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Monday, September 28, 2020

 Turkeys just taking a stroll down the  road this morning. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Trail Camera Photo's:

 NOTICE:  These images are old due to the fact it has been reported there are poachers in our community  and by posting recent photos it just helps them identify where the animals are located. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Friday, September 25, 2020

Firewood Stacked

 All stacked and ready for winter. The rows are also higher. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Reserve Firewood

We have spent the past two days cutting and splitting about 2-3 cords of firewood. It is our reserve firewood in case of a hard winter. Nice cool weather to work outside.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

More Trail Camera Photos

Both deer and elk looking sleek and healthy this year. 


Friday, September 18, 2020


 Back on September 6th, I posted about our Sarah. Sarah had a very loyal friend which I did not mention in the blog. It was a doe that one day when Sarah was alone in the back yard walked up to the fence where Sarah was and they sniffed each other through the fence. Over time they became friends and would each stand on their side of the fence and share space with each other. When Sarah passed away the doe would come to the fence looking for her. She would stand out by the fence and even when I tried to communicate with her she kept coming back. 

Those two had some sort of bond that just did not break when Sarah passed away. Last night I was taking the tractor down to the end of our property to get a photo for a blog I'm working on for Mother Earth News.  When I got to the cemetery for our past dogs there was a doe standing looking down at Sarah's marker which has her photo. Whether coincidence or if it is the same doe that was Sarah's friend I don't know but there are 7 head stones there and it was clearly looking down at Sarah's. I suspect it may visit that marker often as there is a lot of deer activity in the area. The trail camera is set up just 30 yards from the pet cemetery. I'll let the reader decide but it was the same size as Sarah's friend and it was standing over her marker. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Ultimate Pest

 Now that it is getting colder nights the pack rats are looking for their winter lodging. The will nest under the hood of a vehicle, under a deck, in your stacked firewood pile or any nook and cranny that they feel protected from. It is wise to keep the hood of your vehicle propped up and if there is room under your deck to keep it free of debris. Keep your firewood at least 60-80' away from your home. 

They don't like open area's but prefer more closed or confined areas. These little rodents can destroy the wiring harness, hoses, or belts under the hood of your vehicle in a single night. They work tirelessly and once ate all the vacuum hoses one night when I forgot to prop the hood of our old Toyota up.  They are cute but they can be seriously destructive and also carry several diseases. If they can get to your house wiring they can gnaw on the wiring insulation and start a fire. 

As soon as you discover them either by smell or their skat they need to be trapped and removed from the area. They come equipped with an excellent GPS homing device and should be taken at least a mile 1/2 distant to be released if caught in a live trap. The site of release should be at least 1 1/2 miles from another house or structure  or you are just taking your problem to someone else. If caught in a snap trap than anywhere is sufficient but a waste receptacle works. I generally leave them out in the open for the ravens to feast. 

You must use your A game to protect yourself and your property. So far in the past two months I have either caught 24 pack rats in live traps or snap traps. Because we are a green oasis in the middle of a burn scar they seem to gravitate to our home. When they urinate or defecate on our deck that is where I set the trap as they have marked that as their territory.  When you catch one there is generally a second one around too. Once removed others will come to that marked area to make it their own also so I set traps where they frequent. 

They seem to love peanut butter and if you have them coming to our area like this year it will take a volume of peanut butter. As cute as they are they are very destructive. When I released they a mile or so away they simply returned in a few days. I used the green hair coloring on them that kids use for Halloween, and finally  many years ago realized I was catching the same ones over and over. It turned out they liked the car ride and considered it a game. Having pack rats around is a serious matter. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The recent snow killed the potato plants so I harvested the potatoes. My potato box was only 20" X 20" square so this was a pretty good haul for such a short growing season. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

From A Facebook Post Four Years Ago

 Sarah's friend was out there to greet her this morning. She was right outside the window waiting for Sarah when I was feeding the dogs. When Sarah was let outside the deer worked her way over toward Sarah but they didn't sniff each other through the fence this morning. I know they were communicating with each other and sure wish I knew what was being said but I don't want to eves drop on their private conversation... Probably lady conversation anyway.

Friday, September 11, 2020

RIP My Best Friend

 May 2007 - September 11, 2020

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

September 9th Snow

I just finished shoveling off the deck which measured 11 1/2" of snow. It took just over an hour and normally I can shovel it off in under 30 minutes. This storm started with freezing rain, then rain snow mix and then snow. It was especially heavy and with the ice base it was hard to shovel. The first day of Autumn isn't until 9/22, but it appears we may have skipped that season this year. I don't think the colors will change this year as it was 17 degrees over night and all the aspen leaves are that dark green from being rained upon and then frozen. 

