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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Color Change At The Peak

 I had a chiropractor appointment and from the last trip into town the colors have reached their peak. The forecast tomorrow is for rain so after  I got home I took Carol to see the colors with her phone camera. We took some photos to share so others can see how beautiful is now since the rain this time of year can easily turn to hail and the leaves will be gone. The above photo is from the end of our road about 1 mile away.
 The above photo is from the meadow down the road from our house. The photo below is from about two miles from the house looking toward the mountain range.

Recent Visitors

 I like to share our visitors with our readers but I usually wait a few days or even weeks to do so as we have poachers in our community.  I realized that they were watching our blog so they would know when the elk were around and I would see them driving up and down the road in pursuit of the elk which feel safe in our no hunting community. By not publishing when they were here the poachers are always several days late or weeks late.
 By not putting a date and time on the photos the poachers don't know when the photos were taken and I don't give them any clue.  It is sad that this has to be done but our house is situated where we see the poachers pass by and to protect the elk and deer we don't post photos of them until days later.
Here are three photos of some elk that meandered through our property enjoying the openness of the woods and safety provided.

More Fall Photos From The Mountains

 The above photo is where one of the springs comes up from the ground and runs clean pure water all year long. The photo just below it shows where it forms a little water fall as it goes into the culvert it has created over the many years it has flowed. The small stream can be seen at the top of the photo behind the grass and just to the left of the yellow stalk of skunk cabbage .
 Strong winds in the fall blew this paper wasp nest out of a tree. This one is small but we have seen them as large as a basketball.
 Below are aspen trees in their glorious colors. This is a invigorating time of the year with the cool crisp temperatures and the smell of dry leaves. This year the conifers have shed more needles than usual which adds to the wonderful smell.
 In the bottom photo if you look carefully you can see Mt. Mestas through the trees and off in the distance. At the right end of the mountain is LaVeta pass which goes to Walsenburg and we can also see it from our front deck.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Season In The Mountains

 Carol and I took a little trip to the other end of our property on the tractor this morning when we thought the sun was right. The aspen trees are now in full color and we have learned over the years not to wait to get photos. A strong wind or snow/hail storm could strip the trees in minutes. For better viewing click on the photos to enlarge them.  I wish a scratch and sniff feature was available so the smell of fall could be shared. The pine trees are shedding needles and the aspen leaves are coming down as well and when the sun heats them up the smell is intoxicating.

 Above is one of our two year round springs with the aspen leaves floating. I thought it made a pretty photo.
We have several aspen trees around the house and this year they are giving our homestead color. Fall time in the mountains is a beautiful time of year. Cool days and crisp air with the aroma of the earth and dead leaves/pine needles. Soon it will all be covered with snow for several months so the time to get out and enjoy it is now....

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Unexpected Change

 When we woke up this morning we had a little over an inch of snow and it was 30 degrees outside. Last year we didn't get snow until mid October so it is several weeks early.
 But the trees across from us are moving closer to full color.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Contrast In Seasons

 Above is a photo of a small spring season early summer wildflower. It is unusual to see them out this time of year. Below are the leaves changing color. The aspen leaves are turning various shades of yellow, red and orange. Spring flowers on the ground and the colors of autumn in full swing. I haven't seen this before.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tree Oddities

As I work around the property I notice some oddities with some of the trees and stumps. Above the tree has grown around another tree that fell against it many years ago. The photo below is the same where many years ago this aspen tree grew right next to the pine tree and at some point was cut down. Now the pine tree is encasing the aspen stump.

This one is unique in that it is the playground of a ground squirrel. As I drive by on the tractor many times a ground squirrel would pop up out of the hole and then duck back in and out the hole in the bottom.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Where Have The Elk Gone?

This is a photo from last year of the elk peacefully browsing next to our house. During breakfast this morning the topic was discussed wherein we haven't seen any elk activity where they normally have been for the past number of years.

We have not heard the elk bugling nor have we had any around so far. There are no tracks in the road or other signs of elk. Thus far we haven't even seen a single elk wherein past years they have been abundant due to no legal hunting in our community. Hence the elk see our area as a safe area and normally congregate nearby during hunting season as in the photo above.

I have noted that there have been numerous suspicious vehicles going down our road having every appearance of hunting. Just this morning at 5:55 AM, a vehicle went down our road when it was still dark outside with its headlights off which is suspicious. The dogs alerted me and I could see the outline of the vehicle but there were no visible lights showing.

