,000, acres and is only 5% contained. More to follow as long as the internet holds..

Friday, June 29, 2018

Spring Wildfire

We were finally able to evacuate yesterday and this was what was happening. We drove through flames getting pelted with hot embers along the way. We are now in a motel in Alamosa safe and sound. We saw nothing but devastation on our way out at least what we could see. Piles of rubble where homes used to be and scorched earth everywhere we looked. Our community has been destroyed and even as I write this it continues. I will try to keep updates but it is now in the front of the Park only ash and what used to be trees. Some houses survived but 24 were lost and perhaps more. We are still in shock over what we saw and what is to come. This wildfire is zero contained and getting larger by the minute. Paradise is lost for at least a generation....

Photo courtesy of a friend who took it on their way to Alamosa.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Letters

Carol just purchased me an IPhone which I have resisted until now. When our daughter Sasha visited us recently she introduced me to what is now known as Face time. I had no idea that even existed until we were holding her phone and talking to her daughter face to face. For an old geezer like myself I find this technology fascinating. It replaces letter writing and in fact they don't even teach cursive in schools any longer. While the modern technology is amazing I find myself missing the written letter.

I still have one friend that I exchange letters with regularly. I am glad for the new technology but the art of letter writing is rapidly disappearing which I find sad. When I sit down to write (type) him a letter I structure my sentences so the reader will understand what my intent is. Not in code or some  abbreviated version but thoughtful phraseology. I am able to think my subject through without the instant communications.

After the letter is mailed it will be a few days before he gets it and then I  patiently wait in anticipation for his reply. Technology allows us to be in constant and immediate contact with each other and how that will impact interpersonal communications in the long run I'm not sure but what I am sure of is I miss letter writing. Getting a personal letter in the mail is much different than holding this small computer in my hand with laborious typing and going back and forth.

In a written letter the intent is pretty clear usually. On this blog for instance I get responses from others but many are just anonymous spam or trying to get someone to open their website for a product or service or worse. I delete those but they are many each day. At least a letter won't be pirated in any way for someone else's purpose.

Times change and I know I need to keep up but I'm already missing letter writing. There is nothing like receiving an anticipated personal response from a friend or family member.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Rhubarb

 Above photo is before - below photo after.....

Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Kubota B Series

We received a new Kubota yesterday and traded in our BX model. The BX seemed to have one problem after another. The Co-op person who tried to hook up the front loader on the BX model advised that it was just a frustrating challenge. Hope this one will serve us better.
Now is a good time to invest in a Kubota tractor as they are offering zero finance charge for up to 5 years.  Also, if you buy two implements Kubota gives you $700.00, off the price.

Hummingbirds By The Flock

Three feeders and all three are loaded with hummingbirds. We have one more hanging out front and it is a busy feeder too. We miss Henrietta but many of these are her offspring so that is good. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

2018 Garden

 Above photo shows the rhubarb plants with raspberry bushes behind and potato bin to the left. There is a peppermint bush behind the lower rhubarb. We have already had two rhubarb pies from the one rhubarb plant and Carol is making the third pie today.
 Above photo is lettuce and bottom photo is spinach. Next trip to town I'll need to get some Miracle Grow fertilizer. Not shown is the Earth Box that is on the deck with carrots.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Smoky Day Today

Our area is still in the red flag warning which it has been now for several weeks. If you follow this blog and own property in or around S. Colorado there is a web site that gives relatively current information on wildfires in the country, and especially Colorado and the western states. We presently have several wildfires in our state and one in N. New Mexico where we think the smoke is coming from. That one is the Ute Park fire and the one's to our west near Durango is the 416 fire, horse park fire, and Burro fires.

We are in the highest  stage of drought - exceptional which is one stage higher than severe drought. Everything is super dry and last night the wind blew hard again and we lost power for roughly 5 hours. We are being super careful not to cause any spark and our area is strictly forbidden from having any flame outside including no smoking. Pretty scary times especially when we have the pungent odor of smoke in the air.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Tree Pollen

We have never seen tree pollen so bad as this year. It comes right through the window screens and covers everything. I walked outside and it is all over my boots. No rain may contribute but I don't know about that and it is only a guess.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wild Violets

 One of the reasons we decided to put the pet cemetery at its present location is due to the proliferation of wild violets.  They just came into bloom and cover 3-4 square yards just next to the cemetery which is situated between these wildflowers and the spring head. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Raven's and Rainbows

 When I looked out the front window this morning there were two ravens perched on a limb going through some raven ritual. Lots of head bobbing and the one would occasionally grab a small branch and try to pull it loose. Not sure what they were doing but it was interesting to watch.
Tonight after a much needed rain storm there was a rainbow out front. It did not come out as vibrant as it was in person and the camera didn't get the full colors but it arc's between the two pine trees if you look carefully.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Super Dry

We are still in the red flag warning with warm days, wind and humidity at single digit. It appears that we will remain in a red flag warning until Sunday morning. Our time is being spent clearing trees, limbs, mowing grass etc. which leaves little time to post here. In spite of all the warnings about no fires outside over the weekend some person had one anyway and then left without putting it fully out. It caught surrounding vegetation on fire and was fortunately found early and extinguished after burning an area.