My  potato plant is also frozen and if the ground froze the potato's probably froze too. Late summer snow storm here in the mountains and our weather is always uncertain. This could be a harsh winter or we might not see snow like this until February. That is why we need to always be prepared for what ever comes our way.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2020


We love it when the hummingbirds return in the Spring. I just found this post on Facebook and thought I would share it.

Early Winter???


We suspected it would be an early start to winter this year as the song birds left early and the insect world seemed to indicate they were ready much earlier. We were unsure if it were the severe drought or an early winter. It looks like an early winter with the first storm arriving. Up to 12" of snow predicted depending on what weather source you refer to. Less than one inch so far... 


Things can change very fast in the mountains. Especially the weather. The above temperature is a few minutes ago and the temperature below is yesterday. We have seen it do this so many times that it is no longer a surprise. Nice fire in the wood stove and the radiant heat will soon warm the house. The wind is blowing and it is a mix of rain/sleet outside and with the wood stove it is nice and comfortable inside where we will stay until the weather outside lets up. 


Monday, September 7, 2020

Smoke Invasion

Smoke has invaded according to authorities from California. It is a thick choking smoke that forces us inside. First we were quarantined at home due to the corona 19 virus. Now we are forced further inside due to California burning. Its a good thing we are home bodies to begin with.  

Sunday, September 6, 2020


This is a photo of Sarah who has passed away from heart failure three years ago at the age of 13.5. Sarah was the most gentle sweet girl who shows just how resilient and trusting German Shepherds are. Sarah was rescued from a German Shepherd rescue at the age of four. She came from several states away and spent her first few years on a ranch. The ranchers wife had Sarah and her sister Missy as out door dogs. One day Sarah and her sister escaped and chased a calf into a fence where the calf was injured. The husband told his wife he would be back later in the day and if Sarah and her sister were still there he would shoot both of them. 

The wife called the local shelter and they came and saved Sarah and Missy and promptly had them transported to the GSD rescue here in Colorado and Utah. Sarah was so traumatized by the ordeal she would run and hide. I was a volunteer for the rescue and the owner called me to see I would adopt her. We went up for a meet and she came out eagerly to meet our two dogs Bozwell and Gypsy. They got along and then she ran and hid under the deck and had to be pulled out. She was for us and we adopted her right then. 

It took us two years to help Sarah regain her confidence and over come her fear and panic attacks. The girl that emerged was highly intelligent and as sweet a girl as they get. Gypsy and Bozwell were also instrumental in helping  recover. She wasn't over with the trauma however. A few years later she was chasing a chipmunk in the back yard in the morning and by lunch time she went totally blind. We took her immediately to the vet and was told she had a rare eye disease that they believe was caused by high blood pressure. 

Both of her retinas had totally detached and were free floating within the eye. A specialist in Colorado Springs was consulted and advised that the condition was permanent and less than a handful of dogs had ever recovered their sight and then only very limited sight. We quickly learned how to care for a totally blind Sarah and she actually remained blind for several weeks. One of the readers of our blog wrote me and said to get bilberry and give that to her as her dog went blind and the bilberry helped restore her sight. 

Off I was to the pharmacy for bilberry and shortly after having given it to her one day we noticed Sarah could see again. Off to the vet again where the vet said she couldn't believe it but her eyes were back to normal. Sarah had sight until her demise from chronic heart failure several years later. Carol and I miss  Sarah to this day. Sarah was gentle, loving, loyal and a very big lap girl. She had some horrific things happen to her including abuse from her first owner.  None the less she emerged in our care as a super good and loyal family member. 

The only thing we were unable to help Sarah overcome was the beeping from the heavy equipment when it backed up. That sound sent her into hiding or cowering by our side for protection. Both the vet and ourselves saw a divine miracle when Sarah's eye sight was restored. The vet was speechless when she saw Sarah's retina's reattached and her sight restored. Sarah had hundreds of people praying for her to regain her sight and those prayers were answered. Oh how I miss my sweet girl. 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Junior's Offspring

We once had a buck deer we named Junior that actually adopted us. His antlers had a certain configuration, and his markings were unique. He would come right up to me to take food from my hand and allow me to pick ice balls off of him and ticks. He would let me rub his nose and make soft mewing sounds. He would follow me around and he understood most of what I would tell him. During the rut he would come to me and lay down against the fence and I would look out for him. He would be exhausted and had such trust that he would not even look up as I walked past him. Once rested he would be off again. 