Last week I had a telephone call from an acquaintance who had driven up to check his lot which is at the other end or the road from us. He advised that when he went to his lot he found a vehicle and camping on it and several hunting rifles and it appeared a group of people were hunting (poaching) from his lot. He wanted to know who to call and I told him to call the sheriff. It appears that poaching or hunting in a prohibited area has gotten worse and the activity has driven the elk and game animals from our area. Many in our community like to observe and photo the elk and they will see less and less like in our case unless the illegal hunting is stopped. We are living somewhat remotely and having problems like this seem inherent to the area.

Each year we have witnessed illegal hunting on our road because there are no roads behind us and the area is private hunting only. This is the first year in 19 years that we not seen the presence of elk by now. This year we have seen multiple vehicles with hunters in hunting garb going down our road. It appears the elk may have been pressured out of our area.

That is my speculation only but it seems odd that we don't have any elk or elk signs thus far. So where have the elk moved to?  Forced out of our area?  Lured to another area? Diminished herd size? All we know is we haven't seen nor heard them yet and we miss them.

Recent Photo Of Deer

 I moved the trail camera to the other end of our property and here is a doe and her fawn.
Here is a photo of a large tree that blew over and hung up in another tree. It will have to come down but I'm going to wait until after winter and see if the snow will bring it down. It is a dangerous tree because if it is cut off at the bottom it will swing down and hit the other tree and then come right back onto the cutter in a micro second. I cut one down like this earlier this year and had two young strapping guys on a rope to pull it away from me. They did not pull hard enough and it came back on me but only a branch grazed me and cut my ear. Trees like this can cause major injury so this one will be cabled and pulled with a come along. Anyone just walking up and cutting this one loose at the base would only make that mistake one time.

Cowboy Breakfast

 What is better on an overcast cool day than cook outside on the old re purposed wood stove. Having breakfast with good friends and good conversation is just a good way to start any day. I was outside at daylight getting a fire going in the wood stove and once hot enough we cooked breakfast on top of it. Eggs, fried spam, special potatoes with just the right seasoning plus OJ and monkey bread with appetizers of fresh carrots grown in my garden and topped off with hot coffee.
Here is the cook resting and waiting for our friends to arrive. If you have never had a meal prepared outdoors it is hard to explain how good it tastes. There is just something about food cooked outdoors on a wood stove that tastes like a meal fit for royalty. Good food, good conversation, good company good laughs and good times. Thanks to Skip and Sue for sharing a special breakfast with us.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Season Change

The aspen trees in front of the house have turned yellow and the ones across the road are turning. A sure sign of Fall Season and snow is not far behind.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Self Sustaining Lifestyle

Check out the newest blog on Mother Earth News at the following link:

Sometimes self sustaining encompasses more than just having a garden or raising livestock. Cooperative sharing is becoming a thing of the past.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sarah's Friend

 This deer is our Sarah's friend.  She comes around in the morning and hangs out until Sarah goes out to go to the bathroom. Then she will come close or up to the fence and the two will be nose to nose sniffing each other. Sometimes she will just browse a few feet from the fence and I can tell the two of them are having some communications.  Earlier this summer Carol would take Sarah for a walk down the road and Sarah's friend would be there waiting for Sarah.
 Here is Sarah's friend waiting outside the window waiting for Sarah and below is a photo of her just outside the fence waiting for Sarah to come out alone. Seeing these two next to their respective sides of the fence is interesting to observe...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fall Colors Peak Map - Colorado

World Journal in Walsenburg shared KOAA 5's map of when to expect the fall colors in Colorado and when they peak.  For our area it appears to be October 1-10.

Monday, September 5, 2016

More Trail Camera Photos

Turkey Flock

When Carol let the dogs out yesterday there was a flock of turkeys just outside the fence heading up the mountain. We have seen them several times over the past couple days.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Another Day - Another Sign Of Fall

It seems each day now we see another sign of fall closing in on us. This aspen leaf was in the back yard and in a few weeks now there will be many leaves on the ground from the aspen trees. There is no denying that fall is clearly on the way and soon the trees will be yellow and the temperatures much cooler.  No color change yet but it won't be long before we start seeing color.

More Trail Camera Photos

There were almost 2,300 photos on the trail camera and we selected a few that we thought were the best ones like the two fawns above. Total cuteness......

Or this young guy wondering what these two things are that are now growing on his head. Where is mom when you need her to explain things like this....