I'm losing my faith in people who want to do what is dangerous to others and the community and ignore warnings, rules and are not able to handshake with common sense. Over the years I have encountered a few people who openly defy red flag warnings and other rules to protect the community. When confronted they plead ignorance of the danger or manufacture an excuse that seems to get them off the hook. In some cases they just rely on ugly belligerence and threats.

If you refer to them for what they are - idiots or morons -  they sue you and you end up the victim and they prosper from their stupidity. I personally believe we have a deep seated society problem which turns justice on its head. END OF RANT......

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Remember!!!!!

When I was young Memorial Day was called Decoration Day to honor those who have fallen in battle so we could live free and enjoy the good things about our country. There are numerous attacks on our freedoms these days and it may be because our citizens have forgotten what a price was paid for those freedoms. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have given their lives for the freedoms we have today. They gave the ultimate sacrifice so we could live free in a wonderful country.
Memorial Day is not to celebrate BBQ or a day at the beach - just ask any veteran who has lost a friend or buddy in combat. Ask any parent, wife, husband, brother, sister or orphaned child of a military member who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.
These brave men and women gave their life for our country and the flag that represents our wonderful country. Don't disrespect the country, flag or the veteran who gave their all especially on this National day of remembrance or our brave soldiers. FREEDOM IS NOT FREE........


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Beware Of Wildfire

This was posted for our community by our association. We are in a very dangerous time with conditions as dry as they are.

FPLOA Email News and Updates
May 25, 2018
Extreme Fire Danger and Red Flag Warning in Forbes Park for the Memorial Day Weekend
 Our Fire Prevention and Control Program Director just received notification that due to the predicted wind and extremely dry conditions in our area, theComplete Fire Band that is already in effect in Forbes Park and Costilla County has be upgraded to a Red Flag Warning.
 Red Flag Warning means any type of outdoor fire or the outdoor use of any flame or spark producing device or equipment is strictly prohibited.
This warning also means that a fire is extremely likely and all residents and camper in the park should be vigilant when conducting all outdoor activities this weekend and remain alert for any sign of a fire, smoke, or the smell of smoke, and if detected, please call 911 Immediately, and then the Park Manager at 719-379-3000.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Missouri Volunteers

 A combined group from First Christian and the Presbyterian church in Madison Missouri volunteering for LaPuente in Alamosa came today and loaded two trailers of firewood. That will make many people in the San Luis Valley happy this winter when the temperatures dip to -20 degrees. 
 We are fortunate at our age that we can still harvest, split and stack our firewood but many can't and some can't afford the high price of firewood so it is provided free by LaPuente for those in need. It is a good feeling to share what we have an abundance of with those who really are in need. We heat with a wood stove and if we lacked firewood we would be very cold so seeing our wood go to others is a good thing. 
 We will not know who benefits from it personally but knowing someone is benefiting from it is all we need. LaPuente has good programs and worth of donations and volunteerism....



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cauda Equina


A new disease for us as we had never heard of it before. It is awful to say the least. Our 11 y/o boy Bozwell (photo above) had been normal all morning. He climbed the three steps to the downstairs bed two hours before and had been out in the yard acting normal. Ate his lunch and Carol was washing dishes in the kitchen and he laid down to watch her.

I was outside loading the tractor onto the trailer to take to the Kubota Dealer for a power steering hose replacement and Carol came out and said Bozwell wouldn't put any weight on his right back leg. I asked her to call the vet immediately and came right in the house. He did not seem to have any pressure points and when I moved his leg he didn't protest but she took him to the vet within the hour.

The vet took x-rays and checked him and said he had Cauda Equina which is a narrowing of the spinal canal where the bundle of nerves come out. By the time he got home he couldn't use either back leg and was falling every other step. The vet put him on prednisone and a pain Rx and said the swelling should go down in a couple days and we should see improvement. This is day one and we have only seen small improvement but we are hopeful for more tomorrow and the next day. About 50% of dogs recover and we hope he is in the 50% group.

I have never heard of this disease before. He has been resting for 1 1/2 days now and we fashioned a sling out of a large bath towel with a pee hole in it to support his back legs when he goes out for a potty break. (see below) No exercise for at least 6 weeks. This disease affects the nerves that control bowel movement and urination. So far so good!

The photo below shows the sling which is what Carol is holding up. We have used it twice today and so far with success.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mist Systems

 Check out the latest blog for Mother Earth News on practical uses of a misting system. https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/using-a-misting-system-zbcz1805
Very top is misting line run across front of house. Middle is the hose connection and water filter and below is misting head.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Homesteader Tip

We have insect problems here like most areas but our problems are usually ants. I let the dogs out to go potty and right by where they walk were swarming red ants. We don't use toxic sprays except when we have to deal with a spider that we can't handle, otherwise we do keep a can of spider spray on hand. We haven't used 10% of the can over the several years we have had it.