The deer in the photo above is a perfect reproduction of Junior and I suspect he is the grandson of Junior. The characteristics are just too accurate to be coincidence. I wish he could have known Junior as he was a very remarkable deer and to this day I miss his presence in our lives. People make pets of some deer but Junior was much different in that he adopted us and not the other way around. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Some Cute Trail Camera Photo's

 Passing on the latest news and gossip.. No fake news here....

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Great Sleeping Weather

 Last night it was 42 degrees outside and the night before was 40 degrees. Cool nights are great for sleeping and during the day it is getting up into the 60's or low 70's, which is great for working outside. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Pack Rats:

These little critters are the scourge of mountain living. They mark their territory with urine and feces that smells terrible. They have a love for the hoses, wiring harnesses and vacuum hoses under the hood of vehicles. If they can get to electrical wires they will chew the insulation off them creating a very real fire hazard. 

They carry disease's and are very smart. They have built in GPS and can find their way back home is a few days if you live trap them. So far I have live trapped 18 of them in the past three weeks. I know I'm trapping the same ones but I don't want to let them go where they will be a problem for others. It is getting hard to find a location where they won't find their way back.  

I'm getting pretty familiar with some who have returned to get more peanut butter and a free Jeep ride. Unless we run out of peanut butter this will go on for a few more weeks. I don't like to kill them so we will play the game until one of us has had enough. With their big ears they are cute little guys but they are also highly destructive. About the only way to get rid of them for good is to drive them to the next state.  The games now begin......


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Lots of Deer Activity...

Lots of deer activity around our trail camera. Not much else...


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Hunter or No Hunter?

I used to love to hunt turkeys and part of the enjoyment was calling them in. I lived for a time in N. Florida and had along with 4 other people sole access to a large parcel of prime hunting property. I was sitting along a small stream one time and managed to call in a male turkey and he came out into sight not 6' from where I was sitting. He waded across the shallow creek and stepped into a shaft of sunlight. It was the most beautiful thing I had seen with the sun bringing out the bronze in his feathers. I was so mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the bird I sat motionless taken in by the beauty. When I came out of my stupor he was about 15 feet away, stepped behind a large oak tree and that is the last I saw him.  

I realized then that I was more of a bird watcher than bird hunter. 
 Another time I was hunting the same piece of property which bordered a river and I was sitting on a stump about 6' out in the river. As I sat there several wood ducks (top photo) came paddling down the river and started swimming around my feet and the stump. Again I was so mesmerized by the beauty of the birds that I just sat there for several minutes watching them swim around me. I didn't have a duck stamp on my license so I  was not allowed to do anything with them but as the photo shows they are a very beautiful bird. This all happened outside Tallahassee, FL and I have not been bird hunting since and have no intention to do so. 

What reminded me of the turkey was this morning just as the sun came up we had a gobbler making a racket in front of our house and I had flash backs to my last turkey hunt. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Result Is In:

 It looks like a butterfly but we don't know what kind. It hatched today and has taken flight. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

All Out War

 This time of year we have pack rats trying to get inside or under the house. So far in the past week I have caught 7 in a live trap and I release them where there are no other houses.  These rodents can cause a lot of damage if they get under the hood of your vehicle where they chew up wiring harnesses and vacuum lines. Cute as they are they are destructive. The other one stumbled into a snap trap.

So far it is Bruce 8 and pack rats 1. I released one and as he jumped from the live trap I heard him say "race you home" and he ran under the Jeep and disappeared. Pack rat 1..... I set two live traps each night and am constantly looking for their nest area and any way they can dig under the house. 

As cute as they are they are destructive and smell terrible. Some years we trap and relocate up to 17 of them. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Latest Trail Camera Photos

The last two photos were part of a blog for Mother Earth News magazine and the link is found at the bottom of the page. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Kestrel Family

 We have had a mother Kestrel and two juvenile birds for a few weeks. They have greatly reduced our squirrel population including our little buddy the ground squirrel who loves peanuts. These birds are the perfect hunting machine...  


 We have less than half the hummingbirds that we had a few days ago and the song birds have already migrated. The elk are bugling and all signs are that we are going to have a early fall and winter. Usually the hummingbirds migrate about three weeks from now. The birds know more than computer apps and I for one trust their instincts more. We are doing the last minute tasks getting ready for the cold once again.