Yesterday I noted red ants on the hummingbird feeder and quickly found out they are ferocious biters. I grabbed the spider spray and sprayed the glob of red ants. As soon as I got the dogs back in the house I ran for the diatomaceous earth also known as DE. It is so fine that it floats in the air and is finer that talcum powder. The ants were all over the ground and I sprinkled it on the area's they were running around on and 30 minutes later they had disappeared.

I took a bucket of water out and washed away the spray I first used as it had done its job and I didn't want traces of it around. DE is microscopic diatoms that individually are so light that they float in the air but are devastating for hard shelled insects. The insect is positively charged and DE is negatively charged and the DE adhere's to the insect. The dead diatom is a hollow sphere that has sharp edges and those sharp edges lacerate the insect and they dehydrate and die.

We bought our DE from Wolf Creek Ranch many years ago. We bought a 6# bag and probably still have half of it left. A little goes a long way and we bought the food grade DE so if it got in animals system that it would not harm them. It can be given to dogs to kill intestinal parasites safely and also can be used in humans but to hard shelled insects like ants it is deadly. I have moved large colonies of ants with it.

We used it in the house one time and it is so light we were vacuuming it up for weeks. It floats through the air and gets into every nook and cranny and takes a long time to remove. Another reason to get the food grade type so if breathed in it is not harmful. When sprinkled around hard shelled insects you can see it attach to them. Within a half hour or a little more they will disappear to get away from it. DE is highly effective against insects.

Care should be exercised to not get it in your eyes as it could irritate them. I have asthma and I avoid breathing it even though non toxic. I don't want to take a chance it could irritate my lungs. If it is windy I use a face mask and eye protection. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

More High Winds

Two more days of high wind and didn't want to be outside as I have heard what sounded like trees falling. This one was hard to ignore however as it blew over and landed not 10 feet from the well. Looks to be around 10-11 inches at the base and uprooted. I moved it to the edge of the driveway and raked and stacked up the limbs. When we are in repeatedly red flag warnings we need to keep the driveway open. If the winds subside tomorrow I'll go do a survey of the rest of the property - otherwise I'll have to wait for it to stop gusting so strongly. Just to dangerous to be outside in high wind like this with trees coming down unexpectedly.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Drought

I know there are some who do not live in Forbes Park full time and only visit but this should interest all owners who have property here. We are located in the bottom center of Colorado where it is 'exceptional drought'. We are not allowed to have any open fire here under penalty of hefty fines and jail time. I have never seen it this severe in the twenty plus years we have lived here. Everyone I have talked to is very concerned over potential wild fire. We did not come anywhere near our average snow fall this year having only received 105" out of our average of 264".

There are signs of a long ago wildfire occurring in our area with occasional pieces of charred trees on the ground. We have been working for years to protect ourselves and our property against the inevitable wildfire. As can be seen by the map about 2/3's of our state is venerable to wildfire. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Happy 11th Birthday Bozwell

Today is Bozwell's 11th birthday and he will celebrate with lemon cupcakes and vanilla yogurt. Happy Birthday special boy.....

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Johns Crazy Socks


We have always thought it interesting to see past president George H.W. Bush in his wheel chair with these wild looking socks. As it turns out there is a story behind the socks he wears. A young man named John who has downs syndrome started a sock business with his dad. Recently he was on television being interviewed and his story told.

Carol and I saw the interview and Carol ordered three pair of socks for us. Here is the thank you card that John sent with the socks and he even put in a small package of Skittles to boot. We normally don't post web sites or promote products but this is for such a good cause that we broke our own rule about advertising on our blog site. The web site is: JohnsCrazySocks.com in case any reader is interested.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Smart Thinking....

 I had planned to donate these trees to the local charity but our association sent out an email requesting trees like this that had blown down be donated to them. They plan to mill the lumber out of the trees to build a firehouse to hold the pumping gear and fire equipment. I called the manager and they came and looked at the large trees we had down and they would like them.
I have owned three personal wood mills in the past 35 years and have milled a ton of lumber myself. I know what trees are desirable and which should be used for firewood. I have four ranging from 26" to 16" that are all straight and excellent trees to mill lumber from. Material is the most costly in building and they have volunteer labor so the cost to build the fire house should be minimal. Smart thinking.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

New Headstones

We purchased three headstones to mark where the ashes of our previous fur family were buried. They deteriorated within 6 months so we decided not to take another chance on buying them and made them ourselves. We have a store in Alamosa that sells pavers and sand and gravel. I went there to see if they had any that would make good headstones and voila they did. I bought 6, three for our deceased fur companions and three for our existing fur family.

I sealed them with clear exterior boat varnish, then stenciled their names on each, picked a photo of them when they were younger and glued it to the stone. Then put 1/4" clear Plexiglas on top sealed with exterior caulk. The irony is that all six of these headstones cost less than one of the purchased ones and are far superior. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Laid Back Sunday

Sunday morning at our home. Two are laid out resting and the third is sprawled out behind my recliner. Nothing like taking a doze in a sun beam.....

Friday, April 20, 2018

Finally Snow

 Six inches of nice wet snow.. Much needed moisture. Total snowfall for the season is now up to 103".